Monday, August 28, 2006

Xbox 360 Backwards compatability list updated

There were a ton of updates released for Xbox games playable on the Xbox 360.

Check out my sticky post for the details.

This makes almost 300 original Xbox games playable on the Xbox 360.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Leipzig Games Convention (Xbox Live)

See also:

At the Leipzig Games Convention this week, Microsoft's Steven Blackburn (Third-Party Account Manager) talked about the past, present, and future of Xbox Live.

The stats are phenomenal and interesting to me, but I've gotten feedback that they're less interesting to my readers. Fine. We'll leave them out.

Except this one: "... more than 2 billion hours (about 236,000 years) have been logged on Xbox Live to date."

236,000 years? We spent the equivalent of 236,000 years playing video games. ya think we could have spent that time doing something more productive? Like curing cancer? Or at least picking up our room ...

But back to Xbox Live and its future.

The first Xbox Live roll-up was a welcome (and seriously needed) usability upgrade (and would have been better if it had made its E3 target), but Blackburn says there's more to come.

At some point, "in-game enumeration of content" is going to become a reality. Think walking around a garage in FORZA 2, and being able to buy a new car from within the game. Or ducking into an arsenal in the BLACK sequel (please?) and being able to buy the BFGx2. Simply put, it's being able to buy in-game content in the game -- not from ducking out to dashboard and going several clicks down.

Secondly, a preview for Premium content is needed, and is on its way. Rather than paying for something you don't see, you can get a taste, at the very least through preview picts.

Finally, there's more hype about Live Anywhere, announced by Bill Gates at E3. Interestingly, Blackburn said Halo 2 for Windows Vista will be the first Live Anywhere title -- Halo 2 is a current-gen Xbox title, upscaled for Xbox 360. I wonder if it'll just be notification integration, or if cross-platform play could be an option (doubtful). Maybe there are bigger changes afoot for the franchise.

Really, Shadowrun may be the title that flexes this, but even that will be in a light way -- Live Anywhere is about more than PC/Xbxo 360 cross-platform play, which is Shadowrun's hook.

Leipzig Games Convention (Microsoft)

See also:

At the Leipzig Games Convention this week, Microsoft dropped some cool nuggets for the Xbox 360 and the near future of PC gaming.


Face it, product is secondary to successful marketing, and Microsoft pulled off quite the coup.

Both FIFA 07 from Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and Pro Evolution Soccer 6 from Konami Digital Entertainment Inc. will be out this year -- and be Xbox 360 exclusives for at least 10 months. This ostensibly means the only place to play next-gen soccer will be on the Xbox 360.

Don't blow the significance of this announcement off. American Football games (led by by Madden) are available on all consoles, which doesn't particularly help Microsoft. But that sport pales at the global level compared to soccer (futball), and Microsoft made the announcement at a convention hosted in a soccer-fanatical country. Nice.

Of course, the key is "next-gen" soccer, because at least from the FIFA 07 Website, it looks like a non-next-gen version of the game will be on PS2, PSP, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, PC, and the original Xbox).

Continuing the smart marketing, Microsoft is going to bolster Xbox Live Arcade with titles inspired by board games from Europe ("Carcassonne", "Alhambra", and "Settlers of Catan" -- I really like this game).

The Xbox 360 is going even more global, wtih availability in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, and will launch in South Africa on Sept. 29 and Eastern Europe on Nov. 3.

PC Gaming on Windows Vista:

They also announced Windows Vista versions of LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, and Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania, and showed a demo (currently available for download) of Flight Simulator X, but using an Xbox 360 wireless controller.


  • Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows -- This is slick. Basiclly, Microsoft has externalized the wirelss functionality in the Xbox 360, attached a USB 2.0 dongle, and now you can use your Xbox 360 peripherals on your PC.

    That's "peripherals". Plural. Because they're doing what I suggested (most recently here):

    "Or ... maybe they'll be among the first to implement wireless USB (or extend their proprietary wireless technology used for their controllers to DVD, camera, or other wireless coolness)."

    Because the wireless gaming receiver will let you use your Xbox 360 wireles controller, and wireless racing wheel, and wireless headset on your PC. How if they would just make the HD-DVD drive and Xbox Live Vision Camera wireless, that would be something.

