Potentially confusing HDTV spec on game pages on Xbox.com

With the release of Scramble today, I noticed something odd on the game detail page on Xbox.com. Along the left hand side is a listing of the specs of the game (# of players, does it work with Live, etc.) and it includes this interesting line: “HDTV 480i”


Hmm…. while I’ve never subscribed to the view that only 1080p is HDTV, 480i is most certainly not. Yes, it is one of the resolutions that a HDTV monitor can usually display, but if it isn’t 720p, 1080i or 1080p you can’t really call it HDTV. Of course, this is probably just a typo… I believe a 360 game will always be capable of putting out at least 720p, even if it hasn’t been optimized for that resolution. In fact, several other games list “HDTV: No Support” in their specs (Time Pilot for one), which is certainly not the case.

Chromehounds on the Xbox 360 has consumed my free time!

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a Gamefly subscription and I get new games every few weeks… a great way to play a lot of games without the risk of paying $60 for a stinker (OverG Fighters for example… oh so happy I rented that instead of buying). Anyway, my most recent game is Chromehounds and I’m really enjoying it. It plays way more ‘real’ than a game like MechAssault, but isn’t attempting to be a simulator and force you to control all the details a real mech would need dealt with. I honestly haven’t tried the online side of it yet, and I hear that is the best part… I’ve just played through all of the single player mission with the exception of the final mission. I have tried that one with four different mech configurations and with a couple different strategies, but I haven’t made it through yet 🙂

Memphis Belle

Do you play Chromehounds? Online? Did you do the single player missions? Any hints for me about the final one!?!

Looking forward to PAX 2007!

PAX was a blast, I went back for day 2 and spent almost all the day at the exhibition hall… tons of cool demos and people! I was able to stop at the Xbox booth and chat with Trixie (as Brian mentions here), which was great because she is one of those people that I've emailed quite a bit but never met in person.

I also managed to run into Frank O'Connor from Bungie and interview him about the Halo 2 team that Bungie was entering into the console tournament, which seemed really unfair but he assured me that they weren't that good of players 🙂

Brian and I also interviewed some folks about Warhammer Online, Wizards of the Coast's new "Goblin Game" … lots of fun

PAX doesn’t open for about 4 more hours, but people are already waiting

Sampy and I stopped by the main doors of PAX last night around 1am and there was already two groups of folks waiting. Some guys from Detroit were first in line, having come in by train earlier that day, and they covered the full range of video gaming interests (although no one in their group was into tabletop gaming, the other major side to PAX) with one big Nintendo fan, an Xbox lover, and a PC gamer 🙂


Luckily for the folks waiting, some of the PAX people stopped by with a free case of BAWLS, giving them vital caffeine to make it through the night!

Assassin’s Creed for Xbox 360 gets previewed – Joystiq

Ok, so I have to admit something… when I saw Assassin’s Creed in the various E3 videos, I was sad. The game looked amazing, but I’m not going to buy a PS3 … you can see my dilemma.

Then I see this on Joystiq … and considering God of War II is a PS2 title (not that I have a PS2, but I’m thinking about it… more on the later) …  there isn’t anything announced yet for the PS3 that I feel like I’m going to miss.

Parental Control Software (ComputerTime)

I saw this on Techie Diva today… and it was immediately appealing, but the attraction dimished quickly. This isn’t any fault of the software, as far as I know it does its job perfectly, but I just don’t think this is the way to deal with this problem. I have given parental control over technology a lot of thought lately, not only because I have two kids of my own, but also while writing the parental control chapter (a chapter I’m really proud of, I think it is a great bit of info for parents) in Xbox 360 for Dummies.

I’ve looked into this type of software before, and hardware solutions that prevent the use of the TV or a video game console, but I think that if you need to use this type of solution then you are in trouble. If you tell your kids they can’t play/surf any more today and you can’t trust them to listen to you even if you aren’t watching, then that is a problem (are you going to have software to control access to junk food, drugs, etc. ? Kids need to learn some self-control, to follow the rules even if they won’t get caught)

If you are so busy that you have no idea how long they’ve been on the computer and you need software to track it for you, then they are on too long or you are too far away from them while they are using the computer.

To be clear, I’m a fan of these tools as soon as I see them… but when I think it through I think our current system is working fairly well. On any given day my wife or I can say that Connor was using the Xbox “a lot” or “not much” and thereby decide if he can play some more. Sometimes we have to take away his right to play Xbox for a day or two, and during that time we don’t hide the Xbox we just tell him that he can’t play it… and while he might get upset about that… he knows exactly how to get a controller, put in a game and start up the Xbox but yet he doesn’t do it.

Link to Techie Diva’s Guide to Gadgets ?: Parents Can Use ComputerTime