Around Home Entertainment
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Designed with original artwork by legendary Spawn artist Todd McFarlane, they will be available in either the Covenant Brute or Master Chief themes. Each controller will be packaged with a limited edition “Halo 3” collectible figurine created by McFarlane Toys will sell for an estimated retail price $59.99 (U.S.).
Additionally, Microsoft plans to release for an estimated retail price of $59.99 (U.S.). an Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Headset that sports the Spartan green and gold.
from Xbox 360 Fanboy
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
In addition to adding new Achievements, worth a total of 250 points, Epic has improved the Roadie Run controls so players have greater control of their movement. The title update will also help squash multiplayer exploits and provide general housekeeping.The "Annex" gametype is now available for free and the "Hidden Fronts" Multiplayer Map Pack is available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points.
All four multiplayer maps will be available for free after Sept. 3, 2007.
True Halo fanatics will be able to extend their gaming experience with the Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Controller. The Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Controllers are only available for a limited time and bring a completely unique and new look to the award winning performance of the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller.
Both controllers will be available for $59.99 on September 4, 2007.
And lastly, but not less important is the Halo 3 Xbox 360 wireless headset limited edition, also available for $59.99 on September 4, 2007. Below is the description and picture of the headset:
For those who plan to enjoy the thrill of the Halo 3 experience over Xbox Live, The Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Headset offers un-tethered, high quality voice chat with a uniquely “Halo” look. The Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Headset is only available for a limited time and can be paired up with the Xbox 360 Limited Edition Wireless Controller for the ultimate Halo 3 gaming experience.
As an added bonus, those who purchase either wireless control will receive a limited Halo figurine from McFarlane toys.
From Team Xbox
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Before I get too deep into this, understand that I'm working on a few basic assumptions here. First we're talking about A/V, film, and or home theater enthusiasts in general, not a first time buyer or someone who rarely (read decades not every other year) upgrades their A/V gear, short of item for item failure replacements.
The problem is that no matter how long you wait there's always something new in the pipeline. Want to wait for an inexpensive HDMI 1.3 receiver you say? Wait long enough and you'll likely find another feature worth waiting for, hey I wonder how far along in development HDMI 1.4 is? Please forgive the semi-snide rhetorical question, it was merely an illustration.
The purchase or lack thereof is of course entirely up to the end user and as a friend of mine humorously noted: If you can't live in it, wear it, or eat it, it's not a necessity. At the same time however it's a shame to imagine someone waiting for x-y-z feature at 1-2-3 arbitrary price point when they could have otherwise been enjoying that piece of gear for years to come. I'm not trying to lecture on any one individual purchase or otherwise valid reason to hold off, but I do occasionally see consumers locked into the "must wait" mindset for no other apparent reason than worrying about what the future may bring.
Take for example a client, who recently visited our showroom, we'll call him Bob. Bob has decade old Mitsubishi 40" direct view television, I remember these sets well. I used to plan my sick days around their installation. (Just kidding but they were back breakers) In a nutshell Bob was looking for a display upgrade for his living room, but had a shopping list of features in mind for his new display, unfortunately that shopping list was chock full of features that aren't readily available at his desired price-point and or were just plain nonexistent. Needless to say, Bob was ready to hang it up and hold off on that new display.
It was at this point I explained to Bob some of the differences between our business model and that of some of the big-box, mass retailers. Stores like Best Buy and Circuit City move large amounts of CE gear on a daily basis, have huge advertising budgets, and benefit from leveraged wholesale costs to be able to offer their goods at their advertised prices. Contrast that with custom installation/dedicated home theater stores who literally live or die based on their word of mouth referrals and you begin to see some of the important differences.
Every one of our installations is an advertisement, or put another way, your theater is our referral system. We can't afford (again literally) for you to be unhappy when it comes to telling your friends and family who did your theater. To this end (ensuring that we offer the best values for our clients) we've become quite familiar with the roadmaps of our vendors (not unlike the computer processor roadmaps from Intel) to get a feel for what's in the pipeline for the coming months.
We're not afraid to tell someone what's on the horizon, (120hz refresh rates come to mind) this full disclosure is what keeps small operations like ourselves in business. Does it cost us the occasional sale? You bet but not nearly as many as a customer who felt he or she was duped into a product that was immediately outdated. Here's a tip, if your salesmen isn't (a) aware of what's a few months out on the CE horizon or (b) doesn't seem all that interested in discussing it, you may be better served taking your business elsewhere.
At the end of the day it's all about knowing what's available, what it's worth, and what's on the horizon. Contrast that with what, if any, real-world benefit you'll gain by waiting for a new model and ascertain if that difference is really worth the cost of admission. Too complicated? Just know this, technology and in particular digital displays are always improving, the trick is striking the right balance between today's price and performance and not getting locked into the never-ending loop of what tomorrow may bring.
From Home Theater Blog
Monday, June 11, 2007
HD DVD 223 vs Blu-ray 254.
