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Fracture demo sends shockwaves through Xbox Live


Here we are, September 18, and the Fracture demo promised by LucasArts has landed on Xbox Live Marketplace. Weighing in at 772MB, the demo allows players to sample a section of Fracture's single player campaign. Using the game's terrain deformation system, players can try their hand at creating and destroying the landscape using a variety of weapons. Here's hoping that creating hills, holes, craters and spires is enough to keep things interesting. If you've been anxious to try out Fracture's much vaunted terrain deformation, give it a go.

Mercenaries 2 demo explodes onto Xbox Live


Three days after Pandemic announced that a Mercenaries 2 demo was on Xbox Live Marketplace, it finally emerges. Where was it hiding? We're not sure. Venezuela perhaps. Regardless of where it's been, it's available now for anyone who wants to give its particular brand of open world destruction a try. Be warned though, the demo only lasts for twenty minutes, and the timer doesn't reset when you die, and it boots you back to the dashboard when time is up. Better get that destruction in while you can (and hope that you can figure the game out without a tutorial).

Guitar Hero Aerosmith demo walks this way


Considering it came out in June, it's a little curious that Activision is only now releasing a demo of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith to Xbox Live Marketplace. Somehow, we get the feeling that pretty much anyone interested in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith already has it. If, somehow, you're interested in this game and have yet to try it out, go give it try. Oh, one last thing, the dashboard details are priceless: "Get a taste of Guitar Hero®: Aerosmith - There's never been a band like them; there has never been a game like this." Really? Never?

360 Dashboard 2.0 mock-up, is Microsoft listening?


Over at Platform Nation there is a very interesting article about what could be done to improve the Xbox 360 dashboard, thus creating Dashboard 2.0. You can see a mock-up of the Marketplace blade above, including eye-popping images for XBLA games. Even better, the games have user ratings and the prices are listed right on the front page, no need to click through to see how much a game costs. There are a number of other improvements, including the ability to hotkey areas you use often (XBLA, Marketplace, etc). The article goes into detail about where the current dashboard has problems and what can be done to address them (right down to cleaning up completely unused space). It's really a good read and we suggest you check it out. We can only hope that someone at Microsoft is paying attention.

[Thanks Alex Fischer and Gemini Ace. Via Joystiq]

Crash Time demo races onto Xbox Live

We'll admit it, upon seeing that there was a demo for Crash Time on Xbox Live Marketplace this morning, it was actually the first time we had even heard of the game. It was made by Synetic, a company we've never heard of. It's based on a German TV series that we've also never heard of. Those things in and of themselves don't really mean much though. What we know is that it has cars and, presumably, said cars will crash. That's two points in the game's favor right there. Three points actually, considering the cars can explode. Wait, it also has a cheesy hard rawk soundtrack. That makes for a potential fourth point. Whether or not it's actually any fun is a quandary we'll leave up to you. Go grab it and tell us what you think.

Would You Rather ... Episodic Edition


In our continuing effort to bring you fresh and interesting content, X3F presents Would You Rather ... a weekly feature that asks you the hard questions. The point? If you had to choose one or the other, which would you go for?

This week for WUR we're talking episodic content. With games like Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness on the horizon for XBLA we're wondering what your opinion is on distribution and pricing.

Assuming that when it's all said and done you'd spend the same amount on an entire season of content, which would you prefer? Purchase an entire season of content for a final total price and download each episode when they are available (akin to one of the purchase models of Sam & Max from GameTap) or purchase each episode/content pack separately like the current Xbox Live Marketplace model?


Feel free to share the reasons for your vote in the comments. We'll share the results of the poll during the next edition of Would You Rather ... which hits X3F every Wednesday.

Last weeks WUR results can be find after the jump ... steal this info!

Continue reading Would You Rather ... Episodic Edition

Microsoft toying with the idea of a Games for Windows Marketplace

In an interview with Eurogamer, Microsoft's Games for Windows (G4W) senior global manager director Kevin Unangst mentioned that they hope to bring some sort of Xbox Live Marketplace to the G4W platform.

When talking about the possibility of a G4W Marketplace, Unangst said that "you can be confident we want to enable things like digital distribution, the ability to do downloadable content for games - that's a direction we're definitely headed in". He was also clear about the fact that they "don't have anything specific to announce in terms of timeframes right now" regarding a Marketplace or a way to obtain DLC on the G4W platform. It's an interesting and welcomed idea, but wouldn't you think priority number one would be to get more developers on board to support G4W? We think that's where the effort should be focused.

