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01/21/06 | | Matt James
Matt\'s back with the first of the 2006 Mailbags, full of international flavor. We\'ve got some feedback about our glowing review of Kutoka\'s Creatures and Creatures Exodus titles from the developers. And of course we\'ve got the requisite letters suffering from \"TLI\"-- Too Little Information. You tell us: How DO you get engineers to build siege machines on the top of large towers? Is it some kind of riddle? Check out the latest reader mail right here.


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01/19/06 | | Aaron Stanton
game: Xbox 360
category: happening
Microsoft has received criticism for sticking to the DVD9 format for the Xbox 360. Concerned gamers point out that the 8.5 gigabytes of storage may not be enough to hold next-generation games. Sony\'s PS3 will use blu-ray, a format capable of storing several times the information of DVD9. But how big are Xbox 360 games? And how much will they grow, really? We take a look at the size of original Xbox titles to see how much they grew between 2001 and 2005, and compare them to the size of the Xbox 360 launch titles to make an educated guess about the DVD9\'s future needs. The conclusion? Well, you\'ll have to read to find out, but it generally makes Microsoft look like they know what they\'re doing. Don\'t enter a forum debate about blu-ray without reading this article.


01/17/06 | | Shawn Rider
game: PSP
The PSP homebrew community continues to crank out cool stuff. The latest major coup is an exploit using the save game system in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories that allows users with firmware over 2.0 and 2.5 to run homebrew applications and games. So far only a few games are working, but we felt like it is a good time to take a look back at some key developments in the world of PSP homebrew. Get the full story here.


01/13/06 | | Aaron Stanton
category: happening
Has the Xbox 360 been successfully modified? This is the question that\'s been on the modding community\'s mind since InfinityMods.com claimed to have a functioning modchip in-hand. Is it true? In this article, we look at the time-line of everything we know about the I.C.E. modchip, and include an interview with Team I.C.E.

What does I.C.E. stand for? When is the expected ship date for the chip (early Feb., by the way). If you have doubts about the I.C.E. modchip, then this article certainly won\'t put them to rest, but we help keep you informed.


12/29/05 | | Aaron Stanton
The Asia Game Show & DEE Asia 2005 had some interesting items on display, but the only gem was a student design project tucked in the back corner. Pebble, designed by Addi Lam, uses a controller that\'s very similar to the Revolution. Only it was built months before Nintendo announced anything about the Revolution\'s nifty control approach. This project was developed entirely independent of Nintendo. For a brief moment at the AGSDEE Asia, lucky visitors had a chance to see what Nintendo\'s been talking about.


12/25/05 | | Aaron Stanton
category: happening
As the first days of the 4th Asia Game Show and Digital Entertainment Expo Asia 2005 get underway, it\'s interesting to see the differences between this Hong Kong exposition and what we normally see at E3. Designed much more to be a one day event than a multi-day outing for the average attendee, there\'s still enough to keep even the most casual technophiles interested. From cell phones to TV\'s, Editor Aaron Stanton describes the expo after the first two days, including what he saw behind that intriguing PlayStation 3 sign he spotted going up before the show opened.


12/23/05 | | Aaron Stanton
category: happening
The 4th Asian Game Show & Digital Entertainment Expo Asia 2005 in Hong Kong might not be showing off anything cool from Microsoft, but they\'ve certainly got something from Sony. GamesFirst editor Aaron Stanton takes a quick peek at the show floor the day before the expo opens to the public, and reports on the warm fuzzy feelings he got at seeing the PlayStation 3 logo being raised above Sony\'s booth. AGSDEE might not be as well known in the west as E3 or CES, but it\'s an opportunity to see hands-on what Sony plans to offer. You\'ll want to keep an eye open as the four day exposition kicks off.


12/15/05 | | Aaron Stanton
The launch of the Xbox 360 was marked by a series of rather strange advertisements on TV. Kids playing jump-rope. Kids playing with water balloons. Is it just counter-culture advertising, or is there something deeper to these ads? Simply, something deeper. There are subtle differences between the original, uncut versions of the Xbox 360 ads online compared to the shortened ones you see on TV. Gunfire in the water balloon fight? Is this innocent portrayal of children playing with water balloons actually a representation of Ghost Recon 3? The extra sound effects of gunfire and explosions, cut from the TV spot, add a dark and sinister atmosphere that are simply missing when you only hear about bears going on a picnic.


12/12/05 | | Aaron Stanton
game: Xbox 360
Last week, we here at GamesFirst published a side-by-side comparison of King Kong on the Xbox and Xbox 360. By looking at nearly identical games, it\'s interesting to see the graphical differences between the two. However, the Xbox 360\'s major differences are in the ability to render dynamic lighting and environmental effects, which are difficult to see in static screenshots. As a result, we\'ve redone the article using side-by-side video capture from each system. The differences are both more obvious, in the cases when a difference is visible, and more underwhelming, when certain key scenes are difficult to distinguish between the two. Take a look, and decide for yourself.


12/05/05 | | Shawn Rider
game: Xbox 360
It might be heresy, but let\'s consider for a moment the Xbox 360 as a media hub: The gaming features are \"extras\" and the media features are primary. We want to use the Xbox 360 mainly to stream music, images and video from the home computer. How does the Xbox 360 stack up to other media hubs like the D-Link DSM-320 or the Phillips Streamium? Shawn takes a look at some of the key reasons why the $299 Xbox 360 Core System is a good choice for users who might be more interested in media than videogames.


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