Four games in Microsoft's flagship series revealed, two dated.
Possibly one of the worst held secrets of the year, Microsoft Game Studios officially revealed Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary at this afternoon's E3 press conference. Few details were revealed during the conference itself, being announced simply as a fully remastered version of 2001's Xbox launch title of the same name complete with online cooperative play. Members at NeoGAF have since identified the studios behind the title as Saber Interactive and Certain Affinity. The game seems to be running on the same engine as 2010's Halo title, Halo: Reach, but using the gameplay and physics systems found in the original Halo: Combat Evolved. Some posters have also claimed that Halo Anniversary won't have its own multiplayer component, instead following in the footsteps of Halo 3: ODST and being an extension of Halo: Reach's multiplayer, complete with new (old) maps. Whether the maps can be exported for a nominal fee or not isn't clear at present. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is scheduled for release on November 15th, 2011, exactly ten years after the original release. MSRP, according to Siliconera, is $39.99.
Microsoft also announced today the start of a new Halo trilogy. The first game from this trilogy, presumably under development at 343 Industries, is simply titled Halo 4. A brief clip shown at the end of the conference was all Microsoft was willing to share, however the game has a tenative release window of Fall 2012.
Xbox LIVE membership soars past eight million mark, Microsoft unveils new download service for full Xbox games direct to your living room.
Microsoft Corp. will celebrate the fifth anniversary of Xbox LIVE. In addition, the company notes that the latest membership figures show more than eight-million members are now actively engaged in the largest social entertainment network on TV. Xbox LIVE has grown from a small community of gamers in two countries, playing a handful of games online with their friends, to a worldwide social entertainment network offering online access to gaming, music and video entertainment. As friends across 26 countries and nine languages have connected on Xbox LIVE, it is their feedback and active participation that has guided the service to become what Wired magazine recently called "The king of the online arena." As a gesture of thanks to the community, all eight-million members will have the opportunity to download a free Xbox LIVE Arcade game, between 08:01 a.m. on 15th November 15 and 7:59 a.m. on 17th November. In addition to this, every active Gold member who joined the service at launch will receive 500 MS Points for free.
Starting on 4th December, all Xbox LIVE members will receive a free system update with a host of new features and enhancements. Included in this update will be the launch of the "Xbox Originals," which, for the first time ever, will enable consumers to download and own full Xbox games such as Halo, Psychonauts, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge and Fable among others directly to their Xbox 360. This new service will launch with an array of blockbuster titles spanning the most popular genres from action-adventure to classic role-playing games.
With no disc necessary, and at just 1200 Microsoft Points per game, Xbox LIVE members can easily rediscover these hit titles, or check out a game they missed the first time around. This launch line-up is only the beginning as Xbox 360 owners can expect to see a growing catalogue of Xbox games for download to own over the coming year.
"In just five short years Xbox LIVE has revolutionised the way friends and family have fun in the living room across the world," said Mike Newey, EMEA Group Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division. "Xbox LIVE truly is the place for hanging out with friends and now they can enjoy full downloadable Xbox games on demand."
For more information about the downloadable games available on Xbox LIVE, the evolution of Xbox LIVE or the "Xbox LIVE is 5IVE" member rewards, visit http://www.Xbox.com.
Despite loosing Fox and Universal, Peter Jackson and Microsoft are still moving forward
Kotaku.com reported today that while major buzz about the Halo movie had all but ceased, Peter Jackson is still working with WETA Digital and WETA Workshop on the production of the movie, with plans to continue.
Specifics of what exactly Jackson was working on, or how the movie would be able to see the light of day without the backing of any major motion-picture companies were not touched on, but it does appear as though Peter Jackson is dedicated to this film, and seemingly intends to see it all the way through.
Beginning next month, UK intelligence agencies are placing ads in a series of espionage adventures--including Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent--in the hope of attracting new recruits, reports The Times.
Government Communications Headquarters, which is responsible for surveillance intelligence work, is hoping that virtual spying might give gamers a taste for the real thing.
A spokesperson for GCHQ said, "We find increasingly we have to use less conventional means of attracting people...to go beyond glossy brochures and milk-round stalls."
GCHQ is not the only intelligence agency to resort to unconventional means to nab recruits. Recently MI5 has been advertising in places, such as The Guardian newspaper, Cosmopolitan women's magazine, and the sides of London buses. However, this is the first time an intelligence agency is known to have used video games as a recruiting ground
Rumors abound, there may be an HD-DVD Xbox in the not-too-distant future
SmartHouse today reported that a "Unnamed Toshiba official" reported that Toshiba and Microsoft were working in unison to develop a new Xbox (no reference was given as to it being an Xbox 360, just simply a "new Xbox") with a built-in HD-DVD drive and other such features would debut either in late 2008 or at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2009.
According to the report, this new Xbox would include some of the following features:
This article also goes on to mention that Microsoft and Toshiba had explored the possibility of "including a dual HD TV tuner, electronic program guide capability and a newly-standardized mp3 player docking port." Also the possibility of "open standard chassis system that allows an Xbox to be slotted into a HD TV screen over 40-inch. The open standard bays will allow hard drives to be upgraded and expanded similar to the way that users can upgrade the hard drive on a PC."
The article mentions the possibility of Toshiba also marketing a version of this new console under it's own brand name.