Katamari demo rolls up (get it?!) Marketplace


Beautiful Katamari's demo just landed on Marketplace and has been rolling up a storm. At first, it was available on a recent OXM demo disc, but now it is available for the whole world Canada, America, and Mexico (read: North America) to download. It weighs in at just under 435 MB, so it's not going to break the disk space bank, although X3F reader Magic Whiskey tells us that it's also on the short side, but enough to get the premise of the game. Give it a download and tell us what you think.

Jericho and Madden Trailers and Rumble Roses DLC


In today's Marketplace Roundup, we've got a couple trailers for you. First off, for Madden NFL 08, EA Sports Producer David Ortiz gives a demonstration of "Hit Stick 2.0", which should be interesting for those into 26% of the 360's retail library. Next up, Clive Barker's Jericho also has a trailer available for your viewing pleasure which isn't available in Asia. Finally, a slew of downloadable costumes are available for Rumble Roses XX, each set costing you 80 Microsoft Points. Oh Joy.

Xbox Live Marketplace experiencing problems


Those attempting to download goodies from Xbox Live Marketplace today may be experiencing a few hiccups in the system. We experienced the issue ourselves during our daily content check. When attempting to download content from Marketplace, we were greeted with a message stating that information could not be retrieved from Xbox Live. We're not certain what the issue is, but it seems as though it's only affecting Marketplace downloads at the moment. We've contacted Microsoft for more information. We'll post the news as soon as we hear anything.

Update: As some of you may have noticed, the Live team is aware of the issue and working on it. We'll update as soon as we know more.

Lost Planet Map Packs free starting Friday


Capcom just announced that starting this Friday, July 20th, both Lost Planet Map Packs #1 and #2 will be available on the Marketplace for free due to PC users getting free access to them. These four maps together previously retailed for 800 Microsoft points in total and include maps Radar Field, Island 902, Hive Complex and Trial Point. But be sure to note that Map Pack #3 is not part of this free offer and will still cost you 400 Microsoft points. Capcom also announced that an auto update should be released sometime this month to fix the multiplayer connectivity issues. Enjoy your newly free maps and be a little jealous that you can't have the PC exclusive Mega Man skin.

[Via Major Nelson]

Capcom sneak peak of SPFIITHDR themes

Over on the Capcom blog Brian posted a photo preview of all the Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix themes he's working on. In the picture above you can see a total of three new themes with the top two being the boys and girls of Street Fighter while the blade color coded version on the bottom is a collage of the fighters. Brian also mentioned that there will be one SPFIITHDR picture pack that will include eleven gamer pictures. No pricing or street dates for these or the Arcade game have been announced other than the infamous "soon" time frame.

Free Sprite SubLYMONal downloads

Sprite's SubLYMONal soda campaign has spread onto the XBLM (presumably US only) with a free theme and gamer picture download. There is only one gamer pic which is the Sprite logo and the theme is nothing more than a picture of a Sprite 20oz bottle copied four times to each blade. It's quite, how do we say this ... uninspired. Also, we noticed that the the theme's advertising text in the lower left is cut off by the blades which makes us feel a little more comfortable calling these SubLYMONal downloads uninspired. But they're free downloads, so go get 'em if you like the free.

Burgercon offers second helping of Austin Powers

Nope, you aren't losing your mind, Burgercon did give out a free movie rental a few weeks back and now they're doing it again. McDonalds' Burgercon is offering up a second helping of free Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery movie rental excitement off the XBLM. Starting today and running through July 19th, US Xbox Live members can download Austin Powers off the Marketplace for free. But for some reason we feel like we owe McDonalds something for our free movie and feel guilty for not upgrading our number one Big Mac value meal to a large. Guess we're eating our guilt away tonight.

[Thanks, djphatjive]

Bringing it Home Wrap: Harry Potter demo too

Okay, we thought we experienced all that E3 Bringing it Home had to offer and even expressed out heartfelt goodbye to all the Marketplace fun. But we were a little premature in calling Bringing it Home finished, as Major Nelson just sent word that a Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix demo just went live. Major also confirms that this Harry Potter demo officially marks the end of E3 Bringing it Home and so we advise taking a look at the completely complete list of Bringing it Home content we've gathered for you after the break. No heartfelt goodbye this time Bringing it Home, because it's too painful the second time around.

Continue reading Bringing it Home Wrap: Harry Potter demo too

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