Big Blue Box unveiled its upcoming Xbox title, Project Ego at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. This lovely RPG is still quite a ways off but it looks to set a new bar for the genre with an incredible amount of detail. Stay tuned for more information on this title.
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Monday, June 18

DVD Remote Package - $29

Microsoft's Robbie Bach recently revealed in a financial meeting that the Xbox DVD Remote Control will retail for $29. The decision was made a few months ago that the Xbox would not come with a remote due to cost and the focus on keeping the Xbox as a gaming platform.

"You buy the DVD package for $29, and that enables DVD movie playback," Bach explained. "The reason we did that is because for those of you who follow the DVD market, there's actually cost in including that in the box, and we didn't want everybody who bought the Xbox, which is a game device, to pay that cost. So it's only for about 10 or 15 percent of the people who we think are going to want to play DVD movies on the box."

Source: FGNOnline


Friday, June 15

Infogrames' Xbox Release Schedule

Infogrames passed along the latest release list for their upcoming PC and console titles. Here is the latest on their upcoming Xbox releases:

Q4, 2001
NASCAR Heat
Test Drive
Transworld Surf

Q1, 2002
Transworld Snowboarding
Transworld Skateboarding

Q2, 2002
Unreal Championship

Q4, 2002
LOONS

Test Drive Off-Road -- Wide Open was announced as an Xbox title at E3 but did not make this list. The Playstation 2 version of the title is due out this August so we may be seeing it by the end of the year for Xbox but it may not appear until Q1 2002. We'll keep you updated.

XBOX Technologies and MS Settle

Microsoft and XBOX Technologies Inc. today jointly announced that they have settled their trademark dispute over the term "Xbox." Specific terms of the agreement are to remain confidential. However, it looks as though Microsoft simply bought the name out right for an undisclosed amount of cash.

As part of the settlement, Microsoft will have all trademark rights to "Xbox," which is the name of Microsoft's new video game console system, and XBOX Technologies has agreed, in due course, to change its corporate name. Microsoft remains on target for a successful North American launch of its Xbox video game system on November 8 at a retail price of $299.

3DO Acquires Cubix Rights - Xbox Included

The 3DO Company has signed an agreement to license interactive publishing rights for 4Kids Entertainment's hot new property, Cubix: Robots For Everyone, a new CGI animated series launching this August on Kids' WB!

Under the terms of the deal, 3DO has acquired the worldwide rights, excluding Asia and the Middle East, to develop, publish and distribute interactive games based on Cubix: Robots for Everyone. 3DO has the rights to create Cubix games on numerous gaming platforms including the PlayStation game console, the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Gamecube, and the Xbox video game console from Microsoft. The first Cubix games are expected to ship Christmas 2001.


Wednesday, June 13

PlanetXbox Forums are Go for Launch!

Yes, the time has finally come. PlanetXbox's old forums have finally been renovated. Well, actually they've been completely replaced, but let's not quibble semantics, eh? Save that for the boards.

So, where are these new wonder forums? Click right here! Beat up on 'em a bit, and if you find any bugs be sure to tell us so we can fix 'em. Enjoy!

Xbox Web Bits....

  • Ballmer on Broadband - This Financial Times article has Steve Ballmer of Microsoft stating that they feel broadband isn't catching on as quickly as they hoped. It could affect demand for Xbox... [Discuss it...]
  • Shrek Interview - CVG caught up with producer Ken Fox to discuss the title Shrek, based upon the animated movie of the same name. Check it out for information on the upcoming Xbox title.
  • Smilebit talks JSRF - Gamespot got a few words in with , Masayoshi Kikuchi, project leader for Jet Set Radio Future, and Takayuki Kawagoe, managing producer at Smilebit.
  • Xbox vs. Gamecube - It's a battle royal in the making... Who will run the competition? GameSpot makes some predictions with available information.


  • Tuesday, June 12

    First Look: 4x4 Evolution 2

    4x4 Evolution was a pretty big hit for developer Terminal Reality last year, combining arcade-style off-road driving with great graphics, over 70 licensed vehicles, and was also the first game ever to allow gamers from PC's, Macs, and consoles to play online together. So it's little wonder that Terminal Reality and publisher GOD Games decided to do the inevitable, and start work on 4x4 Evo 2, which will be released for both the PC and XBox late in 2001. For more information and screenshots be sure to check out our first look.