    "By plugging the compact receiver into a Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 port on a PC, gamers can use Xbox 360 wireless accessories on their Windows-based computer (ERP $19.99 U.S., available in late December)."
  • Xbox Live Vision Camera -- This is a bigger deal than just a Web cam. I wrote some time ago about Microsoft licensing GestureTek technology, and that tech has showed up in the 360 camera. GestureTek technology includes face recognition, motion tracking, and -- surprisingly -- deopth-of-field perception. This, when partnered with object recognition functionality, can make any object or cotroller a wirelss, motion tracking interface. Wii find this interesting, don't Wii?

    There's also DigiMask's Face Renderer software, which will let you take pictures of yourself to put in games -- not just static GamerPicts. At least Activision's World Series of Poker and UbiSoft's Rainbow Six Vegas will use the technology.

    Read a full article at

    Why isn't this thing wireless?

    "Consumers can chat via video, send photo messages, put their own face in a game, and customize their gamertag on the Xbox Live network. The camera will be available in the U.S. on Sept. 19 and in Europe on Oct. 6 in two packages:

    "Xbox Live Vision. This package includes Xbox Live Vision camera, one-month Xbox Live Gold Membership, Xbox 360 Headset, and free downloads of two full-version Xbox Live Arcade games: the popular UNO card game and TotemBall, the new 3-D platform game from Freeverse and Strange Flavour Ltd. that is a mixture of platform skills and puzzles (estimated retail price (ERP) $39.99 U.S./ €49.99).

    "Xbox Live Video Chat Gold Kit. This package includes the Xbox Live Vision camera, a 12-month Xbox Live Gold Membership, an Xbox 360 Headset, free* downloads of three full-version Xbox Live Arcade games — the UNO card game, TotemBall, and the classic Robotron action shooter — and 200 Microsoft Points (ERP $79.99 U.S./€89.99)."
  • Xbox 360 Wireless Headset -- Just like with my old Xbox, I get tired of pulling out the Xbox 360 headset, and getting the cord tangled up with analog sticks, guests, or the neck of a brewskie. When we go wireless, that'll go away (and hopefully the quality will go up).

    "Providing the ultimate wireless experience, this headset integrates seamlessly with the Xbox 360 console to provide wireless voice chat capabilities, stylish design and superior voice quality over the Xbox Live network (ERP $59.99 U.S., available in November). "
  • Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel -- "For true racing enthusiasts who demand unparalleled driving realism at home, this innovatively designed wheel combines form and function with the latest technology in wireless and force feedback. Consumers who purchase the wheel will also get a limited-edition force feedback version of Project Gotham Racing 3 while supplies last (ERP $149.99 U.S., available in November)."
  • Xbox 360 Faceplates -- "Consumers can customize their consoles with one of three new special-edition faceplates featuring images from their favorite games, including the Halo franchise, Viva PiƱata and Forza Motorsport 2 (ERP $19.99 U.S., available in early November). "

LucasArts and Free Radical team up for next-gen game

Earlier in August, LucasArts announced it signed a development deal with Day 1 Studios, (the MechAssault games for the Xbox).

Yesterday, LucasArts announced they're teaming up with Free Radical Design to develop an as-yet-to-be-announced title.

Free Radical is the superstar development team behind one of my favorite franchises (TimeSplitters), the under-rated Second Sight (totally under-rated), and Haze, which I've called one of the most compelling games from this year's E3. And I think some of their developers used to develope for the Atari ST. My poor, dead Atari ST.

I'm excited to see what comes out of all of this LucasArts activity. Could be this LucasArts/Free Radical resurrected IP. Maybe something Psygnosis-ey.

Of course if it were to be something like LucasArts/Free Radical doing Dungeon Master, I will probably poop myself.


But that's not likely. It being Dungeon Master. Not me pooping myself. That's totally possible.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Leipzig Games Convention (Midway)

See also:

The Leipzig Games Convention is this week, and now Midway has announced their show lineup.

  • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (PS2; Oct. 2006)
  • Mortal Kombat: Unchained (PSP; Fall 2006)
  • Unreal Tournament 2007 (PS3, PC)
  • Stranglehold (Xbox 360, PS3, PC; Winter 2007)
  • Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run (PS2; Sept. 2006)
  • The Wheelman
  • LA RUSH (PSP; Fall 2006)
  • Happy Feet (PS2, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PC; Nov. 2006)
  • The Ant Bully (PS2, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, PC; Fall 2006 – Nintendo Wii; Nov. 2006)

I'm also interested to hear a recape of Midway CEO, David Zucker's talk on "Games at a Crossroad: How to Move Ahead of Hollywood" -- a look at global, cross-industry trends.

You can get more info on the Midway lineup over at

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Leipzig Games Convention (Eidos)

See also:

The Leipzig Games Convention starts Thursday, and now Eidos has announced their show lineup.

UPDATE: Added Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (from the folks behind the Hitman franchise).

Monday, August 21, 2006

Leipzig Games Convention (THQ)

See also:

The Leipzig Games Convention starts Thursday, and now THQ has announced their show lineup.

  • WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 (Xbox 360; the PS3 version has been pushed to "late 2007, which probably means it'll be cancelled in lieu of the 2008 version)
  • Frontlines: Fuel of War ("current and next-gen")
  • Supreme Commander (PC)
  • Company of Heroes (PC)
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl (who knows anymore?)
  • Dark Crusade (PC expansion)
  • Broken Sword: The Angel of Death (PC)
  • Saints Row (Xbox 360, wireless mobile)
  • Cars (multiple)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab (multiple)
  • Barnyard (multiple)
  • Bratz (multiple)
  • Monster House (multiple)
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender (multiple)
  • Juiced: Eliminator (wireless mobile)
  • Unnamed Star Wars (wireless mobile)
  • Unnamed Worms (wireless mobile)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Jack Thompson irony

OK, I need to write a more thoughtful updated essay on the importance and complexity of video game violence and the self-policing rating system, but for now, let me take the low road.

Florida lawyer Jack Thompson has been trying to prevent the release of Rockstar Games' Bully, and is now calling for a pre-release and have "an independent third party" play it, and decide whether it could be considered a "public nuisance" in the state of Florida, which would allow it to be banned.

"Lawyer demands early copy of Rockstar game, will sue if he deems it a public
So, can someone please sue Thompson for the same reason? Seems like turnabout is fair play.

That's the ironic low road thing I'm talking about.

That's not to that I'm real pleased with Rockstar Games or parent company Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Their irresponsibility with the whole Grand Theft Auto "Hot Coffee" scandal put the industry in a bad place, and time'll tell whether it's an industry crippling one.

I guess I should be careful about First-Amendment opinions about several-levels-below-ambulance-chaser Thompson. He tends to actively go after people, accusing them of harrassment.

Sophomoric intellects in adult skins are one my biggest pet peeves.

Oh, and the ESRB? They're doing a bang-up, thankless job. More power and support to them.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Leipzig Games Convention (SEGA)

The Leipzig Games Convention is a week from today, and SEGA has already announced a strong showing. Some games (*) -- ostensibly Nintendo Wii and PS3 titles -- will only be shown to "selected contacts".

  • Medieval II: Total War (PC)
  • Sonic The Hedgehog (Xbox 360, PS3)*
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings (Nintendo Wii)*
  • Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz (Nintendo Wii)*
  • Virtua Tennis 3 (Xbox 360, PS3)*
  • SEGA Rally (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)*
  • Yakuza (PS2)
  • Phantasy Star Universe (PS2, PC, Xbox 360)
  • Full Auto 2: Battlelines (PS3)*
  • Charlotte's Web (PC, GBA, Nintendo DS)
  • Sonic Rivals (PSP)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Gears of War" Coming EARLIER than November 12

In my previous post, I mentioned Microsoft's officially announced "Emergence Day" -- November 12 of this year.

