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Match Made In Heaven: Netflix on the Xbox 360

Back in February, I titled a post “Dear Microsoft: Get Netflix on the Xbox 360 and I’ll Buy One.” True to my word, today I ordered an Xbox 360 following the latest announcement. I’m a huge fan of Netflix and have always had an interest in getting an Xbox 360 (even though I’m more of a PC gamer).

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Dear Microsoft: Get Netflix on the Xbox 360 and I’ll Buy One

NetflixLast week plenty of rumors were floating around about a potential Microsoft / Netflix partnership. The announcement was supposedly going to happen during the keynote address (by Xbox Live exec John Schappert) at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco last Wednesday. The concept: make it so Netflix’s 7,000 available “Watch Instantly” movies would be viewed easily on your TV via the Xbox 360.

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The New Format Wars: Forget About HD DVD & Blu-ray

HD DVD vs. Blu-rayOnce upon a time, earlier in the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray, supporters of each side loved to point out the major tech company backing each format to strengthen their positions. It made sense, after all, how could HD DVD fail if Microsoft was behind it? And, of course, Blu-ray would win if Apple was there beside it.

But then, neither company will be affected much if both formats eventually fail. And that’s because, in the end, both Microsoft and Apple minimized their involvement with either format. Continue Reading »

Internet Video & TV: Can they ever join forces successfully?

Sony TVWe here at TechConsumer are no strangers to trying new ways of getting quality entertainment onto our living room big screens. Regular old cable TV doesn’t cut it, what with frequent commercial breaks, horrible selection, and inopportune timing. Surprisingly (at least to us), though, cable TV is what most of the free world uses (the part of the free world with TVs, that is).

To recap, Logan reviewed using Amazon Unbox on TiVo without a computer, Paul reviewed using both CinemaNow and Vongo on the Xbox 360, and each of us took a turn at pointing out why Netflix is amazing. But each service has its disadvantage ranging from “too complicated” to “inconvenient” with “too expensive” and “too slow” somewhere in the middle.

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PC Gaming Is For Fools, But I Still Love It

CrysisThis last week or so will likely be the most exciting this year for any avid PC gamer: both Crysis and Unreal Tournament III have been released (not to mention the latest in the Half-Life 2 saga). These are high adrenalin, action-packed first person shooters. Both are technical and artistic marvels (consisting of “next generation” graphics) all while being loads of fun to play.

Another game came out for the PC around the same time with slightly less elevated status (but still widely praised): Gears of War. It has been available on the Xbox 360 now for a year. But as I don’t own an Xbox 360, I picked up a copy for the PC last week. The only problem is, it didn’t (and still doesn’t) work at all. And I’m not alone. In one of the official forums for the game, there are 68 pages worth of gamers complaining about almost the same issue: the game locks up soon after first loading.

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Halo 3 Conquers Critics, Casual Gamers, & Wall Street

Halo 3The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has been running quite a few stories on the release of Halo 3, all of which seem to be extremely positive with titles like “Microsoft’s ‘Halo 3’ Game Meets Approval of Critics” and “Casual Gamer Takes a Turn At Halo 3 to Judge the Hype.” One of the articles cites Halo 3’s high score on Metacritic (an aggregator of reviews) and then speculates that the critics’ acclaim caused the boost to Microsoft’s shares yesterday (which rose 43 cents or 1.5%) and explained the nearly doubled volume of stock trading.

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