[UPDATE 1] BluRay, Microsoft, corporate double speak, and interpretation…

Alright folks, now we’re hearing that Microsoft has confirmed support for BluRay. Does that mean we’re getting a BluRay add on for the Xbox 360? NO! That has yet to be confirmed, no matter what carefully worded statements from Microsoft may have you believe.

The quote is that Microsoft, as a company, are working on “device driver support for Blu-ray drives and the like.” It’s called Windows Plug’n’Play, folks. When you buy a new CD Burner for your computer, it’s hard for them to give you a CD-ROM with the drivers on it so you can install it – certain things need to work wout of the box. BluRay drives and BluRay burners will inevitably end up on the PC, supporting them is a must for Microsoft. But not a necessity for the Xbox.

Microsoft is a large company with a lot going on – they need to keep ahead of BluRay development, but not specifically for the benefit of their Xbox devision. Microsoft’s answer to BluRay is the Xbox Live Video Marketplace, #2 only to iTunes (which can be installed on literally BILLIONS of computers, instead of just MILLIONS of Xboxes, so I think the #2 seat seems pretty cushy). To the naysayers that say the Xbox 360 can’t survive without BluRay support, I encourage them to stick around. It’s a gaming console first, and a home entertainment unit second. Sales of Halo 3 should attest to that, as well as the power of video games over the power of movies. If a BluRay add on drive makes its way to the 360, good for it, but I hope nobody is holding their breath… they just might go Blu before Microsoft does!

[UPDATE 1]: Reuters has pretty much confirmed my hypothesis. 😉

Bioshock 2 is official! Holiday '09?

By way of Investor’s Release, 2K Games officially announced Bioshock 2 for “release in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.” Who’s excited? This guy.

WinBreak Central Command suggests that this game will hit a Holiday ’09 release because the projection is SO far in advance of the game’s release. You see, announcing that Gears 2 may make a November ’08 release is believable, because they’ve already been working on it for a while and have a time frame established. But with this announcement, it seems like they’re in the very early stages, and we all know that delays are inevitable. With a projection this early, even if 4Q Fiscal ’09 ends September 30th, 2009, if there IS a delay, seeing a November / December ’09 release would be quite likely.

Be sure to come back in 2009 and let us know if our predictions were right. 😉

Xbox 360 Blu-Ray rumor still growing…

Financial Times, GlobeandMail, EETimes, PC World, Wired, BetaNews… you get the picture… EVERYONE is talking about the idea that Microsoft and Sony are in talks to offer a BluRay add on for the Xbox 360.

While I don’t doubt the validity, I honestly doubt that it will happen. You see, Sony will essentially be able to control the price, based on how they offer it to Microsoft. Doing so, they will be able to ensure that the combined cost of the 360 and a Blu Ray player will exceed that of the Playstation 3, which, as we all know, has the ability to play Blu Ray movies out of the box. The only thing Microsoft could truly do to that end is not only minimize, but NEGATE their profits (take a loss on every BluRay add on sold)… while this would give them higher sales numbers, it’s quite an expensive thing to do just for bragging rights (expensive, mind you, does not mean out of Microsoft’s reach).

CONTEST: Design our new logo!

See the picture above? Take it, make it your own! 🙂

Or rather, make it mine. Here’s the skinny… I want a new logo. See that “X-Globe” Guide Button I use in my logo? It’s trademarked property of Microsoft! I’d rather have something that I can call “mine.” However, since I can’t make anything of mine own, and many of you can, I want to offer my readers the chance to make my new logo!

Let’s lay the ground work, the idea I’m shooting for is to turn the “X” in the guide button image into an “A” (as in “Angel”). Early samples I have seen from others have already included Wings around the logo, some of you may wish to do away with the “halo,” ring, make the “A” into the word NuAngel, or WinBreak, things like that… whatever you want to do, give it a shot! You can do whatever you want!

You can use the files from here as a starting point, or make your own:
http://NuAngel.net/logo_rc1.png – PNG (Macromedia Fireworks).
http://NuAngel.net/logo_rc1.zip – Zipped PSD (Photo Shop).

I will personally select a winner based on a design I like best. It would be great to get ‘source files’ from everyone, if possible. Individual layers, so I have the ability to make changes if and when necessary, and also (hopefully) not containing any materials which are the property of anyone else.

What’s the CONTEST part? Well, it hasn’t been totally decided… the contest has been announced to a few other communities who don’t have much to do with the Xbox / 360. The prize could be Microsoft points, an Arcade game, a retail game, a PC game, or just a deposit to a paypal account… the grand prize will be between myself and the winner!!! 🙂 That should be a pretty big incentive, I think… the value will be no less than $20 – and could potentially be much higher. Remember, we’re trying to make this into the new identity for WinBreak.com – that’s valuable to me! 🙂

Fine print junk: The winning artist will get credit on the website as the designer of my new logo, however, all submissions become the property of Garrett “NuAngel” Culver and WinBreak.com. You may make submissions as comments here as a comment to this post, email them to contest@winbreak.com, or brought to my attention via posts in threads on forums and other websites which I have presented the contest to.

For reference, this is a great source of Hi-resolution Xbox related images: