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Posts Tagged ‘xbox’

NXE: Encouraging used games?

Posted by anjilslaire on December 14, 2008

OK, I’ve installed the  NXE for my Xbox 360 Elite. While the new navigation system and Marketplace layout is nice, and the Avatars are , well, Mii-like, my favorite new feature by far is the ability to install games to the hard drive. Some of the benefits include:
improved load times (in most cases)
less heat generated (arguably)
much quieter operation without the DVD drive spinning.

I’ve installed several games to my 120gig drive, making me really appreciate my choosing the Elite when I bought it last year. Recently I had been wondering if dropping the extra cash was worth it, since I don’t plan on buying stuff from the Marketplace (too much DRM, thanks), making the extra $100 or so essentially cosmetic for the black case.

So, when the new hard drive installation became an option, I was overjoyed. I have a softmodded Xbox with a 120gig drive that I load all of my (legally purchased) games on, in addition to streaming all of my movies that I rip from the DVD to xvid from my linux server to XBMC. So suffice it to say I’m not fond of digging my discs out to use the content, but I digress…

The new feature works great. Insert disc, select it from the Dashboard and select Install to Hard drive. This essentially rips an ISO of th game disc to the hard drive to be read during play. After this, you select the game, and it prompts you to insert the original disc for authentication. You didn’t think MS would allow disc-free play, did you?
In any event, I find this acceptable as the disc drive screeches for about 1 second, then goes absolutely silent, and the game loads.
And loads well. In fact, I never hear the fans kick in at all during gameplay, so the system obviously does stay cooler to some extent.

Now, to the point of this post.
While shopping for gifts this past week, I saw a few games I would like to have myself, but not enough to pay full retail price. Now when I see these games, I would normally just think, “I’ll wait a few months and pick them up new after the price drop”. I don’t normally participate in th used games market, as it’s essentially a ripoff:
Gamestop is selling Force Unleashed used for $55 in my neck of the woods. That’s a whole $5 less than retail. For a used disc. For a used disc that who knows whats been done to it, and what condition it’s in, specifically. Not to mention the developer sees none of that money, but thats another post I’m not going to get into now. ( Yes, 1st right of sale, I agree that’s a good right, etc)

However, I saw another game thats maybe a year old, still selling for $40 retail that I saw in the bin for $15 used. Now that’s a bargain. And I thought, “hmm, used. It only needs 1 really good rip to the hard drive, and then a validation check at load time.”

I don’t know if I’m the only weirdo that thinks this way, but in a strange way it seems to me that loading to drive and the less intensive verification check would be an encouragement to buy used, as it takes some of the fear out of getting an abused game disc.
I’m personally going to continue to buy new when possible, but I think it will be interesting to see what kinds of changes to the used game market will be seen now that the consoles allow hard drive-based play.


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work-obsessed slacker = old-school gamer

Posted by anjilslaire on June 7, 2008

I realize I haven’t been active the last couple of weeks. Been bogged down at the office lately.

However, in the midst of that I have found myself playing old(er) games, rather than my shiny Falcon Elite. In fact, She has found me playing Neverwinter Nights natively on my linux box. I’d forgotten how much fun it was, and she was interested in it as well. I may have to pick up another copy to install on her Inspiron so we can play together. Of course, then I’d need to set up my own NWN server 😉

In other news, I’ve found myself playing old-school emulated games on one of my modded xboxes, notably MAME roms, but a few Sega Genesis games as well. My infatuation with Sega goes back to the 16bit era, having owned a Genesis (we played that thing constantly early in our marriage as cheap fun), SegaCD, then Saturn. She is still bitter about the Shining Force III disc ONE cliffhanger Fiasco, and refuses to play any other Shining Force games (except SF CD) until she can someday play the completed discs TWO and THREE. I may have to look into Saturn emulation again…

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chasing the score

Posted by anjilslaire on January 23, 2008

Been pretty busy at work lately. The Women-folk have been playing lots of Viva Pinata, and I must admit I’ve gotten quite the garden going myself. There is a certain satisfaction in setting paper-mache pseudo-moths on fire in order to transform them into a flammable mutation that has an inordinate resale value to boost one’s trove of Chocolate Coins. Ah, commerce….

I’ve also spent a bit of time playing Oblivion, but the townsfolk don’t ever seem to like me. Perhaps a bit of medieval ethnic cleansing would lighten their hearts. Of course, for some reason my wandering through the countryside isn’t doing anything for my gamerscore, either. Playing Demos doesn’t help it, either.

In other news, I’ve played a bit with the newly minted KDE4, all shiny and new. Much like Vista, I’m not sure I like the new feel. Time will tell.

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Posted by anjilslaire on January 10, 2008

My xbox has gone unused for several days now. Its voice is making a mockery of me. However, The Pinatas have arrived in the mail today, so I’m sure She will begin play again soon.

In other news, a recent blast of snow had kept me working from home an extra day, which makes me grateful that my management had seen fit to give me remote access to the corporate network. Makes me much more productive. Unless I pick up Gears of War…

Posted in xbox | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Of Pinatas and Pretzels

Posted by anjilslaire on January 1, 2008

So, after a year of my 10-year-old mocking me for wanting Viva Pinata I downloaded the demo from Live, and my black bird of prey has not been mine to enjoy.
Apparently the marketing campaign for Viva Pinata had been misleading to her, because having a bit of hands-on time with the actual demo has convinced her this must be our next purchase. Luckily, I ‘ve seen it as a sub-$30 Platinum Hit title. Somehow, Microsoft has hit on the magic formula of this title with just the right mix of cannibalism, crossbreeding, and genetic engineering that has resulted in fun for the whole family. I’ll need to stop at the local Walmart sometime this week, it seems.

To console me as I watch this lovably furry fun (and my daughter smash open the weaker Pinatas for their yummy, sugary innards; this IS the Doughnut of Life, you understand), my wife has made me my favorite treat: Party Chex Mix. Yum.

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Falcons & 360s, + LIVE continued…

Posted by anjilslaire on December 30, 2007

Finally found my elusive Falcon chipset, planted firmly in the beautiful shell of an Xbox 360 Elite (so yes, I did upgrade).

However, after downloading several demos from the Marketplace last night, I returned this afternoon to find myself unable to connect to LIVE to get more. As it turns out, there are technical difficulties currently rendering the service unavailable. I blame this on the zillions of 14 year-olds clogging the internetz with their pitiful Comcast connections (6+mb! Blazing fast my ass…) trying to live the Life Comcastic and playing Halo 3 after the holiday cheer has subsided..

I shall wait to get my online game on until the flood has subsided

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Falcons & 360s

Posted by anjilslaire on December 28, 2007

So I received an Xbox 360 Pro for Christmas this week, which is exactly what I wanted. I knew that Microsoft has recently switched to a 65nm chip to improve efficiency & reduce heat, so naturally I want one of these new machines under the tree. In fact, I’ve discovered a method to determine what kind of beast is inside the box without violating the packaging and raising the ire of the local Target return Nazis. In this case, lower wattage is better, apparently. Tim Allen would be ashamed.

Of course, the system my beloved obtained for my entertainment was manufactured in early August, so I promptly returned allegedly unopened to the aforementioned giant retail bullseye. They didn’t even know how to open the box to ensure the contents.

So my quest begins to find one of these rare birds to begin my adventures in Tamriel. A knowledgeable clerk at another store understood my plight, but only had falcon Elite systems available, so I need to decide if I desire this elusive beast enough to upgrade…

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