Late Night Consoling

There's quite a bit of Xbox 360 news today.
  • 360 Dashboard Update Coming in the Past?


    Some users on the official Xbox forums uncovered likely details about the next Xbox 360 Dashboard update, by way of Microsoft's own Knowledge Base website, which explains and troubleshoots features and problems with Microsoft products. These features include active download (the much requested ability to download files while performing other tasks on the 360), and an option to boot to the Dashboard rather than straight to the game inserted into the DVD-ROM drive, among others. Neither link is currently active, likely having been removed by Microsoft after the news started to spread. Interestingly, the target date for these features was yesterday, May 23, suggesting that they are complete or nearly complete and should be headed to Xbox 360 consoles soon.

    In a Shacknews interview conducted during this year's GDC, Microsoft's Scott Henson mentioned a few Dashboard improvements in the pipeline, including active download as well as unspecified organizational revisions to Marketplace. Presumably, these will be included in an upcoming patch as well.

  • More from Fabula Nova Crystallis


    At its pre-E3 press conference this year, Square Enix announced a multiplatform project called Fabula Nova Crystallis. Much like the pantheon of games that has sprung up around Final Fantasy VII and turned that game into a franchise in its own right, Square Enix is already developing several games bearing the name "Final Fantasy XIII," in addition to the main game headed to PlayStation 3. These games along with XIII itself will be collectively referred to as Fabula Nova Crystallis. They do not share a specific setting, story, or set of characters, but rather are influenced by similar mythology. Currently announced are Final Fantasy Versus XIII, an action game for PS3, and Final Fantasy Agito XIII, an online RPG for mobile phones.

    At a Japanese press conference yesterday, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada noted that there will be further games falling under Fabula Nova Crystallis. Six projects are currently in the works, including those already announced.

  • User Caricatures Common on Wii?


    In Chris Morris' latest Game Over column on CNN/Money, Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto speaks on the new "Wii" name, potential unrevealed features for the machine, and the competition. Miyamoto admits that, at first, even he preferred the name "Revolution" to "Wii," but acknowledged that it is "almost threatening" and unacceptable for Nintendo's goals with the device. He also expressed that despite his expectation that Sony's PS3 would be expensive, the final price was "a bit of a shock." In regards to the motion sensing capability in PS3's controller, Miyamoto said, "We've gotten used to others copying what we do – and we're having a lot of fun with it."

    During Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference, the company showed off the tennis game from its Wii Sports compilation, and several player models in the game had customized cartoon faces representing their real life players--company president Satoru Iwata, marketing VP Reggie Fils-Aime, and Miyamoto. In today's interview Miyamoto revealed that this personalization functionality may be something that is extended beyond Wii sports to other first- and third-party games. He did not go into details as to how this would be achieved, though it may work by way of a camera peripheral or by allowing players to "draw" faces with the Wii remote.

  • First Round of 360 Price Drops Begins


    Though we've seen a few third party Xbox 360 games ship at a price point below $59.99, the vast majority of titles so far have come in at that widely accepted standard. Inevitably, however, prices will fall, and some games that launched at $59.99 have now been marked down to $39.99 by their publishers in the last few weeks. Most retailers should reflect these updated prices soon, or should already have done so. These games include:

    - Burnout Revenge (Criterion Games)
    - FIFA Soccer 06: Road to FIFA World Cup (EA Canada)
    - Madden NFL 06 (EA Tiburon)
    - NBA Live 06 (EA Canada)
    - The Outfit (Relic Entertainment)
    - Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Ubisoft Montpellier)
    - Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (EA Sports)

  • Xbox Live Content Live


    This week has seen a bevy of new content make its way to Xbox 360 consoles via Xbox Live. Here's the rundown so far:

    - Eidos has released a playable demo of Io Interactive's upcoming Hitman: Blood Money on Xbox Live. The PC version of the demo is also available from FileShack.
    - Bethesda's latest content pack for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (X360, PC) is now available for both the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game. Entitled "The Thieves Den," it includes a lost pirate ship and is intended for stealth-based characters. The Thieves Den is available for 150 Microsoft Points ($1.88).
    - Three new cars for Bizarre Creations' Project Gotham Racing 3 are now available as part of a free downloadable "Cadillac Pack." The pack includes Cadillac models CTS-V, STS-V, and XLR-V.

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    Over on FileShack we've got an Ubisoft-produced video interview with Michel Ancel and Xavier Poix, creative director and studio director on the upcoming Rayman: Raving Rabbids (Wii, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PS3, X360), speaking on the Wii version of the game.

    Game Informer has a chat with Team NINJA's outspoken leader Tomonobu Itagaki (and here's part two).

    You can win a copy of Jesper Kyd's Hitman: Blood Money (PS2, Xbox, X360, PC) original soundtrack or a game poster, both signed by Kyd. Head over to Music4Games for details.

Misc. Media/Previews


Movies: NBA Live 07 (PS3, other systems assumed).


Eurogamer checks out Sega's Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii) and NST's Project H.A.M.M.E.R. (Wii).

Movies: Rayman: Raving Rabbids (Wii, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PS3, X360).


GameSpot checks out Flight-Plan's Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 1 (GBA).


1UP checks out Rainbow Studios' Pixar's Cars (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, Wii, PC, also DS, PSP, GBA) and EA Tiburon's Superman Returns: The Videogame (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, PC, also DS, PSP).

Movies: Rayman: Raving Rabbids (PS2, Xbox, GCN, PS3, X360, Wii). NFL Head Coach (PS2, Xbox, PC).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Micro Machines V3 for the PS1. "Awesome party game. Racing around the breakfast table and getting launched out of the toaster was a bloody ripper." (submitted by TastyWheat)