A Sunday release seems a little weird (if a bit perversely ironic), but the inimitable CliffyB clarifies over at Gearheads of War (**guffaw!**):

"The Sunday date is the date Microsoft believes all of the major retailers will have the game in stock so that's the date they want to build excitement around. What we've been told is that hardcore game shops like EB & Gamestop will have their trucks lined up at Microsoft's warehouse as 12:01AM on November 7th (the date the game actually ships) and will get stock to their stores as quickly as they can - at their own additional expense no less! They'll be able to sell it the minute they get it so some of those stores will have the game well before the 12th. It could take a few days for the game to work through the distribution channels of the giants like Wal*Mart and Best Buy but they should all have it in stores by the 12th. Microsoft figures this is a game that will sell well to the mass market so they want to make sure that when people show up in the stores the game is there. So that's why the 12th is being called Emergence Day. Microsoft also told us they're going to be planning something cool to coincide with that date."
The game will be available earlier than November 12th! Suh-weet!

And I'm curious as to what Microsoft has in store for Emergence Day.

Maybe I can get a review copy -- hey, the good folks saw me as good enough for copies of Stubbs the Zombie and Dead Rising.

Read the whole Gearheads of War thing (interviewed by CliffyB's own big brother) -- it gives decent insight into the game, Epic, a little about how Microsoft works, a bit into the home life of CliffyB (he set things on fire, too; see, I wasn't that much of a deviant).

Fewer than 100 days ....

Monday, August 14, 2006

Power to the (game development) people!

Gamefest saw some unexpectedly good news for hobbyist gamers.

Microsoft just announced XNA Game Studio Express, a new XNA offering "targeted at students and hobbyists for game development".

The studio offering will allow developers to "develop games for Windows for no cost", and if you want to develop for the Xbox 360, you'll need to join the XNA Creator’s Club -- for only $99 a year or $49 for 4 months -- to get the "additional pieces needed to develop non-commercial XNA Framework-based games on an Xbox 360 retail kit". This will be a new Xbox Live subscription offering. And the express version will still include Autodesk’s FBX file exchange format.

A beta will be available August 30th, and the full version will be available "Holiday 2006". XNA Game Studio is based on Visual C# express 2005. A beta of XNA Game Studio Professional "is currently targeted for early 2007".

At the same time, GarageGames announced the Torque Game Engine for XNA, which itself only has an indie license of $100.

Time for me to finish my video game design docs ...

The Halo Graphic Novel

I've got my thoughts on The Halo Graphic Novel over on my "I'm reading" blog.

Check it out.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

"Project Offset" has a publisher, coming to Xbox 360


It was year ago this month that I said (in my "Game trailers you simply must watch"):
"Project Offset (Offset) -- Sword and sorcery that feels real-world? Wow. Somebody fund this game!"
Evidently I am powerful enough for people to listen (though not in a timely manner).

In a post on the news site about their move into the new office, Co-Founder and Lead Artist Travis Stringer says:
"We are now backed by a major publisher but will not be disclosing the details just yet. Visit our jobs page for more information on available positions."
"Major publisher", means (in order of third-party power):
  1. Electronic Arts
  2. Ubisoft
  3. Activision

And, there's always the possibility of Microsoft, because, yes, it looks like Project Offset is coming to the PC and Xbox 360.

Tool on over to the Offset jobs page, and read the listing for a "Xbox 360 Programmer", whose "[p]rimary responsibility will be to handle porting, maintaining, and optimizing the codebase for the Xbox 360. Experience developing for the Xbox 360 is a huge plus. Experience programming for console platforms is required."


Wonder if their dragons need voices, or if they'll have mythical, pissed-off fire ants in need of vocal expression.

Maybe we'll get an announcement next month at the company's X06 event in Barelona, or earlier at the Leipzig Games Convention this month.

This could be a really, really good game. And kudos to the handful of folks that worked their tails off to get this amazing engine put together and out there.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Neill Blomkamp to helm "Halo" film

(this applies to both video games and acting, so I'm posting it in both blogs.)

Microsoft and Universal have picked an unknown director for the now officially 2008 Halo film (which is fine, because it likely means we'll get the Halo 3 game in 2007).

Short film and commercial director Neill Blomkamp will direct the film, which has the uninitiated scratching their heads.

Blomkamp is previously known for his 2005 short film, Alive in Joburg, and for receiving Clio Awards and a Visual Effects Society Award for his television commercial -- about a car.

Sure, Microsoft, Universal, and Executive Producer Peter Jackson are arguably taking a bit of risk in going with an unknown, but the reason and payoff is huge.

First, Blomkamp is relatively unknown. When launching a franchise into a new medium, there's tremendous value in having it helmed by someone who doesn't have baggage or expectations getting in the way of the effort (look at the grief the fan boys are giving Michael Bay for Transformers). Blomkamp is probably a good blance for Jackson.

Blomkamp has also been tagged as "One of the Top Five Directors to Watch" (First Boards Awards in 2004).

And the guys is the whole package. Not just a story teller and director, Blomkamp is an amazing visual effects guy. He's done 3D and effects work on Smallville, Stargate SG-1, and Dark Angel (and was nominated for an Emmy), among others.

None of that really matters, though.


Watch his stuff. In hindsight, picking him is a no brainer.

That car commercial? It's for Citreon, and so Transformers-esque that Michael Bay's going to get a run for his money. If Bay's Autobots and Decepticons are that fluid and natural, the film is going to rock.

And that Alive in Joburg short film? It's about extraterrestrials being marginalized in slums in Africa. Africa. The film looks like it was lifted from the New Mombasa scenes in Halo 2. And watch the opening scenes, where soldiers get out of the chopper. They look like the Halo Orbital Shock Troops (OSTs). And listen to the marriage of music to visuals, and tell me this didn't get Marty O'Donnell all hot and bothered.

So what if this is Blomkamp's first feature film? Jackson's got experience to share.

Links to Blomkamp's stuff (I love the Internet and YouTube):

UPDATED: Added RSA Films.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The HD-DVD Edition

There's been a lot of noise on the HD-DVD front recently.

Microsoft is going with an HD-DVD external attachment for the Xbox 360, with all of the heavy lifting being done by the console itself.

Sony, on the other hand, is building the competing Blu-ray technology directly into their upcoming PS3, ostensibly betting the farm that Blu-ray is going to come out on top. Arguments of superior technology aside, memories of Betamax, MiniDisc, UMD, and Memory Stick would make me nervous.

Anyway, Microsoft, after showing the book-sized HD-DVD player at E3, demoed it this week, and made some noise about it being the "Cheapest HD-DVD solution out there".

First, Kevin Collins (Senior Program Manager at Microsoft) showed the HD-DVD drive at this week's DVD Forum in Los Angeles, including some of the interactive features that can be used while a movie is playing.

Then, Major Nelson did his podcast on the HD-DVD drive. There were also some weak-ass mockups of the HD-DVD portion of the Xbox 360 dashboard released.

Finally, rumblings abound that the HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360 is going to be the cheapest.
Which is marketing hype. Mostly.

Microsoft Director of Global Marketing Albert Penello postured thus:

"Here's the truth, we're still thinking about it. Here's what I can tell you for
sure, it's going to be the cheapest HD-DVD player you can buy ... without a
doubt, when it comes out. ... Everybody is very enthusiastic with the direction
we're going. There's still a few surprises left. I don't want to spill the beans
yet, but I think people are going to think it's a great value."
Face it, you can currently get an HD-DVD player for as low as around $420 (which is more appealing than $800-$1,100 for a Blu-ray player). But for the Xbox 360 attachment to be the cheapest, the price of the HD-DVD attachment plus Xbox 360 console would need to be around $400 -- and that's pushing it, because HD-DVD prices have 3 to 4 months to normalize before Microsoft's offering comes out. For the math challenged, that means it would need to work with the Core (aka "WTF") SKU, and be $100 or less (currently, analysts are saying it will be priced at $149, but I think they may be closer to $99).

I doubt it'll work with the "WTF" SKU, because you'll probably need the $99 hard drive for the HD-DVD software.

Maybe they mean "cheapest HD-DVD player you can buy [if you already own an Xbox 360]."

Or ... the "few surprises" could include something like working with any computer with a USB 2.0 connection (the way the attachment is going to hook up to the console), and Windows Media Player 11 (still in crappy beta form) could be used to run it.

Or ... maybe they'll be among the first to implement wireless USB (or extend their proprietary wireless technology used for their controllers to DVD, camera, or other wireless coolness).

I could so be a Product Director for these guys.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Games that matter to Adam (August)

Games that have me interested this month (though, honestly, it's the Xbox 360 titles that keep me up at night):

(360 = Xbox 360; XBLA = Xbox Live Arcade; XBX = Xbox; PS2 = PlayStation2; PSP = PlayStationPortable; GC = GameCube)

Friday, August 04, 2006

"Dead Rising" demo available for download!

