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Don't cry, Xbox Live is down on Monday

Major Nelson has informed us that Xbox Live will be undergoing maintenance starting Monday morning (or really late Sunday night, depending on your point of view) at 12:01 AM PST. The maintenance, as you might expect, is to prepare Xbox Live for the New Xbox Experience (or NXE as the kids call it) which will be landing on Xbox 360s sometime later this year. The maintenance will not add any new features to the Xbox 360, so don't go looking for any. Xbox Live will be down for as long as 24 hours, so you'd best start making plans now, perhaps a game of RISK.

[Image: hypertypos]

Games for Windows Live goes free

This topic sure to be a hotbed of commenting action. Yesterday Microsoft announced that Games for Windows Live, the PC-based equivalent of the Xbox Live service, has changed to a completely free business model. After a lukewarm launch against PC service powerhouse Steam the Games for Live service has ended the Gold/Silver distinction for PC gamers that Xbox Live subscribers are subjected to. Changing to a free model means gamers can compete in cross-platform gaming (where applicable) at no additional charge. The question now remains, does this move signify a a change that must be made to the Xbox Live structure or are the services two completely different beasts. Consider, only a handful of games and features exist on the PC side of Live and with strong competition from other free services it's a move Microsoft had no choice but to make to survive. So, what are your thoughts on Games for Windows Live going free?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in. Via Engadget]

Joystiq talks DRM with Microsoft

With the new DRM tool finally available on, we're sure that everyone has plenty of questions. Thankfully, Joystiq has the answers you need. What can you transfer? How many consoles can you transfer to and from? And then there are questions you may not have though about like: can you sell your licenses to someone else? What about moving licenses to the next Xbox. Head over to Joystiq for their Q&A with Marc Whitten, general manager of Xbox Live.

Michigan kids exposed to nudity via XBL Vision Cam

*Sigh* Here we go again, the latest overblown news story to come out of the mass media regarding video games. This time it regards a pair of kids who were playing online (its unknown what game, as all the article says is: "while playing a game on X-Box Live, a video game that allows you to play against people anywhere in the world." Now whether of not "X-Box Live" is a video game in and of itself isn't really the issue here, the fact the the article mentions receiving pictures is. Because that setting can be disabled.

While the education of parents as to the extent of their own ability to filter their children's content is a problem, some of the statements made in the news article are downright silly. Things like: "Jennifer (the mother) now fears the safety of her children" do much more harm than good. So for all readers out there who could find a moment to educate those folks who aren't quite so up speed, it would benefit us all.

Xbox Live has had a rough holiday [update]

Update: Lies, all lies! As of Sunday evening Xbox Live is again dead. Come on Xbox Live engineers, get it together already!

If you've been gaming online for the past week you've probably experienced some craptacular Xbox Live service. Problems that run the gamut of absolutely no Xbox Live connection to spotty matchmaking and messaging. And Microsoft is the first to say that they apologize for the problems.

Major Nelson posted a little update confirming that Xbox Live has been having issues this past week, that their engineers have been working on a fix and says that "problems like this are not acceptable". We're nearly certain that an influx of new gamers going online post holiday put a lot of strain on Xbox Live, but one would think that Microsoft would have been ready. Though, it's good to hear that they're owning up to their mishap and were quick to get their tech team working on the problem. And you'll be happy to hear that, as of this posting, Xbox Live is up and running like normal. So, happy online gaming everybody.

[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]

Xbox Live is experiencing some technical issues

Trying to log onto Xbox Live but keep getting random error messages? Well, you aren't alone, because Xbox Live is currently experiencing some technical difficulties that aren't allowing subscribers to log in. And that's a big bummer. The flakiness started Saturday evening and according to the Xbox Live status monitor over at the problems are widespread, but are being dealt with. So, expect Xbox Live to be down for a bit and know that even when it gets fixed that slowness and oddness will follow. For up to the minute information about this mini-crisis be sure to point your browser over to Major Nelson or the Xbox Live support page. We have faith in you Microsoft, we know you won't let Santa bring new Xbox 360s to boys and girls this holiday and not have Live up and running at full steam.

[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]

11.6 million 360s sold, Halo 2 still most popular

It's that time again when Microsoft gives us the digits and we get to trudge through the facts, figures and numbers to learn about everything going down in Xbox 360 land. So, let's jump right in.

After giving the numbers a quick look over, we found the biggest and most informative fact to be that worldwide Microsoft has sold 11.6 million Xbox 360 consoles, which is in line with what we've already expected. Other interesting tidbits found within' the press release include little nuggets like a new members joins Xbox Live once very eight seconds, that the 360's 6.3 game attach rate is the highest in the industry and that US Xbox 360 owners have purchased 24.3 million games which is more than the 19.3 million games both the PS3 and Wii have sold combined. Finally, Microsoft also included three "top ten" charts showcasing the top Xbox 360 and XBLA games played over Xbox Live as well as the top downloaded demos off the XBLM. And it's no surprise to see Halo 2 and Gears of War topping that list, but seeing Aegis Wing up there is a tad puzzling.

Check out more facts and figures after the jump as well as the top ten lists which are posted after the break. Hopefully, after giving everything a read over, your craving for Xbox 360 facts will be satisfied. Bon appetit!

