Xbox Sales evidently Through the Roof

charts are deceptive… the last update from Microsoft touted 17 million Xbox Live members. How many are there now?

Today, Microsoft made a surprising press release. Months after the Playstation network announced that they hit 20 Million, Xbox Live has achieved that they, too, have arrived at the 20 million member milestone. But that’s little more than a footnote in this announcement. The highlight was just how well the console is selling during this “global economic recession.” According to NPD numbers, “Xbox 360 achieved the highest percentage growth in hardware sales of any console so far in 2009, up 28 percent over the previous year.”

30 million consoles sold. 20 million on Xbox Live. Sales that are far above the pace that was set by their best year of sales, back in 2008. On target to trounce their record year, the Xbox group also pointed out, in the press release, that they have generated more retail sales for third party developers than Sony and Nintendo combined. Microsoft must be more than a little pleased.

[Update 1] Hacking the Kojima Flash animation

To see the timer as it exists, check out the Kojima Productions website.

http://www.konami.jp/kojima_pro/next/frame.swf?lmt01=20090518100000&lmt02=20090519100000&lmt03=99999999999999&lmt04=99999999999999&lmt05=99999999999999
The above link cuts the counter from 80 hours down to about seven hours. Unfortunately, more tweaking beyond that always results in a black screen. Each section of the address that begins with “&lmt0” separates each timer, you can modify each one in hopes it unlocks something special. I will keep working it at, hopefully using some of the things that the ShogunGamer folks have discovered.

Some people think it’s too early for another Metal Gear Solid, but I wouldn’t expect the developers to let such a great game engine go to waste so soon – they should be able to crank out a few games before doing any major overhauls on this glorious piece of code. Still, the final timer seems to be set to expire on the same day as Microsoft’s E3 presentation. Could it be the Metal Gear Solid franchise coming to Xbox 360? Either way, anyone who doubts that this is for Metal Gear Solid should just take a look at the image above… the website’s metatags are clearly marked up with “MGS” and “Metal Gear Solid” – and with the “5” flashing in the lightning of the flash animation, it seems clear cut what this counter is going to show us next. At least, it seems more obvious than the last timer Kojima Productions did!

note: minutes before publishing this article, I was able to get the timer down to about 10 minutes – I will watch to see if it fades straight to black or if it leads to another image/animation. I will update the article with my results.

UPDATE 1: So far, nothing:

It has just sat there for a couple of minutes. Please comment and let us know if you make any progress, I do believe modifying the URL with the information gained from ShogunGamer’s website might show progress!

Capcom: still making games for all platforms!

This picture comes to us by way of 1up… and it shows just how out of hand console fanboys can get sometimes. It also shows what appears to be a proposed number of titles developed for 2010-2013. The last few days I’ve been reading articles on how the PS3 is Capccom’s new platform of choice. Some articles suggested they were swayed by the incentives package recently proposed by Sony, offering PSN developers a bigger cut of the sales. Another article suggested that the PS3 had a large line up of exclusives, and the Xbox 360 would be getting some table scraps. Countless websites were making it sound like Capcom was abandoning the Xbox 360 and intended to become a Playstation-centric developer. A lot of focus has been placed on the numbers: 12 to 13. Everyone wants to know what the ONE PS3 exclusive title will be. How soon we forget.

Articles like that, which will popup continually throughout the day, suggest that the other 12 games will be the same on both platforms. First of all, both of these platforms will be getting a plethora of attention from Capcom, so I don’t think anyone needs to worry about what game to play in the next few years. Some websites suggest that also includes titles from this year. If that’s true, consider this: Xbox 360 seems to have lost Dead Rising 2 exclusivity, and according to all accounts Dead Rising 2 will be multiplatform, PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. However, the Xbox 360 should be getting Lost Planet 2, which, at this time, is still considered an exclusive. PS3 and PC versions are likely in the works, but if it remains an exclusive, that is one less game they have in common. Which would mean two exclusive titles for the PS3 *gasp*! I know, it’s enough to make mountains crack… but why don’t we all just breathe in for a second and relax.

Got that? Relaxed? Less tense? Good… now, why don’t we brainstorm how 8 “new” titles could possibly run on the Nintendo Wii? What’s next for them? Dead Rising 2: Chopping Spree?

Xbox 360 In-Store Kiosks to get update

Remember the Xbox 360 Retail Kiosks, and all of the hype they delivered? Exclusive Gamerpics, Demos, and I thought I heard something about a special achievement, back during the Xbox 360 Launch. Much of this was before my time, and I’ve never had much face time with these Demo kiosks… but for t hose of you who always had the intention of snagging any downloadable goodies for the kiosk, now is the time.

I was recently contacted by a games store manager and told that an update disc is being mailed out for all of these stores, and the “Xbox Retail Experience Demo” (XRED) 5.0 will be installed on kiosks accross the country very soon.

Update: International readers have contacted me and confirmed this thing seems to be global.

Whether this new demo will include any downloadable goodies like the others, I was not told. What we do know is this new demo show cases the NXE, and encourages users to create their own avatars.

This disc will actually install the NXE dashboard to the console itself, as well as include the traditional demo disc goodies – so expect to hear quiet rumblings of more “Red Ring’d” or “E74” retail kiosks in the coming weeks.

Ninja Turtles in Time coming to XBLA!

Turtles in Time – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game that most remember as TMNT IV from the Super Nintendo, is evidently getting a makeover.

Ninja-Pizza was somehow in the right place at the right time, as he recently took a few snapshots of a completely remade version of this Ninja Turtles classic. The game is clearly marked as coming to the Xbox Live Arcade – as in the first screen shot you can see a “Return to Arcade” menu item at the bottom of the screen, and in the picture below, they are clearly using a wireless Xbox 360 controller:

This is one title that I have had on my wish list from the beginning. I wanted TMNT Arcade (or for the NES gamers: TMNT II), and we got it. I have wanted Turtles in Time, and here it comes. Now if we could only get The Simpson’s Arcade Game on XBLA, my life would be complete. I encourage you to check out Ninja-Pizza for even more details about the remake!