- Blood & Chocolate (Sony)
- Cruel Intentions (Sony)
- Daddy's Little Girls (Lionsgate)
- Ghost Rider (Sony)
- Music and Lyrics (Warner)
- Primeval (Buena Vista)
- Seven Years in Tibet (Sony)
- Black Christmas (2006) (Weinstein)
- Born on the Fourth of July (Universal)
- Breach (Universal)
- Bruce Almighty (Universal)
- Daylight (Universal)
- Harsh Times (Weinstein)
- Liar Liar (Universal)
- Living Landscapes: The World's Most Beautiful Places (HD Environments)
- Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (Universal)
- Music and Lyrics (Warner)
- Sneakers (Universal)
From the media alert:
In Ubisoft’s “Prince of Persia Classic,” gamers take on the role of the prince as he embarks on a mission to rescue the princess before she has to wed the wicked Jaffar – all of which must be accomplished in under 60 minutes! Jumping across platforms and avoiding traps, the prince must collect bottles of potions to keep his power bar charged as he duels enemies on his way to the princess.
“Prince of Persia Classic” is available worldwide for 800 Microsoft Points and is rated T for Teen (Animated Blood and Violence).
- Enhanced character designs, animations and visuals
- New traps, puzzles and enemies to tackle further augment the classic experience
- 12 Achievements will be available – ranging from the simple (finding the sword in the first level) to the near impossible (finding all the potions in the game or finishing the game without dying!)
- The title will feature 3 different leaderboards:
- Normal Mode: Complete the game as fast as possible, which saves at the end of each level
- Time Attach Mode: Complete the game as fast as possible – but be prepared to start from the beginning if you fail to save the Princess in under 60 minutes
- Survival Mode: Complete the entire game in under 60 minutes – without dying
The $3,000 50-inch KDS-50A3000 (pictured), $3,300 55-inch KDS-55A3000, and $3,500 60-inch KDS-60A3000 units all run the Bravia Engine EX scaler (which only scales up to 1080i), and have interchangeable-color speaker grilles, while the $5,000 KDS-Z60XBR5 and $6,000 KDS-Z70XBR5 feature Sony's "floating glass" look and up the scaler to a 1080p-capable Bravia Engine Pro chip. The A3000s should drop in August, while the XBRs are due this fall. Peep the super mod KDS-Z70XBR5 after the break.
from Engadget HD
We glimpsed the future of the Bravia XBR LCD line back in March when Sony showed off the Japanese-only X2550s, and now it looks like that premonition was dead-on, as the nine new Bravias introduced today feature Sony's x.v.Color wide color gamut system, 10-bit 1080p panels, Bravia Engine upscaler, the oh-so-popular XMB crossbar interface, and compatibility with Sony's Bravia Internet Video Link to stream HD video directly to your set over the 'net.
The $4,300 52-inch KDL-52W3000, $3,500 46-inch KDL-46W3000, and $2,700 40-inch KDL-40W3000 all come flossing a standard brushed-metal case, while the XBRs feature Sony's "floating glass" look, Motionflow 120Hz high-framerate technology, and Bravia Engine Pro.
The KDL-46XBR5 and KDL-40XBR5 will drop in August for $4,100 and $3,300, while the KDL-52XBR5 model (pictured) will come out in September for about $5,100. Those looking to burn a little less cash can pick up the XBR4 series with interchangeable bezels -- the 52-inch KDL-52XBR4 will set you back $4,800, while 46-inch KDL-46XBR4 and 40-inch KDL-40XBR4 are $4,800 and $3,800, respectively.
from Engadget HD
Sony, ya' see this is why you should have tried to push out the PS3 with 1080p upscaling right off the bat. Instead of people actually enjoying your games, you've got everyone booting up Photoshop to compare the minute differences between the quality of PSOne/PS2 games in their unscaled, original state and at 1080p resolution. It turns out that the differences aren't that astounding, and get even harder discern as you move towards more recent titles like God of War 2: and these are only static shots, not full motion comparisons. The skinny on the upscaling update is that it makes everything look slightly more smooth, but in some cases too smooth. IGN even preferred the original 480p setting for certain games, mentioning that it's sharper, more detailed, and well-defined. The argument between upscaling and native rendering is ultimately a matter of taste, so if you prefer cinematic and smooth, go for upscaling; if you prefer detailed but slightly grainy, go native. 'Nuff said.
from Engadget HD
GamePro recently made an article on this along with some pictures of the vehicles in Halo 3. Those who were lucky enough to get a Halo 3 beta passkey have seen all this and may be saying some of the pictures are boring, but for many of us unlucky mortals, this is still pretty interesting stuff. The customizable armor without the visor looks really great and the additional detail on everything is just superb.
Halo 3 is being developed by Bungie Studios and will be published by Microsoft Game Studios. It is slated to be out this September 25. If you have an Xbox 360, this is probably on the top of your buy lists right now. Anyway, we're not going to keep you any longer, here are the pictures, enjoy. Be sure to keep checking back here for the latest news on Halo 3.