Continue reading 11.6 million 360s sold, Halo 2 still most popular

Molyneux says Live "more impactful" than Wii remote

In a recent interview, Peter Molyneux stated that he believed Xbox Live will be "far more impactful" to video gaming than the Wii remote in the long term. As Xbox 360 Fanboys, we can certainly understand his sentiments, though current sales numbers might suggest otherwise. Still, it raises an interesting question. Both the Wii remote and Xbox Live have changed console gaming as we know it. Sure, there have been motion controls before, and there have been online games on consoles, but the Wii remote and Xbox Live represent the most successful iterations of both concepts. The question then is which will have the most impact on the industry, input or networking? Motion controls may bring more gamers into the fold with intuitive input, but networking brings those gamers together with online play and downloadable goodies.

Our instinct tells us the end result will be combining the two (Xbox ThWii-Sixty?) but, for the sake of discussion, why not share your thoughts on the importance of motion controls versus social networking in gaming.

[Via Joystiq]

Paul Wall to show off his Madden skillz

Big rapper and grill connoisseur Paul Wall loves his Madden and challenges you to a few quarters of fun. As part of's Game with Fame, Paul Wall will be playing Madden '07 this Saturday, June 30th on Xbox Live from 7-9:00PM eastern. So, if you're up for some football fun or just want to put the rapper in his place, send a friend request to gamertag GWFPaulWall before Saturday night rolls around. Gaming, rapping, and talking about grills ... now that's what Xbox Live is all about.

Live Top Ten: Shadow runs fast

This week's Live Top Ten let the dust settle from last week's onslaught of demos. The top three remained unchanged, with Guitar Hero II moving into fourth, pushing the Shadowrun demo down. One of the other demos from last week, Tenchu Z remains in the same spot, and the Arcade game, Prince of Persia actually moved up to eighth. Also, though its demo has been on the list for the past week, the retail version of Shadowrun has made it on the top ten list, and will hopefully continue to climb. Full breakdown of the list after the break.

Continue reading Live Top Ten: Shadow runs fast

Video: Hitler gets banned from Xbox Live

What happens when you put silly subtitles over dramatic foreign footage? Absolute hilarity, that's what. Now combine this already potent combination with making fun of Adolf Hitler and it's even funnier. Combine that with the Xbox 360's superior online capabilities and you have got yourself some comedy gold. Come on, Microsoft? How could you ban Hitler? He had 2000 MS Points! What the hell can he do with them now? Then again, we suppose that's what happens when you play with a modified console (who would have thought that Hitler was a 1337 h4xx0r?). At this rate, Hitler may have to do the unthinkable: settle for a PS3.

We pity the customer support representative who has to take Hitler's call.

Warning: This video is decidedly NSFW, as it contains both foul language and, erm, Hitler.

[Thanks, Vic]

New Catan content settles on Xbox Live

While it may not be as exciting as, say, a downloadable expansion, there is new Catan content available on Xbox Live Arcade. It's not particularly exciting though, as it won't significantly alter your game at all. First, there is a picture pack available that will set you back 100 MS Points. Somewhat more interesting, you can download the Mayfair skin, which will give your gameboard the appearance of the original Mayfair Games version. The Mayfair skin will set you back 100 points as well.

Anyone planning on downloading this content, or will you save your money for an expansion?

Hour of Victory demo coming next week

Hour of Victory, Midway's next entry into the often neglected WWII genre, will be receiving a demo next week on Xbox Live Marketplace. The demo will arrive next Wednesday, giving eager gamers a chance to try the game before it assaults retail on June 22. While it's true that the WWII genre is somewhat saturated at this point, Hour of Victory attempts to stand out from the rest of the crowd by offering a character switching gimmick. There are three characters in the game, boasting different specialties and presumably different personalities (sort of like a hairier, sweatier Charlie's Angels). There is the stealthy spy type capable of stealth kills and other forms of sneakery, the out-and-out soldier eager for a brawl, and the sniper, who, um, snipes things. To get an idea what you'll be in for when the demo drops, check out a trailer for Hour of Victory after the break.

Continue reading Hour of Victory demo coming next week

PA shows the less-than-sexy side of Live

So, earlier today we gave you a guide on how to be an A-hole, which is all good and weel. While, on the other hand, the guys over at Penny Arcade told their account of running into someone who was just downright creepy. To their credit, they did show a good idea on a feature that should be added to a future dash update when filing a complaint just doesn't cut. So, make the jump, have a laugh, and maybe shed a tear for those who run into people like this daily. That all being said, if this really weirded you out, don't worry, we got something lined up for you that'll brighten your day.

What's not in the spring update: clan support

It's springtime again, which can mean only one thing. No, not the impending arrival of young couples making out behind the bushes at the park, it's time for Xbox 360 Spring update rumors. Clan support has been a rumored addition for a while now, and there are even some alleged pictures of it in action (see above). Before we define this a little further, let's just get this out of the way: clan support is not part of the upcoming spring update. This was confirmed by Major Nelson himself during our latest Xbox 360 Fancast.

Now for clarification's sake, it's perfectly possible for any given game to have clan support. As such, screens like the one above may be legitimate. However, Major Nelson informed us that Microsoft has no plans to integrate clan support into the 360 itself. In other words, there are no plans to add universal clan support that spans multiple games. Clan support is offered by Microsoft, but it is up to developers to implement it into individual titles.

So, there you go, no clan support in the spring update. Of course, that doesn't stop us from speculating about other features.

[Thanks, todd]

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