    Hunter: The Reckoning Screenshots

    Interplay has released twelve new screenshots of Hunter: The Reckoning. Being developed by Digital Mayhem and High Voltage, Hunter: TR is an action game for the Xbox video game system. Check out these shots and some info on the storyline:

    More Screenshots: Screenshot 4 | Screenshot 5 | Screenshot 6 | Screenshot 7 | Screenshot 8 | Screenshot 9 | Screenshot 10 | Screenshot 11 | Screenshot 12

    Hunter: The Reckoning is based on White Wolf's pen and paper game. The Xbox game is set in a small prison town, where the prison itself has become the center of evil and corruption. Some time ago, a group of Vampires embraced the Warden and took over the prison as their personal feeding grounds. They have spent years subjecting the inmates to unspeakable experiments and tortures. The inmates that died within the prison walls rose again as vengeful and destructive wraiths, uncaring of who or what they destroyed. They were eventually subdued by powers greater than them, and they slept, waiting for the chance to break their bonds.

    Daydream to Use NetImmerse for Multi-Platform Games

    Daydream Software, a Swedish developer of action and adventure games distributed worldwide, has licensed Numerical Design Ltd.'s NetImmerse 3D game engine for upcoming titles on multiple platforms.

    Daydream plans to develop several different types of games for the PC and Xbox. The first title, scheduled for release in 2002, will be a racing game. "NetImmerse will save us a lot of time since we can focus on gameplay instead of trying to keep our own engine up to date," says Hakan Dalsfelt, Daydream's lead programmer. "NetImmerse has a good reputation and the engine has a very nice structure that is easy to work with."

    THQ Grabs Warhammer 40,000

    THQ has secured worldwide publishing rights to Warhammer 40,000 -- the dark, futuristic fantasy wargaming universe traveled by millions worldwide. The agreement with the world's largest hobby wargames company, Games Workshop, grants THQ exclusive rights to publish Warhammer 40,000 games for PC and console systems including Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube and Game Boy Advance.

    "The deep stories and sinister 41st Millennium setting in Warhammer 40,000 provide all the elements of a truly compelling interactive gaming experience," stated Germaine Gioia, vice president, licensing, THQ. "We look forward to creating Warhammer 40,000 next-generation console and PC adventures for millions of gamers across the globe."

    Azurik, NFL Fever Web Sites Launched

    Microsoft has launched the official web sites for two of its upcoming Xbox exclusive video game titles. The Azurik: Rise of Perathia and NFL Fever 2002 web sites feature: news, downloads, and information on their respective title. Both web sites require the Flash 5.0 plugin in order to view the majority of the site so be sure to install it, if you haven't already, upon entering one of the two sites.

    Xbox Downloads

    The official site for the Microsoft Xbox video game system, Xbox.com, has been updated with a variety of wallpapers and screensavers. There are currently three wallpapers available for download, as well as two new screensavers. The two screensavers both serve as helpful reminders of the November 8, 2001 Xbox launch date.

    Bungie Halo Update

    We're a little late on this one, but that has never stopped us. Our very own Battleground: Halo has posted the latest weekly Halo update from Bungie's Matt Soell. Here's a couple choice cuts from the piece:
  • Matt Segur has the beginnings of precipitation effects in the game. Presently we have no snow art, so when we test it shell casings rain from the sky.
  • Two more missions are quickly approaching playable status, and the artists are refining some existing areas, like the mazelike corridors of the Covenant ship and the swamp adding dense undergrowth, stuff dangling from trees, that sort of thing.
  • Be sure to head on over to Battleground: Halo for the full update and more information on Bungie's upcoming Xbox title.


    Monday, June 11

    Xbox Web Bits....

  • Championship Manager Interview - Eurogamer interviews co-founders Paul and Oliver Collyer of Sports Interactive regarding the upcoming soccer management title.
  • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Website - The Official website for EA and 2015's Medal of Honor: AA has launched. Check it out for information and screenshots.
  • New Legends Website - THQ has launched the official website for the Xbox exclusive, New Legends. Information and screenshots can be found there as well.
  • Unreal Championship Website - The official website for Infogrames and Digital Extremes' Unreal Championship has launched with information, news, and screenshots.


  • Thursday, June 7

    First Look: F1 2001

    Today we present you with a F1 2001 first look. F1 2001 is EA SPORT's latest installment of its Formula 1 racing title, which will be making its way to the Xbox video game system later this year. The game features many marked improvements over past year's both in terms of graphics and gameplay. For more information on this title, as well as a few screenshots, be sure to check out our first look.

    Daunte Culpepper to Grace Madden NFL 2002

    Electronic Arts confirmed today that the company has reached an agreement with Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper to be EA SPORTS' spokesman for Madden NFL 2002.

