Oct 10, 2011

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Xbox Week in Review: Week of 10/9/2011

Xbox Week in Review: Week of 10/9/2011

Last week was a decent week for Xbox News. The first Gears 3 DLC was announced and dated, we got more details about Skyrim with the release of the Achievement list, a few critically acclaimed titles released last week, and we got more details on Xbox 360 TV including the announcement of UFC and HBOgo coming to the Xbox. Let’s take a look at what happened last week in the world of Xbox.

  • The Battlefield 3 Open Beta launched a few weeks back and even with all the issues in the Beta, DICE was happy to announce that they are seeing “6 times the number of simultaneous players in the Battlefield 3 Open Beta compared to the beta for Battlefield: Bad Company 2.” Expectations are very high for this game and most of it coming from the EA Marketing machine, but the beta is a perfect example of how well their campaign worked to draw attention to the upcoming title. Let’s hope that they can fix the many issues that are present in the beta.
  • After rumors surfaced about upcoming Gears DLC, Epic officially announced the upcoming DLC pack. For 800 MS Points, the pack will include new fortifications for Horde mode, three new maps, three new playable characters, two new weapon skins and of course more achievements. Titled “Horde Command Pack” the DLC will be releasing on November 1st. This is certainly a lot of content for $10 and makes the COD map packs look even more overpriced. Go here to find out more about the upcoming Gears of War 3 DLC.
  • Xbox 360’s television service was announced back at E3 and as we get closer to the Dashboard update we are learning more about the service. Microsoft announced a slew of new partners that will be bringing their television services to the Xbox 360. Among them were: Verizon, Comcast, Bravo, HBO GO, Syfy in the U.S.; BBC in the U.K;  Rogers On Demand in Canada. The new Dashboard update, rumored to be coming at the end of November, will bring these new apps among other interface options like being able to use the Kinect to use voice navigation.  Read more about Xbox TV here.

  • The ability to stream UFC fights on Xbox 360’s was also announced at this year’s E3, but now we finally know when the service will be available. On December 1 gamers will be able to watch UFC fights on their 360’, just in time for their UFC 140 event (pitting Jones vs Machida). Users will be able to stream events at 60 fps, giving an almost identical experience achieved through cable companies, including price points ($44.99 for SD and $54.99 for HD). Though things appear to be the same, it’s in the presentation where Xbox Live has the edge. Pre-fight interviews, clips, and other promo videos normally only found on UFC.com can now be accessed via Xbox Live. Not only that, gamers can pick the winner of upcoming fights and compare their stats with other UFC fans via a leaderboard. Read more about the service here.
  • The achievements for the highly anticipated RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, were released last week. The Skyrim Achievement list looks similar to Bethesda’s Fallout games, with achievements awarded for completing various quest lines and advancing your character. The list also gives a few more game details, including your ability to join the Imperial Army, and capture different forts. Check out the entire achievement list here.
  • Last week saw the release of four critically acclaimed titles: Forza Motorsport 4, Dark Souls, Rage and Orcs Must Die. All of these titles scored well on Metacritic with receiving scores of 92, 89, 81 and 85 respectively. The three retail titles were all highly anticipated and looks to have not disappointed. Orcs Must Die is yet another critically acclaimed downloadable title giving XBLA fans more great games to choose from after the excellent titles released this summer.

Last week saw some highly rated titles and some DLC announcements but the big news, in my opinion, were the details about the upcoming Xbox 360 Television Services. The new dashboard should fix a lot of complaints I’ve always had with the current interface and hopefully will cut down on the numerous ads shoved down my throat (though not likely). Having HBOgo on the Xbox will be a really nice addition but it still remains to be seen what services we will get for free and which ones we’ll have to pay for, though we do know that you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold Membership for the majority of services.

Make sure to check back with us next week for another Xbox Week in Review and be sure to check out Kyle’s PlayStation Week in Review for all things Sony.

*Xbox Week in Review is a feature article that recaps the most interesting Xbox news of the week. We also run PlayStation Week in Review for all your PlayStation news of the week.