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Ninja Gaiden, Pirates and BLACK are now officially Xbox Originals

We've known about their impending release before the official announcement, we've waited a few weeks and now the time has come for three Xbox games to walk down the Xbox Originals red carpet to claim their award. Ninja Gaiden Black, Sid Meier's Pirates and BLACK are now officially Xbox Originals downloads and can be purchased from the Xbox Live Marketplace for a cool 1200 Microsoft points. Be warned though, there are a few backwards compatibility issues to deal with (including audio dropping, graphics tearing, lighting problems and frame-rate issues), but that's no biggie because they're only 1200 points apiece. You're a big spender, so spend away and stock up on those Originals.

New Xbox Originals: Ninja Gaiden Black, Sid Meier's Pirates! and BLACK

Eagle-eyed fanboy MageGriff noticed that on the XBLM, under the Xbox Originals section, are three newly new game additions that are "greyed out". The three new Xbox Original games (all of which do not include Conker or Jade Empire) have a release date set for February 11th and include (trumpets please) Ninja Gaiden Black, Side Meier's Pirates! and the shoot-fest that is BLACK. Again, these three new Xbox Originals are not available for download or purchase until the 11th, but are pretty much a release guarantee seeing that they're currently viewable on the Marketplace. Anyone up for some 1200 Microsoft point Ninja Gaiden?

[Thanks, MageGriff]

PC WORLD: 360 Elite is a product of the year

PC WORLD has named their Top 20 Products of the Year and surprisingly, the Xbox 360 Elite made it on the list. And even though the Xbox community has mixed opinions about the black console, PC WORLD thinks that the Elite's huge HDD, HDMI connectivity, and Xbox Live functionality warranted a #18 place on the list. The Elite beat out two others including (#19) and the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 (#20), but was left crying in the corner by Nintendo's Wii which came in at a very respectable #3. So fanboys, has your thoughts, impressions, or feelings about the Xbox 360 Elite changed since its release and would you be more or less likely to pick it up over a Premium?

[Thanks, Serge]

Black accessories already available

Feeling a little black today? EB Games has come to the rescue by offering a few black Xbox 360 accessories before the Elite makes its grand arrival next week. Right now, you can order a black Xbox 360 wireless controller, play and charge pack, or extra play and charge battery. The black versions all cost the same as their white counterparts and are ready to ship within 24 hours. As we always say, black is the new off white ... or something like that.

Welcome to the Xbox 360 Elite freak show

Man, April 29th isn't going to carry as much excitement as we all thought, because some retailers (ahem, Target) just can't hold onto their products until the street date. got their hands on an Elite 360 at a local Walmart in Minneapolis and instead of selling it on eBay, opted to break her open. They ever so kindly posted comparison shots of the new Elite motherboard versus the old and a few CPU/GPU pictures too. But even after ripping the console open they still couldn't figure out whether or not the Elite is sporting an upgraded 65nm CPU or that archaic 90nm version. Maybe we could help out by borrowing them our super scientific microscope and a mini ruler. It's a thought. Though, they did get the full dish on what brands the DVD drive and hard drive are, so it wasn't a total bust. Make the jump for more pictures (including a Microsoft branded HDMI cable) and behold the wonder that is an Xbox 360 Elite gutted with its innards pulled out. Yes, it is sick and vile, but we like it.

[Via Engadget]

Rumor: Cable to transfer HDD data to Elite 360

True, the rumored black Xbox 360 Elite has yet to be officially confirmed, but we figured we'd add some more rumor logs onto our fanboy fire. Yesterday, Ben over at ars technica expressed his concern for how to transfer HDD data from his old 360 to the new Elite 360 if he were to purchase one. Not soon after Ben received a tip from a person who works at a large video game distributor (who wanted to remain anonymous) and divulged an answer to the data transfer problem ... an included cable. The tipster went on to say that,

"MS has told us that the data will be transferred via some sort of cable that will be included with the unit. The cable will also be included w/ the 120GB drive that will be sold separately (price TBD)."

Again, this is a whole basket full of rumor berries, but if it were true would it sway your opinion on a new Elite 360 purchase? A HDD to HDD data transfer cable would be a great accessory anyway and with the release of a 120GB HDD one would think it'd be a no brainer. Or maybe we're all just geniuses.

[Via Digg]

Black Xbox 360 rumor is staying alive

It's time, once again, to add some fuel to the once smoldering rumor-mill fire! We've reported on it before, but we have new information on the rumored black Xbox 360. According to German website Xbox-Archiv, they've received insider's information on Microsoft's plans for a new (and totally un-official) Xbox 360 model and yes, it's black. They are reporting that this new black Xbox 360 will launch this May, include a 120GB HD, HDMI input and also change our current Xbox 360 bundle offerings. With its release the Core bundle will disappear from existence and the Premium (Pro bundle) will drop in price. The website also touched on a Halo 3 release date stating it would be out by the end of November, something we already expected.

Microsoft, we know a new Xbox 360 model is coming out ... just fess up already! Is anyone with us on this one and getting sick of waiting for an official announcement and simply want some hard facts? We're thinking that the best chance of hearing any official news is in the coming weeks to steal some of the PS3's European launch thunder. As we say; death to the Core, a cheaper Premium, and all hail the new black 360! Can't you just feel the excitement?

[Via Xboxic]

BLACK not coming to the 360 but BLACK 2 is!

Alright, some bad news leavened with some good news: If you had any hopes of playing BLACK, EA's new gun-crazed FPS, on the 360, developer Criterion's Alex Ward has a message for you. He told Eurogamer, "I keep reading all over forums that we're going to make a 360 version of BLACK, and it's just not true... The only time you'll see [the BLACK franchise] on the Xbox 360 is when we make BLACK 2 on it in a few years."

Apparently the speculation arose from BLACK's incompatibility with the 360, though Ward explained this had nothing to do with developers or publishers, and everything to do with Microsoft. He said, "[Microsoft] controls and decides what games its emulator works with. I've actually asked them four times myself for them to make it happen, but it's really not up to us... The fact that BLACK doesn't work on the 360 isn't us trying to make people wait for a 360 version... because that's not going to happen."

This is consistent with what Microsoft has told us in the past though gaming conspiracy theorists refuse to accept it: games aren't being specifically kept from 360 compatibility for the sake of selling updated, next-gen variants. To quote, "Q: Are you intentionally trying to keep (game X) off the list because you want us to buy the 360 version? A: Nope. The team is probably working on (game X) right now, even as you read this post." See that? They're probably working on game X BLACK right now, as you're reading this post. Right guys? Guys?

See also:

Rumors squashed! MS debunks top 10 360 rumors
Xbox team talks backwards compatability

UPDATE: Mr. Ward has put up a conspiracy-theory smackdown post at the GAF forums, beginning, "Jesus, you guys are seriously paranoid! This is just an effort to set the record straight. So many of you are attacking us, as developers, for being deficient in some way regarding backward  compatibility. It is simply out of our hands."

He sounds serious! Let's hope MS keeps plugging away at the back-compat system, or Alex Ward is gonna have a lot more theories to dispel. [Via Xboxic]

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