Gaming Steve

Xbox Archives - Page 6

March 22, 2006

Gaming Steve Episode 44 - 03.22.2006

Stephen Glicker with Peter MooreIn this very special episode of Gaming Steve I am reporting to you directly from the Game Developers Conference show floor. And today I do something I have never done before on the show, I share the mic with a co-host! Christopher Grant from Joystiq and Xbox 360 Fanboy sits down with me to discuss the day's news and events. Sit back and enjoy nearly an hour of GDC madness (oh yes, and the photo is of myself and Peter Moore).

Gaming Steve Episode 44 Program

  • Game Developers Conference Day 3 Recap
    • Chris and I discuss the "Blogger Breakfast" with Peter Moore, Chris Satchell, Larry Hryb, John Porcaro, and Cesar Menendez.
    • Review of the PlayStation 3 keynote by Phil Harrison and the myriad of PS3 and PSP announcements.
    • Chris and I geek out talking about Ronald Moore's "Building A Better Battlestar" keynote speech.
    • General thoughts about what we saw and heard throughout the day.
Download the show (55 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 44 (MP3).

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Posted by Gaming Steve at 10:30 PM | Comments (10) | Posted to Culture | PlayStation 3 | Podcast | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

March 15, 2006

You Want Innovation? You Got Innovation!

Viva PiñataLast week I was complaining that publishers aren't taking enough risks. Well color me impressed as Rare, Microsoft and 4Kids Entertainment are working together to create a brand new IP named Viva Piñata.

Described as "another world where wild-roaming, living piñata animals inhabit a growing, changing garden world. You take control of this environment and the piñata within it, influencing its contents to create your very own pet paradise." Living piñata animals ... very cool.

Clearly aimed to mimic the Pokémon craze, Viva Piñata is going to be both a video game on the Xbox 360 (of course) as well as an animated children's cartoon. So far I have to say that I'm really impressed with this original property. The visuals are incredible, the concept is interesting, the partnership with 4Kids is a great marketing channel, and taking aim at Pokémon empire is a pretty smart move. (In case you forgot Pokémon Emerald for the GBA was the 2nd bestselling video game of 2005 ... yeah, Pokémon is still pretty huge.)

And Rare is just so good at making these crazy games with colorful graphics and oddball characters I am really interested to see the final product (and on a related note, am I the only person on earth who really enjoyed Grabbed by the Ghoulies?).

Viva la Viva Piñata!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 8:00 PM | Comments (31) | Posted to Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

February 20, 2006

Gaming Steve Episode 39 - 02.20.2006

The Elder Scrolls IV: OblivionToday I got a change to sit down with Pete Hines, Vice President of Public Relations & Marketing at Bethesda Softworks and makers of the highly anticipated The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Pete and I talk for well over an hour and cover a huge number of topics ranging from the basic to the hardcore questions that the fans wanted me to ask.

Find out how the Oblivion Xbox 360 achievements and downloadable content will work, Pete reveals a secret in-game "easter egg", new details on the Radiant AI system, as well as what's next for the Elder Scrolls series. We even manage to sneak in a few questions on Fallout 3, the new Star Trek license, as well as much more. Enjoy!

Gaming Steve Episode 39 Program

  • 00:01:57 Interview with Pete Hines from Bethesda, makers of the upcoming The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
  • 01:20:15 My thoughts on the game itself and a small tidbit from next week's detailed on-hands preview of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Download the show (85 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 39 (MP3).

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Vote for Gaming Steve on Podcast Alley.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:30 PM | Posted to Interview | PC | Podcast | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

January 31, 2006

Xbox Live Gamercard Generator

Gaming Steve GamercardLike everyone out there I love my Xbox Live Gamercard (yeah, okay, I know that need to play some 360 games that give me points!) but it's a huge freaking pain when you try to post your card as your signature file. People always seem to get the coding wrong and that big honking Gamercard box usually looks bad in the small signature file space. Wouldn't it be nice if you could convert your Gamercard into a variety of sizes and shapes. Well now you can! (You knew I was going to say that, didn't you?)

Head on over to the Xbox Live Gamercard Generator which not only has a great selection of graphic options to choose from, but it's super-simple to use as well! Just jump down to the generate your Gamecard section, type in your Gamertag, select the graphic style, and the site does the rest. You'll get your new card in URL, HTML code, and BB code ... all you need to is copy and paste and your card will be dynamically generated wherever you place it.

