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    Posted on April 25th, 2006 Finster No comments

    Microsoft has unveiled their pre-E3 hype er, I mean coverage. Basically, this gives us a chance to listen to inspired counsel and guidance from Microsoft’s Powers That Be.

    What caught my eye (only because it’s the biggest item on the whole page) is an “interview” with Peter Moore.

    Peter Moore

    There he is… looks like a marketing weasel to me.

    Anyway, the article is full of the usual marketing garbage. Nothing really new. More of what you’d expect from one of Microsoft’s VP’s. I did notice something that I liked, though.

    Xbox Live Arcade also opens the door for small game developers—who may not have the resources to create full-blown high-definition games for Xbox 360—to get into the gaming industry. “The ability for Xbox Live Arcade to provide the ultimate distribution for innovative games takes it back to where you would hope that two guys in a garage could actually develop a game,” Peter added.

    I recently picked up an Xbox 360 and one of things I have spent a lot of time on is the Xbox Live Arcade which is full of retro hits like Joust and SmashTV as well as “indie” products such as Mutant Storm and Outpost Kaloki. Most of these games are offered at the backbreaking price of $5-$10. I really disdain marketing crap, but to see MS’s VP of games talking so much about opening the door to indie developers, it gives the faintest, ever so slight hint, that maybe he’s not a complete corporate tool.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Right.

    That being said, I’m very impressed with the 360 and what it can do. Playing Halo 2 in 1080i is simply dreamy. As I mentioned earlier, the Xbox Live Arcade titles are great fun, especially when I need a break from Halo.

    I do have some gripes, however. I love being able to stream MPEG4-compressed video to my modded Xbox. Not being able to do that with the 360 is… well… frustrating. It’s almost there. You CAN install Windows Media Center Edition 2005, which will allow you to stream Microsoft Approvedâ„¢ video formats to the 360. This means WMV… and that’s about it.

    However, the Xbox “scene” has already come up with a number of solutions to use Windows Media Center to stream DivX or whatever else you could imagine. Leave it to the modding community to provide the tools that customers REALLY want, as opposed to the ones that marketing departments would let them provide.

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