Gadling's resident pilot explains what life in the cockpit is like

Ask X3F: That Virtua Feeling edition

This week on Ask X3F, the community-powered feature where we answer reader questions, we have a lot to cover. We've got Star Trek Online questions, we've got New Xbox Experience questions, we even have questions that aren't really questions at all. We also share a few choice words on exactly why it is that Microsoft can cram a 120GB hard drive into a Zune but decided not to build one into every Xbox 360. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we answer a question we haven't heard since the 90's: Virtua Fighter or Soul Calibur?

Got a question for Ask X3F? Maybe you have a story or some information you'd like to share? Send it all to ask [att] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

What consoles will Star Trek Online be on??? Will it be on Xbox 360 or PS3 or both??

Officially, Star Trek Online is only being released on PC. However, it was recently hinted in the official Star Trek Online FAQ that there might be cross-platform play with console versions. This would imply that there is at least the possibility that a console version is in development. It's worth considering that Star Trek Online developer Cryptic Studios is also working on Champions Online, which is definitely coming to the Xbox 360. Keeping this in mind, if there is a console version of Star Trek Online, we'd say it's a fairly safe bet it will land on the Xbox 360 and possibly on PS3 as well.


Where is the game City of Metronome? I fell in love with it at E305 and have not seen anything else lately. Although not super similar, wouldn't the purchasers (such as myself) of BRAID be interested in this game too?

Tell me it isn't dead.


Raging Hamster

We're never too keen on further enraging a hamster, so please allow us to direct you a previous issue of Ask X3F in which we tackle this very question. You can find it right here (it's the last question). The word right now is that the game isn't dead, but it doesn't appear to be coming out any time soon either. For the record, the last we heard anything about the game was in November of 2007, so take that for what it's worth.

I was playing Halo 3 yesterday and i noticed something familiar. If you look down at master chief's feet, and tart shooting it looks like mirrors edge. This is pointless but its kinda funny.

Um, yes, that is pointless. Thanks for sharing!

Hey X3F! Wanna get some things off my mind...

1) Like most people, I'm excited about the new Dashboard update coming up. Yet, a few of my friends have said they're not happy with it and want to stick with the old look. Do you think Microsoft will give us an option to switch back the the old look through system settings if we want to?

2) Being pleased with Naruto on the 360, Dragonball and with Afro Samurai coming out shortly, will there be any more anime-based games for 360? I'd really like to see Bleach since it's been popular on the PSP & DS, and I'd like to play through the story on a next-gen console...

3) And finally, concerning Soul Calibur IV. I've not played a proper fighting game in almost 6/7 years since Tekken Tag Tournament on PS2, and now I'm a bit picky when it comes to fighting games. Should I get Soulcalibur IV, Virtua Fighter 5 or wait for something else if it comes out?



GT: Red Eyes Metal.

1) The new dashboard update is mandatory and there won't be any options to switch back to the old dashboard. At this point, the only way to keep the current dashboard would be to make sure you never connect your 360 to Xbox Live ever again. Even then, there's no saying that a future 360 game might not take advantage of some new feature that the old dashboard doesn't support. Long story short: the new dashboard's a'comin' and you're stuck with it. Tell you're friends not to worry though, because it's pretty slick and all of their old themes will still work.

2) Anime + youth market = money. In other words, yes, we're fairly certain there will be more anime games on the Xbox 360. We haven't heard of a Bleach title though ....

3) It all depends on what kind of fighter you're looking to play. Virtua Fighter 5 is a very deep, very technical fighter and it requires some pretty serious dedication to be good. Soul Calibur IV certainly has its technical aspects as well, though it lends itself more readily to random button mashing (a decent player would never fall victim to button mashing, of course). On the flip side of this, Virtua Fighter's technical nature makes it less accessible, whereas Soul Calibur is easier to get into. If you're planning on playing with close friends, accessibility is something to consider.

One last thing: you can buy Virtua Fighter 5 for much less than Soul Calibur IV, which might affect your decision.

Hey guys strange question today but if you could have all of these games in your library except one by the end of the year which would you choose not to get?

1. Left 4 Dead
2. Dead Space
3. Fallout 3
4. Gears of War 2
5. Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Due to me not having enough time on my hands to play through all of these, and their close release dates, I need helping prioritizing!


Richard's answer: This one is tough for me. I honestly want to play every game on that list. In the end I think I'd have to strike Dead Space off the list. It's not that I don't want to play it but, of the five games up there, it's probably the most rental friendly. Given that it doesn't have any multiplayer and survival horror games tend to be low on replayability, Dead Space seems like the one to pick. You could say the same thing about Fallout 3, but it's bound to be much longer than probably every game up there so it's not quite so rental friendly. For the record, I'm probably most excited about Left 4 Dead.

Xav's answer: Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Dustin's Answer: Fallout 3

Rich, Xav, Alexander, Dustin:

Why is it the Xbox 360 lacks a harddrive when Microsoft's EDD
[Entertainment and Devices Division] continues to put out products like this? You are looking at a 120GB Zune passing FCC testing. A device no larger than a 360 controller w/120GB of storage. This baffles me. Anyway, love the show.

(Really) Long answer:

The market for media players is much different than the console market. It's not like Microsoft could ship a Zune without a hard drive. As for why Microsoft decided to go without a hard drive in the Xbox 360, we're sure they would tell you something along the lines of "it's about choice." While that's true to a certain extent, there are issues of both perception and cost here. Regardless of how much these drives actually cost to make, Microsoft has set them up as something of value. This console is cheaper because it doesn't have a hard drive. This one is more expensive because it does.

This gives people the illusion that they get to buy an Xbox 360 without paying for something they don't need. The beauty of it, from a business perspective, is that once someone buys a 360 Arcade and realizes he does need a hard drive (a probability that goes up the longer he owns the system), he'll have to buy one of Microsoft's exhorbitantly priced, proprietary hard drives.

Short answer:

That's it for this week, folks. Keep sending your questions to: ask [att] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

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