This site is so simple to use and the variety of signature files is so great that I wonder why Microsoft didn't implement something like this on the Xbox Live web site. Oh well, in the meantime start generating!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 8:30 AM | Posted to Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

December 10, 2005

Gaming Steve Episode 30 - 12.10.2005

Spore Fire Tribetools Level 1I'm back from vacation with a monster episode and a little bit of everything. Exclusive Spore design artwork (with more to come!), I take answer your questions, I review the 360 and more!

Gaming Steve Episode 30 Program

  • 00:02:35 Game News:
    • Xbox 360 has rocky start at retail.
    • Revolution to be unveiled in May.
    • Ten most violent games named.
    • Stainless Steel Studios and Digital Anvil are melted down.
    • Xbox 360 lands across the pond.
    • Defective 360s? Here comes the lawsuits.
    • Illinois game laws overturned.
    • ESRB fails the grade.
    • EA swallows Jamdat.
    • Clinton introducing federal game regulation.
  • 00:36:00 GameTalk: The end of games as we know it?
  • 00:56:27 SporeTalk: A look at my exclusive Spore artwork and the evolution of design.
  • 01:04:43 Game Review: The Xbox 360 system.
  • 01:33:42 RetroReview: Coleco Telstar systems.
  • 01:43:31 “Name That Game!” contest winner from last week, a new clip, and a mystery prize!
  • 01:47:52 Show Mail: I answer your audio questions.
  • 02:09:22 Final Thoughts on the T-Shirt design contest and playing games while on vacation.
Download the show (135 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 30 (MP3).

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Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:30 PM | Posted to Classic | Podcast | Review | Spore | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

December 6, 2005

Xbox 360 Degrees!

 Xbox 360 Degrees!Remember all those Xbox 360s Microsoft gave away to celebrities just because, you know, they're cool? Weren't you secretly thinking that after the 360 photo shoot that they just threw it into the closet (or the dumpster?) never to use it again? Well a fake blog which attempts to impersonate Madonna claims that she not only got a free 360, but she tried to play it, without success, and then promptly threw it out! From her "personal" blog:

I received my FREE Xbox 360 yesterday! Too bad though. The thing over-heated and doesn't work. I was going to play a game with my friends in Japan, but it crashed on us. The power supply on this device is HUGE! At least I know why they called it the Xbox 360 and not the Xbox 2. The damn thing gets up to about 360 DEGREES!!!! It's frightening!

Oh well. My Xbox 360 is in a Japanese dumpster. I just don't have time to fool with getting it replaced. I'm not much into TV or video games anyways. My children aren't allowed to play them either. I guess they were dumb to give me one knowing that I don't really have any use for them. I know they gave them to other celebrities as well. Paris Hilton got one. Barf. That's even more reason to trash the glitchy console!

By the way, you realize that this blog is totally fake, right? Still amusing though.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 8:00 PM | Posted to Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

November 23, 2005

Xbox 360 Achievements Inspired by the Atari 2600?

Activision Freeway PatchOne of the cooler aspects of the Xbox 360 is the addition of "achievements", which are basically rewards for achieving various in-game objectives (i.e. finish the game, unlock secret items, obtain certain high scores, etc.). As you "collect" these achievements they are added to your Xbox Live gamer profile in the form of cool icons for the world to see.

Sounds like an original concept, right? Rewarding people for achieving various in-game accomplishments on a console game? Well, this concept which first surfaced over 23 years ago on the Atari 2600!

Back in the "gaming stone age" (AKA the year 1982) Activision offered free cloth patches if you achieved a high score in any one of their games. Users were instructed to photograph their TV with the high score showing and mail it in and then Activision would send back a patch. Quite a bit of work in order to receive a piece of colored fabric, but it does mark the very first true "achievement" system for video games. In total there were 43 patches for 33 different games and the patch designs were quite varied and pretty damn cool.

So what made me think about this obscure past of gaming history. Well, just this past weekend I was at my parent's house poking around my old room when I came across my old Puma sweatshirt and my collection of Activision patches! Take a look at this bad boy! Doesn't it just reek of 80s nostalgia? Damn, I used to wear this thing everywhere, proudly showing off my various gaming achievements for the world to see. I think I should get an achievement for just having this blast from the past.

Anyone else still have their Activision patches? And how many did you manage to get in total?

Activision_Patches_01.jpg
What's that in the back of my closet? My old Puma sweatshirt, complete with Activision game patches? Score! Note the other relics of gaming history in the background as well.

Activision_Patches_02.jpg
A full frontal view of my proud achievements. Damn that the Pitfall patch was freaking huge!

Activision_Patches_03.jpg
Of course I had so many patches that I had to attach a few to the shoulders as well. Could you imagine what you would think if you saw this walking down the street? On second thought, don't try to do that...