The Dead Rising demo is available now on Xbox Live -- I'm downloading it as I type this, wishing I wasn't a responsible working adult...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

MAXUM Games -- A new kind of development studio?

I saw a blurb on about upcoming Xbox 360 game Demons of Mercy, developed by Colorado-based MAXUM Games, LLC.

The game's title is somewhat intriguing, as is its being based on an upcoming comic book, but the nugget that got my attention is it "will be developed under one of their founding principles: NO HUMAN WILL KILL ANOTHER HUMAN IN ANY MAXUM VIDEO GAME".

That nugget, along with me not knowing anything about MAXUM, led me to spin through every page of their Website.

Whoa. This is different.

No pictures. No screenshots. A bunch of talk about "there had to be a better way" to counter increasing game development budgets and complexity. A perks package that sounds like Electronic Arts's EALA studio -- but independent. A lot of stuff that makes it sound like their philosophy of valuing employes is more that mere lip service. password controlled Corporate and Publishing portals. References to a "Council of 9".

References to their other two in-process games:

And more information on MAXUM's founding principle:

"As for our first rule, there will be some human death, it just will not come
from the hands of the player. Trust us when we say our AI department is ensuring
that all our demons, robots, and aliens are completely intent on killing the
human heroes of our games. It is up to the player to survive."


"[D]emons, robots, aliens, and unknowns are far more extraordinary to fight."


They'll be getting an Email from me.

"Gears of War" Coming November 12, 2006

Probably one of the most anticipated next-gen titles of 2006 (if not period), Gears of War finally has a release date of November 12, 2006 -- "Emergence Day".

Billed alternately as a "Second-Person" and "Stop-and-Pop" shooter, Gears of War is an Xbox 360 exclusive title set in the future on another planet, as mankind tries to survive an attack of the monstrous Locust Horde.

Far from stereotypical game tripe, developer Epic Games, Inc. is trying to give gamers an experience on par with a blockbuster film. The game's lead designer, Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski, says the game will showcase "cinematic action paired with a thrilling and compelling interactive experience."

Of course, there will be two versions of the game. The standard edition will sell for an SRP of $59.99, and the limited collector’s edition available will SRP for $69.99 and include an official “Destroyed Beauty” art book, a bonus DVD with an inside look at the making of the game, and a "highly collectible" metal box.

The Gears of War release precedes the current competing PlayStation 3 US launch date of Novbember 17, and I expect there to be an ample amount of product and promotions for the Xbox 360 console that could prove a stumbling block for Sony's expensive next-gen console to get a foothold.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am so stoked for "Dead Rising"!

It's a fun time to be an Xbox 360 owner.

There aren't a ton of games out, but steam is picking up, and the Xbox 360 exclusiveness and quality is really ramping up.

Capcom continues to show the Xbox 360-exclusive love, and they have two of my most anticipated games: Lost Planet, and Dead Rising.

Dead Rising (rated "M" for "Mature", kiddies) comes out next week, (August 8th), and a demo's been teased as possibly showing up on Xbox Live sometime between now and then.

What's got me stoked

At it's simplest, the game looks to be free-form survival in a mall and wicked creative zombie killing, but I think it's going to be a lot deeper than that.

The recently released Webisodes #1 and #2 hint at meatier (sorry), more convoluted story, and the recent screenshots and game play info have been interesting. The game ends after 72 hours (7.2 real-world hours). There are screenshots of your character fighting non-zombie military -- outside of the mall. And there's at least one zombie poodle. And then there's that really hot chick with the wicked sniper rifle (no, not the blonde, I think she's just wicked).

Of course, the Frank, a photo-journalist-who-can-chose-to-save-people-or-set-up-great-pictures mechanic makes for at least a few heroic (or twisted) ways to finish the game.

