The UpStream

Happy Birthday XBL

posted Tuesday Nov 13, 2007 by Scott Ertz

Happy Birthday XBL

Thursday marks the 5th birthday of the service that changed console gaming as we know it: Xbox Live. As a birthday present to us, Microsoft will be launching a new service which allows users to download full classic games, like Halo and Psychonauts, to their consoles. These XBox Originals will run 1200 Microsoft Points (or $15).

In addition, for those of you who have been around since the beginning, Microsoft will be kicking you 500 free points to use as you choose.

Add to that, 360 owners can all download Carcassonne on Nov 15 and 16 for FREE. Plus, download the new update to the system, which will be adding all kinds of nifty new features, possibly even DivX support (we'll see).

CNN in Second Life

posted Tuesday Nov 13, 2007 by Scott Ertz

CNN in Second Life

Did you know that people still play Second Life? Well, they really don't. The average user signs on for 14 minutes per month. With success rates like that, it only makes sense that CNN would pick now to setup a service just for the ailing game.

They are asking "residents" to send reports of Second Life news to the CNN Newsdesk within the game. For something people don't really use, could anything really be considered "news?"

NBC Direct: Unimpressive

posted Tuesday Nov 13, 2007 by Scott Ertz

NBC Direct: Unimpressive

We've talked a lot about NBC pulling out... of iTunes (listen to Episode 20 to get that joke), in favor of their own service: NBC Direct.

We have been a little concerned about this idea, of course, but thought it could be a real turning point for the media marketplace if it was done well. The service has launched, and guess what. It's not too great.

The software is hard to install, it only works on Windows machines with Internet Explorer, the episodes delete themselves after 48 hours, and there is no portability capability.

So, the verdict is: bad move.

Bungie.net Upgrades

posted Tuesday Nov 13, 2007 by Scott Ertz

Bungie.net Upgrades

Playing Halo 3 without visiting Bungie.net is like peanut butter without jelly: it just doesn't make sense.

So, we know you'll all be excited to know about some new improvements that have been added to the website. First is heatmaps, which is a map showing where people get killed. You can get a personal or a global heatmap, so you can know where YOU get killed, or where everyone does. Also, what they are calling Bungie's Favorites, which is a way to only see good videos and not the crappy ones that fill a good portion of the site.

We are most excited about the heatmaps. We think that is a really cool, and informative feature. More than where people get killed, it shows where they don't, so you can check out some new areas of the maps. Enjoy.

Unreal Tournament 3 This Year

posted Tuesday Nov 13, 2007 by Scott Ertz

Unreal Tournament 3 This Year

Mark Rein from Epic has said, despite all announcements that Unreal Tournament 3 was to be released in 2008, it now looks like we might see it before years end.

He told Eurogamer yesterday,

{Epic are} very close to a release candidate {and we} should have it finished by the end of this week.

That's very exciting for those of us who are into well-written, well-developed shooter-games. Keep your fingers crossed!

PLuGHiTz Live!

posted Sunday Nov 11, 2007 by Scott Ertz

PLuGHiTz Live!

Today launches our new media service, PLuGHiTz Live! For our PLuGHiTz Radio listeners, you will notice we are now part of PLuGHiTz Live! which is very exciting. Listeners can now interact with us during the live show.

Our DDRLover users will notice that the Media and Video sections are now part of Live! as well. All of our rhythm downloads have moved to join the new Live! family.

In addition to incorporating things we know, we have also added in all new content. Gameplay videos, trailers, event videos, custom content (such as game reviews, DVD previews and music interviews) and more will all be available over there.

So, go check it out and let us all know what you think!

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