Posted by Gaming Steve at 12:00 PM | Posted to Classic | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

November 22, 2005

Gaming Steve Episode 28 - 11.22.2005

Xbox 360 Big Time FansThis week's episode is a "super special episode" as I cover the worldwide launch of the Xbox 360 at Best Buy in Midtown Manhattan. If you think you're a hardcore gamer wait until you meet these guys. They waited in the freezing cold and rain, many for upwards of 20+ hours, just so that they could buy an Xbox 360 12:01 AM Tuesday morning. Check it out:

Gaming Steve Episode 28 Program

  • 00:02:50 Talking with the guys waiting in line.
  • 00:16:15 Chatting it up with the Best Buy Geek Squad.
  • 00:20:18 The pre-sale employee "psych up" meeting.
  • 00:21:35 The doors open, and the madness begins.
  • 00:29:23 Wrap up of the big event, time to get some sleep.
Download the show (33 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 28 (MP3).

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November 22, 2005

Xbox 360 Launch Party at Best Buy in Midtown Manhattan

It was wet and freezing cold, but that did not deter several hundred people from standing in line outside the Best Buy in midtown Manhattan for several hours/days in order to be the first people on earth to own an Xbox 360. Of course Gaming Steve was there covering the event, chatting with the people on line, and getting very very wet. Check out my photo coverage of the event, and make sure to check out my podcast where I interview and chat with the all Xbox 360 devotees pictured here.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
The scene of the madness, it doesn't look too bad...

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
...until you went around the block and you saw the line...

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
...that wouldn't end!

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
On the line we have #1 and #2, aka Peter Gonzalez (left, doing an interview with USA Today) and Michael Hamplton (right). Peter started to wait on line since early Sunday afternoon and hadn't slept in 36+ hours, and he looks it.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Next to #2 was #3, David Carbone (right), another one of the walking weary.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Numbers #4 (Joe Delia), #5 (Paul Gelardi), and #6 (Dan Gelardi) stood in line together, so at least they could leave the line from time to time and take a break. Oh yeah, that is an Xbox logo painted on Joe's face.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
At 10:30 pm the line moved up to the front of the store, which definitely perked everyone up.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
David (#3, right) compares notes with another 360 "member of the line".

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
With just under an hour to go Jason Hartje (#7, far left), Dan (#6), Paul (#5), and Joe (#4) are pumped!

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Okay, it's cold and wet, time to go inside the store and check out the setup.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Of course Geek Squad members Ray Sitorus (left) and Michael Abraham (right) need to "get familiar with the product", so they played some Madden before the big event.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Best Buy really had their act together, everything was all laid out and ready to go.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
That's a lot of controllers.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Xbox Live accessories ... check.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Memory units and faceplates ... check.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
HD cables and wires ... well, you get the idea. There was a lot of stuff.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Even the staff was pumped for the event.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
And there they are, a small mountain of Xbox 360s numbered and ready to go behind each cash register.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Another small mountain of 360s.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Five minutes to go until midnight they start to let the first eight people into the "waiting area".

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
And the doors are opening!

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
And they're off!

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
The first group got a huge round of applause from the entire Best Buy staff, they were really excited to get their unit (and to get out of the rain).

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Okay, thanks for the applause ... where's the damn 360!

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Peter was the very first person in the world to purchase an Xbox 360 in store, and here is that historic moment (by the way, he also got Perfect Dark Zero).

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Packing up the 360.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Oh yeah, he did have to buy it (no freebies for Peter).

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
But at least he got some change.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Sure he hasn't slept in 36 hours, but he said it was all worth it. Not only did he get another big round of applause but he was interviewed by around 30 different members of the press -- it took him 20 minutes just to get out of the store.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Michael (#2) looked refreshed and ready to go and play!

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
David (#3) getting a unit.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Joe (#4) won the award for "most Xbox branding".

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Jason (#7) wraps it up.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
Half an hour later and the line is still there, and it's still raining.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
An hour after midnight, still raining, still waiting.

Best Buy Xbox 360 Event
An hour and a half ... Okay, time to head home and post this sucker.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 2:00 AM | Posted to Culture | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

November 8, 2005

StarCraft: Ghost Questions & Answers

Nova escaping from a marineWith all of the buzz around the new World of Warcraft Expansion people almost forgot about Blizzard's "other" game, StarCraft: Ghost. Although this game has been in development for what seems like forever, from what was shown at Blizzcon this game appears to shaping up quite nicely and we might even see it before the end of 2006!

Until then we can enjoy this nice little Q&A on Blizzard's new game and eleven brand new screenshots (after the jump). Enjoy.

Q: What is StarCraft: Ghost?
A: StarCraft: Ghost is a tactical-action console game set in the StarCraft universe.