Other features (lifted from the Capcom press release, because I'm lazy):
  • Time is dynamic in Dead Rising, marching on whether Frank is actively engaged or if he is stationary.
  • Time also plays a role as zombies become more powerful when the sun goes down. Though they move slowly during the day, the zombies become stronger and faster at night, making it even more dangerous for players to survive.
  • The unprecedented numbers of enemies come in never-ending waves and consist of a diverse population of former humans that have retained some memory of their previous lives, which is reflected in their behavior and appearance.
  • The variety of different stores in the mall offers players an endless supply of resources including vehicles, makeshift weapons and more.
  • Players will also encounter other survivors along the way and by helping them can acquire valuable clues as to what has happened.
Xbox 360 Achievements

And the Achievements list?
  1. Zombie Hunter - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Defeat at least 1,000 zombies.
  2. Zombie Killer - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Defeat at least 10,000 zombies.
  3. Zombie Genocider - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Defeat at least 53,594 zombies. (WTF?)
  4. Self Defense - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Defeat at least 1 psychopath.
  5. Peace Keeper - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Defeat at least 5 psychopaths.
  6. Punisher - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Defeat at least 10 psychopaths.
  7. Legendary Soldier - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: ????
  8. Hella Copter - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: ????
  9. Tour Guide - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Escort 8 survivors at once.
  10. Frank the Pimp - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Simultaneously escort 8 female survivors.
  11. Full Set - TYPE: Total REQ: Collect all portraits in the NOTEBOOK.
  12. Humanist - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Get at least 10 survivors out of the mall.
  13. Life Saver - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Get at least 20 survivors out of the mall.
  14. Saint - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Get at least 50 survivors out of the mall.
  15. Strike! - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Send at least 10 zombies flying with bowling balls.
  16. Costume Party - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Place novelty masks on at least 10 zombies. (You should see the video of this!)
  17. Raining Zombies - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Knock at least 30 zombies aside with a parasol.
  18. Gourmet - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Eat all types of food available in the mall.
  19. Item Smasher - TYPE: Total REQ: Break at least 100 items.
  20. Bullet Point - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Fire at least 1,000 bullets.
  21. Perfect Gunner - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Don't miss with a machine gun.
  22. Photojournalist - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Score at least 1,500 PP from a single photo.
  23. The Artiste - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Score at least 3,000 PP from a single photo.
  24. Group Photo - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Get 50 Target Markers with the camera.
  25. Portraiture - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Photograph at least 10 survivors.
  26. Census Taker - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Photograph at least 50 survivors.
  27. Psycho Photo - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Photograph at least 4 psychopaths.
  28. Psycho Collector - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Photograph at least 10 psychopaths.
  29. PP Collector - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Photograph all PP Stickers.
  30. Snuff Shot B - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: ????
  31. Snuff Shot J - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: ????
  32. Transmissionary - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Answer all calls from Otis.
  33. Indoorsman - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Spend at least 24 hours indoors.
  34. Outdoorsman - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Spend at least 24 hours outdoors.
  35. Freefall - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Drop from a height of at least 16 feet (5 meters).
  36. Marathon Runner - TYPE: Total REQ: Cover a distance of 26.2 miles (42.195 km).
  37. Carjacker - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Steal the convicts' vehicle.
  38. Stunt Driver - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Jump a car at least 33 feet (10 meters).
  39. Stunt Rider - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Jump a motorcycle at least 33 feet (10 meters).
  40. Zombie Road - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Walk over 33 feet (10 meters) on the backs of zombies using the Zombie Ride.
  41. Karate Champ - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Defeat at least 1,000 zombies barehanded.
  42. Sharp Dresser - TYPE: Total REQ: Change into at least 20 different costumes.
  43. Clothes Horse - TYPE: Total REQ: Change into all costumes available in the mall.
  44. Level Max - TYPE: Total REQ: Reach Lv. 50.
  45. Unbreakable - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Get the true ending without being knocked out. (Huh?)
  46. Overtime Mode - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Unveil all CASES and be at the heliport at noon.
  47. Mode - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Get the true ending. (Interesting.)
  48. Day Survivor - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Survive for at least 72 hours.
  49. Day Survivor - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Survive for at least 5 days.
  50. Day Survivor - TYPE: 1 Play REQ: Survive for at least 7 days.

These guys are having fun.

Oh, and here are some Dead Rising wallpapers for you. Don't say I never gave you anything.

Dead Rising video game wallpaper

Dead Rising video game wallpaper

One week to go ...