Jon Christensen

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XBOX Live is Down

Xbox-live-down copy

UPDATE # 2: Live seems to be running fine now and the outages of the online service have been resolved.

UPDATE: According to a tweet by Larry Hryb, aka Major Nelson the Director of Programming for Xbox Live, the service is down and engineers are working to get it back up,

Live is currently having issues….it’s not at your end. The LIVE Engineers are working on it.

Well I got home from a long day in the office and wanted to download the updated TMNT: Turtles in Time on Xbox Live but once I sat down on the couch, all heck broke loose. I tried to sign into my own account as well as my rommates but to no avail – I am indefinitely disconnected on Xbox Live. With a quick twitter search it seems numerous reports are coming in the Xbox Live is down this evening. We will update as soon as we know more.

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Project Natal demoed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Check out this clip from tonights episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as Jimmy enthusiastically demoes the in-development videogame hardware with Microsoft’s Kudo Tsunoda.

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E3 09: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

One of the highlights of the Nintendo E3 Press Conference was Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the Nintendo DS. “The game centers on the daily life of the main character Roxas, exploring the time from his creation during the first game, Kingdom Hearts, and leading directly into Kingdom Hearts II. It features 3D graphics, and single and multiplayer modes of play.” The visuals looked to be catching up to PS2 and the whole storyline and action kept our attentions hardcore.

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E3 09: Kojima Announces ‘Metal Gear Solid: Rising’ for to the Xbox 360

For the last couple of weeks, we have been teased by Kojima Productions and a brand new game in the works. Today, we finally know what game this is going to be, and it’s gonna make PlayStation 3 fanboys feel extremely betrayed.

During the Xbox 360 press briefing, Japanese video game designer Hideo Kojima, came onto the Microsoft stage and confirmed the next Metal Gear title in the series called, Metal Gear Solid: Rising. The new game will obviously be available for the Xbox 360, and it sounds like an exclusive.

A short trailer was shown during the conference and ended with the words Raiden is back“, Raiden being one of the famed protagonist in the franchise. Before Kojima left the stage, he promised the new incarnation will be a totally new Metal Gear experience“. What does that mean? I’m not sure, but I’m starting to doubt if it will even revolve around Solid Snake.

More details to come later.

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E3 09: to Come to Xbox 360

If you are a fan of Music and you have an Xbox Live Gold Account you will be in luck. The popular online streaming music website, will be teaming up with Microsoft to put the music service on the Xbox 360.

From Engadget’s live blog of Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference: “Schappert: ‘Today I’m proud to announce that music is coming to Xbox Live” thanks to a partnership with And best of all will be available to Xbox Live gold members later this year for no additional charge.’”

Check back later for updated information on this game as well as all other E3 announcements.

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E3 09: Left 4 Dead 2 Announced for the Xbox 360 and PC

Valve has just announced during the E3 Xbox 360 press conference, that Left 4 Dead 2 is making its way on the 360 as well as the PC, exclusively The title will include a new feature where players will be able to use melee combat, which includes weapons like; a chainsaw, frying pan, axe, baseball bat and among others.

You can bet because the game will focus more on close combat and given the talent at Valve, the gameplay mechanics will be far deeper than the first installment.

A large part of how Left 4 Dead became 2008′s top-selling new IP on Xbox 360 and the PC was the custom-tailored gameplay made possible by the AI Director,” said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. “With the knowledge gained from creating the original, new technology, and a passionate team, L4D2 will set a new benchmark for cooperative action games.”

The zombie first-person shooter will introduce “AI Director 2.0,” which is code for more dynamic changeable gameplay. The technology will allow the developers to enhance the level by “procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players’ performance.” This will ultimately allow the player feel like they are playing a new level, even though they might have gone through it multiple times before.

Left 4 Dead 2 is slated for a November 17, 2009 release date.

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THQ Cuts Fighter From UFC Video Game Because of His Hair

Here is a funny story from the world of THQ. If you played UFC 2009: Undisputed, you might have observed that the MMA fighter Clay Guida, was noticeably absent from the game. The reason for Guida not being included with the game, wasn’t because the publisher thought he is an unpopular fighter or anything like that, in fact it was the complete opposite.

According to Fight! magazine, he is unavailable because of his, get this — hair. Apparently, Guida’s hallmark hair was to shaggy for the developer ‘Yuke’s‘, to program the game without it clipping the other fighters. Basically, his mop would go through the other character on the screen, giving it an unrealistic look.

At one point, the team was so frustrated with his hair, THQ made a cash offer to Guida to trim his hairstyle, so gamers would think the game was up-to-date. Guida obviously declined the check, and stuck with his signature hair — which I think was a better move on his part.

In the end, UFC gamers had one less fighter to choose from because of Yukes inability to program long hair. Here is a tip to both Yuke’s and THQ: Just trim the hair in the game. Problem solved. *Wink*.


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Fuel’s Environment Size Receives World Record Award

When most think of an open-world game, many think of the Grand Theft Auto series and for good reason. When GTA IV was released last year and gamers flew with the helicopter for the first time, most were astonished with the size of Liberty City. Some have suggested the estimated size of GTA IV’s map is about 10.5 square miles.

While GTA IV was big, it’s nothing when compared to CodemastersFUEL. The studio is claiming that their open-world post-apocalyptic racer will be about 5,560 square miles or roughly the same size as the state of Connecticut. In fact, the game is even larger than three states in the US alone.

Thanks to the size, Asobo Studios sent out a press release that said; FUEL is taking home a certificate from the Guinness World Records as the largest environment that is fully playable. I guess kudos to Codemasters.

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