Q: How will StarCraft: Ghost be different from other tactical-action console games?
A: StarCraft: Ghost will be different from other tactical-action games in many ways. As the game's hero, elite Ghost operative Nova, players will be able to:

Utilize a Wide Range of Elite Ghost Abilities
o Outmaneuver your enemies at sonic speed
o Infiltrate bases and sneak past guards using the cloak ability
o Utilize powerful psionic abilities
o Lock down vehicles and electronic devices to immobilize them
o Engage in both face-to-face firefights and planet-scale warfare

Leverage the Resources of an Entire Army
o Take control of familiar StarCraft vehicles, such as the Siege Tank and Vulture
o Wield a variety of weapons, such as the Perdition Flamethrower, Gauss Rifle, Torrent Shotgun, and a variety of explosives
o Join your allies in battle and do your part to ensure mission success

Experience the StarCraft Universe in 3D
o See the world of StarCraft on a personal level
o Visit familiar planets from the StarCraft universe
o Explore 3D environments designed for strategic interaction
o As Nova, players will be able to hang from wires, climb poles and scale walls, and negotiate tightropes

Unveil the Next Chapter in the StarCraft Saga
o Experience story-driven missions complete with plot twists
o Play a crucial role in the rich StarCraft history
o Engage in combat with a variety of fully rendered characters from the StarCraft universe, including well-known units from the Terran, Zerg, and Protoss races

Q: What new features have been added since the Blizzard console team took over the development of StarCraft: Ghost?
A: The goal of Blizzard's console team has been to expand and evolve the strong foundation already established for StarCraft: Ghost. The majority of this work involves making changes to the graphics engine, incorporating a number of characters, weapons, and vehicles, and designing and implementing StarCraft: Ghost's new single-player and multiplayer features.

Q: What can we expect to see from StarCraft: Ghost at BlizzCon?
A: BlizzCon will offer the first opportunity for the public to see StarCraft: Ghost in its current form, with the latest single-player and multiplayer features implemented. In particular, multiplayer has been expanded to now accommodate up to 16 players over Xbox Live and Battle.net. Also, gamers will be able to control newly playable Zerg multiplayer units and experience the newly unveiled "Invasion" multiplayer scenario. The new single-player level that players will be able to see takes place on the lava­-scorched planet of Abaddon, which has never been seen by the public prior to BlizzCon.

Q: How many players will StarCraft: Ghost support?
A: StarCraft: Ghost will accommodate up to 16 players on Xbox Live for Xbox owners and Battle.net for PlayStation 2 players.

Q: How long will the StarCraft: Ghost single-player experience last?
A: Development of the single-player missions has not been finished yet, but we plan to create approximately 12-15 hours of single-player content.

Q: When will StarCraft: Ghost be released?
A: While we have not yet announced a street date for StarCraft: Ghost, we anticipate that the game will be complete in 2006. However, as with all of our games, we will not release StarCraft: Ghost until it meets the high standards that our development teams and our fans demand.

Q: On what platforms will StarCraft: Ghost be available?
A: StarCraft: Ghost will be available on the Xbox and PlayStation 2.

Q: What rating do you expect for StarCraft: Ghost?
A: With StarCraft: Ghost still in development, it's too early to determine what ESRB rating it will receive. Right now, we're wholly focused on making StarCraft: Ghost into a Blizzard-quality console game, and we will have a better idea of what rating it will receive as we get closer to release.

Q: Who is developing StarCraft: Ghost?
A: StarCraft: Ghost is being created by Blizzard's console development team.

Q: Why did Blizzard enter the console arena?
A: We began our early development efforts in console gaming, and we have always been excited about returning to this arena. Additionally, we've wanted to revisit the StarCraft universe for some time. With StarCraft: Ghost, we are able to do both. Also, due to the game's control interface and tactical-action nature, developing this title for the console systems makes the most sense. In addition to expanding StarCraft's rich storyline, the game gives players a chance to experience the sci-fi universe from an all-new perspective.

Q: Will there be a PC and Mac version?
A: No. StarCraft: Ghost is being developed for console systems only.

Q: How many copies of StarCraft have been sold?
A: To date, the StarCraft franchise has shipped over 9 million copies.


Balancing act in a Terran Supply Depot

Fighting a Firebat in First Person POV

Marine Busting through the Door

Nova applying a stealth-kill maneuver

Nova caught by a patrol

Nova escaping from a marine

Nova firing on a Dragoon

Ruins of Helios

Terran Bunker

Terran CommandCenter

Ziplining in on a Terran Supply Depot

Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:50 PM | Posted to PlayStation 2 | Preview | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!