Gamers can be Givers, too…

I’m going to apologize up front if this post drags on, but it’s something that should be said.

So I downloaded a recent podcast episode of GamerTagRadio, a staple in the Xbox Live Community. In the opening minutes of the show, Godfree made a remark that he was “disappointed” in the Xbox Live Community. I listened intently. He made it clear that he didn’t want to stand on a soap box and preach, that wasn’t his role, but as one of the most famous and powerful podcasters in the community, he wanted to bring charity into the limelight.

The point was made that late breaking news spreads like wildfire, but what about the good things gamers do?

You may have heard a few things about RagingJellyBean and the Halo 3 Tournament to help get her surgery. If you’ve been asking “How does playing Halo give a girl a new kidney?” – why haven’t you clicked a link to find out more? The tournament has a $10 entry fee, and all proceeds will go to the fund trying to help RJB! In another case, a Guitar Hero III tournament will be brought together by a large group of gamers, Red Octane, GTR, & SFX360 (South Florida Xbox 360 Meetup), all for the benefit of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And my good buddy DeaconBlade 360, over at his Unscripted 360, has been doing everything in his power to get a poor kid who was robbed a 360. Maybe not as huge a charity, but still a great thing to try and take over. I’ve been supporting it as much as possible, and I will continue to promote this, and many other charity events in the future.

I am cooking up a few things of my own, and I found out my sister (send her a message!) spent some time at an event I can only assume was a tie in between Hollywood princess Dakota Fanning, GameCrazy stores, and Child’s Play. Momentum is growing, and these charities are doing good things, but, as Godfree and crew said, it’s our job as the bloggers and podcasters to help spread the word. A post in a forum is sometimes all we can do, but independent journalist have the duty of spreading the word as best they can. So keep it up, folks. I know I will!

GTR & SFX360 Sponsors GH III Tournament April 5th Fundraiser Event to benefit LLS
Finish RJB’s Fight
Child’s Play Charity
U360 Cares

[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).