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Xbox Live Update May Cause Your Console to Die

posted Friday May 27, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Xbox Live Update May Cause Your Console to Die

Remember the update I talked about last week? You know, the one that was going to give us a lot of back-end updates in preparation for some awesome things to come? Well, it appears that the upgrade that would allow the XGD3 format, the one that gives us a 1GB boost to an Xbox 360 disc (and enhanced piracy measures), is actually causing a problem among a number of Xbox consoles.

Older Xbox 360s are locking up when the firmware actually installs onto the game system. Users have been reporting that they can no longer play games after the May 19th update and are seeing error messages like "disc unreadable" or "disc unsupported".

For Microsoft's take and the light of the situation, click the break.

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Portal 2 [Review]

posted Sunday May 22, 2011 by Allante Sparks

<i>Portal 2</i> [Review]

Portal 2, gaming company Valve's sequel to the popular first person puzzle game, takes place about 200 (unapproximately) years after the events of the first game. The first Portal game was compiled with two other games Team Fortress 2 and the Half-Life 2 franchise, on one disc. The story arcs of Half-Life and Portal are intertwined, and of course, continues on into Portal 2. Valve, being the clever geeses they are (that's right, I said geeses), their connections together are only hinted through lovely easter eggs throughout both games. Or you could just wiki the storyline... Your choice.

Anyways, moving on with the review. The graphics are stunning, as they were on the first game, though that is how it should be since you are not doing things like fighting continent sized bosses nor conjuring up phantasmal displays of flashy black magic. You are a girl, with a gun, with a mission. GET THE H OUT! The gameplay keeps true to the first game - as I said before your mission is to get out, through the use of shooting multiple portals to make things happen, and then walk your (fine) self on through. GLaDOS does not skip a beat so I would highly suggest keeping your ears open because she has quite a lot to say about the things you did to her the first time around (LOL). The storyline is compelling and keeps you glued in 100% of the time. In addition, the puzzles get pretty clever and some will just plain ol' piss you off, helping to keep you focused on the game. Overall though, they keep your attention for hours, I just wish there were more. I finished the game fairly quickly, both the single player story and the online co-op mode.

For the rest of my analysis of Portal 2, hit the break.

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RIAA: Warrents Not Required

posted Sunday May 22, 2011 by Jon Wurm

RIAA: Warrents Not Required

The combination of RIAA being high off of it's recent and only victory over Lime Wire and representatives from the state of California being crazy could spell disaster for optical disc plants and beyond. There is legislation already passed by two state senate committees that permits state law enforcement agencies to seize disc printing equipment and pirated discs from optical disc plants without a court warrant. So basically because they feel like it.

RIAA seems to think that 90% of illegal discs originate from these replicator plants. Apparently around 70 of these plants reside in California where an estimated 70 million illegal discs are printed each year. California reps seized more than 820,000 discs last year and insist piracy has a big impact on the state economy and retail sector. Accruing to state Senator Alex Padilla,

Fraudulent CDs and DVDs undermine our economy and California's role as a global leader in music and film. They steal revenue from artists, retailers, and our entertainment sector.

Hit the break to find out more about the Gold Coast crackdown.

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Details on the PlayStation Network's Welcome Back Program

posted Sunday May 22, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Details on the PlayStation Network's Welcome Back Program

To some PlayStation loyals, it seems like it was forever ago that the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services suffered massive hacking attacks, causing a complete shutdown of the system. For the weeks that followed, Sony was rebuilding, moving and restructuring their servers and security protocols to prevent this from happening in the future. Unfortunately, it happened at a time where big events were about to happen to the PSN, specifically a Black Ops Double XP night and the release of some key games, like SOCOM 4 and Brink.

Last week we did see the Network come back online, at least in some limited matchmaking and gameplaying form, with the PlayStation Store and more enhanced services to follow very soon. Sony also announced that they would be offering a "Welcome Back" package to its PSN members.

We now have the details of that package for North American and European users and that is after the break.

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Nvidia Says Honeycomb Isn't Sweet Enough To Overcome Point-of-Sale Problems

posted Sunday May 22, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Nvidia Says Honeycomb Isn't Sweet Enough To Overcome Point-of-Sale Problems

There have been a couple Android tablets that have hit the market so far like the Galaxy Tab and the Xoom but none of them have really made an impact compared to the iPad. Motorola released sales figures for April of this year that suggested they shipped 250,000 Xoom units but in fact that number is much lower. Sanjay Jha, the CEO of Motorola Mobility, commented in an earnings call that part of the problem is that there aren't enough apps for Android. Of course, there is no way that could be the full story and Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang does a good job shedding some light on the real issues.

Basically he sees the poor adoption rate as point-of-sale problems regarding marketing, price point, and retail expertise coupled with a "software richness of content problem." He highlighted the fact that most baseline models come with 3G when they should focus on WiFi instead. That speaks to the price point issue and makes sense because tablets are secondary consumption devices compared to laptops and smartphones. Odds are you're already paying for monthly data services for both of those devices as it is. Being required to activate another data plan is part of the reason why 3G activation rates for tablet devices is so low. There should definitely be another model for those who want the 3G with their tablet.

It's a point of sales problem. It's an expertise at retail problem. It's a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem.

Find out what Jen-Hsun has to say about the future of Android tablets by hitting the break.

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Building Portal 2 Personality Cores

posted Sunday May 22, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Building <i>Portal 2</i> Personality Cores

This was something I came across that was just too good to not share with everyone. If you haven't been able to tell from our shows yet, we are huge fans of the Portal series and have loved every minute of Portal 2. From every detail, to the voice acting and even down to the personality cores. I wanted to get VALVe to even make some cool prop merchandise to buy, but they are not yet inclined to do so. However, robot engineer Chris Myles has come up with some nifty little craftsmanship to bring Aperture Science's Personality Cores to life.

Check after the break to see the two videos. One is a demonstration of the mechanics and one is a short tutorial on the crafting. If you want more pictures, check out the source link for the Flickr account.

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