    "Madden Football has always been one of my favorite games and I am excited to be part of the EA SPORTS family now," said Daunte Culpepper. "This is the game we all play at training camp and in the locker room during the season. It is really an honor to be on the cover of this title and I look forward to working with this talented team on the legendary franchise of sports videogames." Culpepper's image will appear on all Madden NFL Football 2002 packaging and merchandising and he will lend his football knowledge to the game developers, for the ultimate in game realism and authenticity.

    In its twelfth year, the Madden NFL Football franchise will be available on the PC, the PlayStation, the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and N64 late this summer and is slated as a launch title for the Xbox game system from Microsoft and the Nintendo GameCube.

    For more information and screenshots be sure to read over our Madden NFL Football 2002 first look.

    REZN8 Creates Xbox Dashboard

    REZN8, a premier digital design and communications company, today announced that it helped create the visual style for the navigation interface on the Xbox video game system from Microsoft.

    The Xbox Dashboard will be used to navigate through the Xbox system options allowing the user to adjust various game settings and utilize devices such as CD and DVD controls.

    The concept of the Xbox Dashboard is based on the premise that the Xbox system takes console gaming to the next level, enabling reality in game play that was formerly unimagined.

    Designed for the hardcore gamer, the Xbox Dashboard allows players to harness and navigate the Xbox system with the speed that they associate with cutting-edge video games. The interface appears after the start-up whenever the game slot is empty or when a standard CD or DVD is loaded.

    "The differentiating feature about the Xbox Dashboard is that it is a living and breathing component that can detect and interact with the software to offer higher levels of game interaction," said Paul Sidlo, founder and president of REZN8. "REZN8's mission is to stir the imagination of its audience, and the service we provided for Xbox allows us to continue this mission with a console developer that shares a similar focus."

    "REZN8 was chosen to develop the look and feel of the Xbox Dashboard because of the company's deep understanding of emerging technologies and its extensive background in creating award-winning animation packages for the television and film industry," said J Allard, general manager, Xbox Platform. "Xbox is crafted to present gamers with an out-of-this-world gaming experience, and REZN8 understood how to graphically capture the look that Microsoft was searching for in the Xbox."

    Xbox Web Bits....

  • Blood Wake Previw - Xbox.IGN previews the upcoming first-party Xbox game, featuring realistic water and combat boats.
  • Enclave Interview - Voodoo Extreme recently got the chance to interview Dan Jevons, producer at Conspiracy Games, regarding the fantasy-based action game Enclave.
  • Obi-Wan Interview - TeamXbox speaks with Obi-Wan Assistant Producer, Julio Torres, about the upcoming LucasArts Xbox title.


  • Wednesday, June 6

    Xbox Web Bits....

  • Maelstorm Interview - Voodoo Extreme interviews Damien Hosen, lead designer, on the Unreal engine based title.
  • Unreal Championship Interview - Voodoo Extreme interviews Pancho "XceptOne" Eeckles of Digital Extremes.
  • 4x4 Evolution 2 First Look - SportPlanet takes a look at Terminal Velocity's off-road racer for the Xbox.


  • Tuesday, June 5

    First Look: Madden NFL 2002

    Electronic Arts has long been known by the console world for its wonderful EA Sports product line, responsible for hit franchises such as Madden NFL and FIFA. EA Sports plans on bringing a few titles to the Xbox video game system this year, including the upcoming Madden NFL 2002. Be sure to read over our first look of the title for more information and screenshots!

    SSX Tricky from EA SPORTS BIG

    In year one, SSX appeared exclusively on the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. SSX Tricky is raising the stakes, debuting on the Playstation2 console, Nintendo GameCube and Xbox video game system from Microsoft.

    Things on the SSX World Circuit have changed a lot in one year. Many of the locales look familiar, but the course designers have been burning the midnight oil during the off season creating all new and insane trick versions of the courses that will allow the riders venues to let loose and "Showoff" (trick). In addition, track gurus have put in a multitude of new paths and shortcuts, as well as two completely new stops on the SSX World Circuit. New tracks, environments and configurations allow riders to pump up their trick repertoire and introduce an assortment of new "uber" tricks to be displayed on the unique Showoff (trick) courses and on the Circuit.

    The graphic power of the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube will allow the creation of a multitude of visual improvements and unique new cinematic gameplay moments running at 60 frames per second for all full screen modes. SSX Tricky will also support Dolby Digital 5.1 audio adding to the experience even further.