Thanks to Lunchbox for this tip!
from X360 QJ.NET
Now that the BETA is gone, the time has come focus on Forza 2 which is by far one of the best racing simulators on the planet. The damage modeling and real-world physics are nothing short of amazing and easily makes up for the games lack of pretty pretty visuals.
Over at the Capcom official message boards, resident blogger Brian Dunn has posted a first look at 1080p Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. Udon Comics is redrawing the game's background, portraits, portraits and in-game animations — all in hi-res. Above is what Ken would look like if you paused the game, cut out the background and posted him on Kotaku. Well, whaddaya think? Brian Ashcraft
HD DVD 207 vs Blu-ray 243.
- Blood Diamond (Warner)
- Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band: Live in Dublin (Sony Music)
- Coming to America (Paramount)
- The Cowboys (Warner)
- Hellboy (Sony)
- The Messengers (Sony)
- Norbit (Paramount)
- Rescue Me: The Complete Third Season (Sony)
- Rio Bravo (Warner)
- Trading Places (Paramount)
- Coming to America (Paramount)
- The Cowboys (Warner)
- Norbit (DreamWorks)
- Rio Bravo (Warner)
- Trading Places (Paramount)
Form Engadget HD
Monday, June 4, 2007
Toshiba has shown off some auto-related products at the Automotive Engineering Expo 2007, including a mobile HD DVD player and a fresh take on touch panels. The high-definition in-dash player is under co-development with Alpine, and is planned for a 2008 release. The LCD is an improvement on traditional touchscreen technology, with no film coating -- which traditionally reduces contrast ratio and brightness -- to handle the user input, instead bundling optical sensors alongside each pixel. These sensors can then detect the shadow of a press during the day, and the reflection of the backlight at night. Toshiba also plans to upgrade that tech to use infrared instead of day/night sensors. Who cares if you can't see the difference between 1080 and 720 on a 7-inch screen, we just want our mobile touchscreen HD now!
Via Engadget HD
In the latest issue of GamePro (that's July 2007), more details about content coming into Bungie's Halo 3 was revealed inside the magazine. And what's more, they all come complete with pictures. Thanks to a friend of Go32111 over at the GameFAQ Forums, the world will be able to take a bite out of magazine Issue 226.
resounding "WOW!" we just wish that we had better images to give you (or the magazine issue to boot!).
Now what's interesting is that a few of the content revealed here was rumored some time ago over the official Halo modding forums. There's the speculated Radar Jammer and the rumored Chopper. Notably absent, however, is the presence of a Halo 3 version of the flamethrower.
Lo and behold the spoilers that await right past this paragraph. All content revealed below from here onwards are quoted straight from Go32111, who claims everything was quoted straight from the magazine itself. Images courtesy of Go32111 and his friend.
- Magnum - The Magnum is much improved since Halo 2, dishing out slower, more punishing shots. But it's still not back to Halo 1 strength, as the clip currently carries just eight rounds and you can't zoom in. Still a nice, precise choice for dual-wield combos.
- Energy Sword - The infamous Sword gets two tweaks aimed at balancing its overwhelming power. One change is a brief weapon-switch delay. The second adjustment is more controversial: the Energy Sword now has an ammo meter that depletes with each attack, which keeps players from hoarding it indefinitely.
- Wraith - The lumbering Covenant Wraith returns with a new player-operated secondary turret. It's helpful for driving off boarding attempts.
- Brute Chopper - This ugly, jagged Brute Chopper looks like something Firefly's Reavers might drive into battle. Its twin cannons and heavy, blade-like chassis can pulverize lesser vehicles in a nanosecond.
- Radar Jammer - Hurl this item into a fight and watch as chaos and confusion engulf friend and foe alike. The jammer scrambles the radar of all nearby players and triggers disco-like light flashes to further disorient your prey.
- Shrine - A UNSC battle cruiser looms menacingly over Shrine's sprawling sand dunes. Shrine is the largest map ever to appear in a Halo game, so Bungie put a key emphasis on vehicle-on-vehicle combat. Shrine has few ties to older Halo 2 maps, but its massive size recalls Relic.
- Epitaph - Epitaph is an arcane Forerunner cathedral-like structure that towers above the surrounding wasteland. The central killing floor is crisscrossed with elevated walkways, exterior hallways, and lifts. It's a spiritual successor to Halo 2 maps like Colossus, Gemini, and Midship.
- Last Resort - Zanzibar, one of Halo 2's most beloved maps, has been rebuilt and rechristened Last Resort for Halo 3. This industrial site is almost twice as big, with a less cluttered internal layout and more paths into the flag room.
- Secret Map - Bungie sneakily sent us two mysterious concept paintings labeled only as "Work in Progress Map." We see the icy motif and pray for a new Lockout, but only Bungie knows the truth.
- Create a Spartan - Tired of staring at Master Chief's ugly mug? Halo 3's online mode offers new armor permutations that allow players to customize their personas from head to toe. Will the Covenant Elite player models be eligible for similar upgrades? Only Bungie knows.