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Adam Creighton, Computer and Video Gaming (Subscribe)

Thursday, April 28, 2005

New Halo 2 maps, and more Xbox 360 ...

  1. New Halo 2 multiplayer maps
  2. More Xbox 360 hardware info


  1. New Halo 2 multiplayer maps

    • So, you can get the first of the new Halo 2 multiplayer maps on Xbox Live. Two fo the maps ("Warlock" and "Containment") are free, and "Turf" and "Sanctuary" are "Premium Content" that will set you back US $5.99.
    • "Warlock" is based on the Halo Combat Evolved map, "Wizard" (hey, I just got that -- "Wizard" ... "Warlock" ... Those Bungie guys ...). "Containment" is absolutely massive, "Warlock" is smallish, and though "Turf" is largish, it's complex, and great for one-on-one player (better than Ivory Tower) or Big Team.
    • It's up to you as to whether you buy the premium content, but remember there are 5 more maps on the way, and when all is said and done, you'll probably save a couple of bucks over the retail disc version that will be on sale June 28. But the retail disc version will have two new videos (an animated, non-playable side-story from the single-player story in New Mombasa) and "a mini-documentary that includes interviews with the map designers, combat strategies and fly-throughs of the new maps." So, it looks the Xbox faithful on Live get shorted. Hmmm ...

  2. More Xbox 360 hardware info

    • After the recent leak of what looks like the definitive Xbox 360, picts have leaked out of what look to be the memory cards. What's interesting to me is the labeling of the card as "64M", indicating their may be multiple sizes of cards available. Plus it makes the 64Mb version look like a Nintendo 64 cartridge. And I find that funny.
    • In addition, NEC did confirm this week Xbox 360 will use their embedded DRAM (eDRAM) technology. In essence, this can be used as embedded video RAM for the Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) to use as a frame buffer, enabling incredible hi-def graphics. "HD-Era", indeed ...
    • In the middle of the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference 2005 (WinHEC, which ended today, and yeah, I'm guessing it's as sexy as it sounds), Microsoft revealed some Xbox 360 goodness. Sounds like the Xbox 360 controller is going to be Longhorn (MS's next operating system) compatible. Looks like Microsoft is making good on their XNA promises for single gaming APIs between Microsoft-enabled PCs and Xboxes.

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