    We'll bring you more information on this title in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

    NHL Hitz 20-02 from Midway Sports Asylum

    Midway Sports Asylum, the sports brand of leading software industry publisher and developer Midway Games, announced today that NHL Hitz 20-02, an all-new adrenaline-style, 4-on-4 hockey videogame, is in development for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox videogame system from Microsoft and the Nintendo GameCube.

    Officially licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA with real NHL teams and players, NHL Hitz 20-02 is scheduled to ship in Winter 2001.

    Developed by the accomplished hockey development team Black Box Games, Ltd., NHL Hitz 20-02 brings the realism of over-the-top hockey action to players in stunning detail, with rich animations and robust player models. NHL Hitz 20-02 features lightning-fast gameplay, play-by-play commentary and a "never-before-seen" interactive 3D crowd that reacts based on the action on the ice -- crowds will bang on the glass, throw hats on ice and walk out on bad games. Gamers will definitely feel the burn of a 125MPH slap shot as the frenzied fans heckle them from the bleachers.

    Power Smash 2 Confirmed

    In a press conference that took place today in Japan, Sega unveiled a few more of its upcoming console titles. During this conference Power Smash 2, a tennis title, was confirmed for the Xbox video game console. This brings one more title to Sega's Xbox lineup, which also consists of the following games: Crazy Taxi Next, Gun Valkyrie, House of the Dead 3, Jet Set Radio Future, Panzer Dragoon, Sega GT 2002, NBA 2K2, NFL 2K2, and World Series Baseball 2K3.

    Source: GameSpot

    Xbox Dashboard

    Xbox.com has posted State of the Xbox Vol. 4 by Jeff Henshaw, XDK Executive Producer. This fourth update details the Xbox Dashboard system, which will allow gamers to access system settings, audio, and the Xbox hard drive management system.

    For more information on the Xbox Dashboard be sure to read over State of the Xbox Vol. 4. The update explains play lists and numerous other items relating to the Dashboard.


    Monday, June 4

    Xbox and SoBe - Free Stuff!

    Microsoft today announced that Xbox and SoBe have teamed up to quench gamers' thirst for free stuff. From now until June 30, 2001, enter to win prizes such as a custom surfboard package or Cannondale mountain bike. Every other week grand prize winners will be selected, and hundreds of others will win cool items from Xbox and SoBe. Sign up for the sweepstakes here.

    Each and every week until June 30, Xbox and SoBe will randomly select winners from all eligible entries. Scores of runners-up winners will receive prizes such as Xbox logo wearables and other cool prizes from SoBe. Every other week, one lucky winner will receive a grand prize package. Gamers can only enter once, and the contest is open to U.S. residents only. Entrants must be 13 years of age or older to be eligible to win. See site for official rules and details.

    Commandos on Xbox?

    A report has emerged suggesting that game publisher Eidos may be planning to bring a version of Commandos to the Xbox video game system. According to MCV an announcement should be made in the near future regarding the title. We'll bring you the latest as it surfaces.

    Source: FGNOnline

    Bungie Halo Update

    Another week's Halo update from Bungie is upon us. This week, Matt Soell updates us on numerous topics such as AI, light patterns, and pathfinding. Here's a small chunk of the update that can be found at Halo.Bungie.Org:
  • Jaime is halfway done with the training level.
  • John is busy dealing with some control issues and working with the Sin-O-MatiXXX team to get a final list of all the mission-specific cutscenes.
  • Bernie put in a new lens flare that I have not seen but have heard wondrous things about.
  • Detail objects are back in the game.
  • The tank is back in, too.
  • For more news and information on Bungie's Halo be sure to stop by Battleground: Halo.

    Features

    The fast sport of F1 racing to hit Xbox...

    Madden NFL 2002 First Look
    EA plans to bring its successful Madden franchise to the Xbox......

    E3 2001 Coverage
    Complete live Xbox coverage from E3 2001...

    Halo Diary Vol 1.
    "Game development is an excercise in adaptation and change."

    NFL Fever 2002 First Look
    Fast and hard-hitting NFL action for the Xbox...

    Azurik First Look
    An immersive and deep 3D action-adventure title from Adrenium...

    Amped First Look
    Hardcore. Freesytle. Snowboarding.

    J Allard Interview
    All your base are belong to J Allard and the Xbox...

    Halo Hands-On
    PlanetXbox gets a hands-on look at Bungie's Halo...

    Gamestock Coverage
    Microsoft displayed several new Xbox titles at Gamestock 2001.

    Criterion Interview
    Criterion speaks about the Xbox and their RenderWare engine...

    More Features

    Poll


    Which announced SEGA title has your attention?
    Jet Grind Radio Future
    Sega GT
    Gunvalkyrie
    Panzer Dragoon





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