Retro Gamer 69

Retro Gamer 69

In issue 69 of Retro Gamer, you can read about this (among other things):

  • Back to the Eighties – August 1987
  • Back to the Nineties – April 1992
  • The Complete History of… Final Fantasy
  • The Making of… Syndicate
  • Why You Must Play… Cabal
  • Retroinspection: Sega Nomad
  • The Classic Game – Kung Fu Master
  • From the Archives – First Star Software
  • Coin-op Capers: Space Harrier
  • The Making of… Die Hard Triology
  • In the Chair with… Geoff Chammond

Retro Gamer can be ordered from ImagineShop.co.uk.

Testing Facebook, Twitter and Zune Video store on Xbox 360

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_00_720

I assigned to the Xbox Live preview update for Xbox 360 and got into the first wave on October 22. Updated the Xbox with this falls big updates, which gives you Facebook, Twitter, Zune Video store and Last.FM (but only in US & UK) right on your Xbox 360. The update will go live for everyone sometimes in November. This is a preview release, so functions can changed or added I guess.

In the YouTube-video bellow, you can watch my recordings done with my Hauppauge HD-PVR. It was recorded at 1080i and downconverted to 720p before uploading it to YouTube.

Zune Video Store

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_01_720

Zune Video store is the greatest news for me. Up until now only US and 5-6 selected countries in Europe had the option to rent movies on Xbox 360. With this update, 18 countries (including Norway) have the advantage to rent online. And best of all, you can stream movies in 1080p (not every movie, but some).

As of now, 89 movies are available for streaming/downloading in Norway. Not a lot, but we had zero, so it’s a start. When this is update goes public, I guess we will have more movies. Of the 89 movies, 19 are in HD. SD movies are priced at 350 Microsoft points, and HD are 470. But this price will probably vary at bit if the movies are new or old. The 19 HD movies are: Absolute Power, Constantine, Eyes Wide Shut, The Fugitive, Full Metal Jacket, Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisnoer of Azkaban, The Last Samurai, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Ocean’s Twelve, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Three Kings, Training Day, Troy – Director’s Cut, V for Vandetta.

I have a 12Mbit connection had watched Three Kings in HD. The quality was very good. When started, it buffered for a few seconds and played fine without any hickups for the whole movie. It was a great experience. I will definitivly rent more movies. Very easy, and the price is OK too.

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_02_720

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_03_720

Facebook

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_04_720

You can do almost everything with Facebook on the 360 as on the PC, almost. You can read news feeds, update your status, watch your pictures and your friends pictures. You can check whick of your Facebook friends who are on Xbox Live and vica versa. But there is no inbox. So you can read messages sendt to you.

 xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_05_720

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_06_720

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_07_720

Twitter

With Twitter you can see the 50 last tweets from the people you’re following. You can write your own tweets, do search and see trending topics. I works well, but it will take ages to type in those tweets with your controller, even if it’s only 140 letters. Now is the time to get that Messanger kit/chatpad (check Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Play-Asia.com), it makes it much easier to type.

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_08_720

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_09_720

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_10_720

Last.FM

I haven’t tested Last.FM since that service is only available in US and UK. But it lets you stream music on the Xbox 360. I used my US account the get the picture.

xbox_live_update_preview_october_2009_11_720

Conclusion

I’ve only been testing it for a couple of days, and it looks promising. It’s cool to have Facebook and Twitter on Xbox 360, but I can’t see that I will use it on a regualar basis. Both Facebook, Twitter and Last.FM can be used when you’re in the Dashboard. It cannot be used ingame. And for now, Last.FM is for the US and UK only.

The feature I will be using most is the Zune video store. For the first time, people in Norway and 11 other countries (18 in total) can enjoy movie rental on Xbox 360. Streaming movies at 1080p work very well. I have a 12Mbit connection and would like to hear from you with lower bandwidth and how it worked for you.

All in all, a good upgrade to the Dashboard.


If you use the screenshots, please link back to this post. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.

Nintendo launches Connection Ambassador in Europe

If you’re lucky and live in Europe and have a lot of friends and family who have still not connected their Nintendo Wii to internet, you can now help them and earn Nintendo Wii points. The more you help, the more points you earn. Helping 10 persons gives you 5000 points, 20 person helped gives you 10 000 points and you can download every Virtual Console game for free.

The Nintendp Connection Ambassador Promotion was launched in Europe on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009.

nintendo_connection_ambassador_01

Here is some of the pressrelease from Nintendo.co.uk:

By becoming a Connection Ambassador, players can gain up to 10,000 Wii Points by encouraging friends and family to get connected to the Internet with their Wii.  Each time a friend or family member connects for the first time to the Internet with the help of the Connection Ambassador, both the Connection Ambassador and the person they helped will receive 500 Wii Points.

If you help 10 people connect to the Internet, you reach Gold status and can download ALL Nintendo-published NES games for free on Virtual Console as well as receiving a total of 5,000 Wii Points. If you connect a maximum of 20 people to the Internet, not only will you attain Platinum status, you will also receive a total of 10,000 Wii Points to spend on WiiWare games and can download ALL NES, Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 games on Virtual Console for FREE.

How do I become a Connection Ambassador?

  • Enter the Wii Shop Channel
  • There is an icon on the Wii Shop Channel entitled ‘Connection Ambassador Promotion’
  • Select this icon and you will be prompted by two icons: one showing that you are the Connection Ambassador (or the Helper) and the other icon showing that you are the ‘Person Who Was Helped’
  • Select the Connection Ambassador icon
  • You will be prompted to enter the Wii Number of the person you have helped.
  • You must do this within 30 days of when the person you have helped, has registered their connectivity using your Wii Number
  • Once both parties have registered, you will have received 500 Wii Points on your  Wii Shop Channel Accounts to spend in the Wii Shop Channel

What do I do if a Connection Ambassador helps me connect to the Wii Shop Channel?

  • Enter the Wii Shop Channel
  • On the Wii Shop Channel welcome page there is an icon called ‘Connection Ambassador Promotion’
  • Select this icon and you will be prompted by two icons: one showing that you are the Connection Ambassador (or the Helper) and the other icon showing that you are the ‘Person Who Was Helped’
  • Select the ‘Person Who Was Helped’ icon
  • You will be prompted to enter the Wii Number of the person who has helped you connect
  • You must do this within 30 days of accessing the Wii Shop Channel
  • You will be asked to fill in a short questionnaire
  • Once both parties have registered, you will have received 500 Wii Points on your Wii Shop Channel Accounts to spend in the Wii Shop Channel

nintendo_connection_ambassador_02

nintendo_connection_ambassador_03

nintendo_connection_ambassador_04

Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm and Zune soon on Xbox 360

xbox_update_nov_uk

It’s getting closer to the next Xbox 360 Dashboard update. The new firmware will bring you four new services to the Xbox. It will let you use Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm and Zune from the Xbox 360 Dashboard. According to Xbox UK the update will come on November 17. Also there will be a public beta end of this month. If you live in UK, you will also get the Sky Player sometime this fall, which will let you watch TV on the Xbox.

If you are a heavy user of Facebook and/or Twitter, now is the time to invest in Xbox 360 Messenger Kit for text typing. I’ve been using it close to a couple of years now and it’s way better to type text than useing the controller.

For an indepth preview of the new services, you can check out Joystiq.com or watch the video from Engadget.com below.