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"This is it, baby. Hold me."

A decade after Halo 2 (and a day before the MCC), enjoy this loose timeline of essential Halo fandom: Halo.Bungie.Org / Halo at Macworld '99 / Red vs. Blue / The Halo Trilogy in 5 minutes / The Cortana Letters / HBO's cutscene library and dialog databank / Main Menus / Kitty Cat / Warthog Jump (and BOLL's Warthog Launch game) / How Not To Be Seen / Fan Art / Panoramas / The Music of Marty O'Donnell (prev.) / Video Games Live: Halo / Analysis by Stephen Loftus / Who was Brian Morden? / I Love Bees and the ARG radio drama / Halo 2 Trailer / Halo 2 E3 '04 Demo / Full Halo 2 making-of documentary / Voice acting / Conversations from the Universe / The Beastiarum / Surround Sound Test! / Geography of New Mombasa / This Spartan Life / The Solid Gold Elite Dancers / Creepy Guy at Work / Gameplay May Change / Master Chief Sucks at Halo / Another Day at the Beach / '06 Bungie Studios Tour / Halo 3 Trailer / Starry Night / Believe / HALOID / No Scope Was Involved / 100 Ways to Die / "Bungie Favorites" gallery / Mister Chief / OONSK / OneOneSe7en / 2553 Civilian 'Hog Review / Griffball / ForgeHub / 405th Cosplay / Neill Blomkamp's Landfall / Weta's Real-life Warthog / Halo Legends anime anthology / List of Halo novels / Halopedia / Halo 3 Terminal Archive / DDR Dance / Animatronic Elite project / HBO's "Guilt-O-Lantern" contest / Keep It Clean / We Are ODST / Sadie's Story / Halocraft / "A Fistful of Arrows" fan comic / RvB Animated (and CGI) / Project Contingency / Halo Zero / Halo 2600 (prev.) / Reach Datapad Transcripts / The last Halo 2 player on Xbox LIVE / Bungie's Final Halo Stats Infographic / Key & Peele: Obama on Halo 4 / Top 10 Halo Easter Eggs / Behind the scenes of Halo 2 Anniversary
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 10, 2014 - 36 comments

There are those who said this day would never come...

A year ago, Microsoft was crucified in the press for the PR fiasco of the Xbox One, with rival Sony winning thunderous applause for its PS4 by simply maintaining the status quo. But after doing a 360 180 on its hated policies, Redmond is attempting to close the gap with the most valuable package deal since The Orange Box. A remarkable feat of engineering, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will feature on a single disc the complete HD-remastered campaigns of Halos 1-4 alongside Ridley Scott's Nightfall, the Halo 5 beta, and the holy grail of Xbox gaming: every last one of the series' 100+ multiplayer maps in a single unified matchmaking system incorporating the original engines, gameplay mechanics, and idiosyncrasies of each. Ten years after Halo 2 (and four years after MS shut the taps), IGN suspects a plan by 343 to rekindle (and data-mine) Bungie's magic for an uncertain Halo 5, while Eurogamer welcomes the return of what it calls online FPS's peak. [More reaction: NeoGAF - Ars Technica - Reddit] Bungie, meanwhile, stood with Sony to showcase its upcoming Destiny, the vaunted space epic that will beta this summer before facing its revamped forerunners later this year. More E3 coverage: Microsoft (5min) - Sony (5min) - Nintendo (airing noon EST) - SW: Battlefront - AC: Unity - MGS5: The Phantom Pain - Evolve - No Man's Sky - The Order: 1886 - Sunset Overdrive - Grim Fandango - Bloodborne - Arkham Knight - Scalebound - Mortal Kombat X - The Division - LittleBigPlanet 3 - Inside - Uncharted 4 - Crackdown
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 10, 2014 - 176 comments

Dust and Echoes

The world of video game music has blossomed in recent years, enough to support live concert tours and bestselling albums. But while most such work is licensed or contracted out to third-party composers, a rare breed make their living at a single company, imbuing entire franchises with their unique sound. And apart from Nintendo's venerable Koji Kondo, there is perhaps no dedicated gaming composer more renowned than Martin O'Donnell. From humble beginnings writing the jingle for Flintstones Vitamins, O'Donnell and longtime collaborator Michael Salvatori joined developer Bungie in 1997, penning music for Myth, Oni, and most notably the Halo trilogy -- an iconic blend of sweeping orchestral bombast, haunting choirs, and electronic ambience that became one of the most acclaimed and successful gaming soundtracks of all time. O'Donnell also helmed Bungie's audio department, managing voice actors, sound effects, and an innovative dynamic music engine, and was most recently working with Paul McCartney on the score for the upcoming Destiny. So it came as a surprise today when it was announced MartyTheElder was being terminated without cause (flabbergasted reaction: HBO/DBO - NeoGAF - Reddit). With O'Donnell following Joseph Staten, Frank O'Connor, Marcus Lehto, and other Bungie veterans out the door, what might this mean for the company and its decade-long plan for Destiny? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 16, 2014 - 28 comments

Hello Influencers!

Got 30 seconds of XBox One game footage and absolutely nothing negative to say about it? A tweet from Ron Smith, community director for Machinima UK, announced that if you posted videos for Machinima, you could be making $3 CPM ($3 per thousand video views) on those videos. Only one catch: the agreement specifically forbids you from saying "anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its Games"... in fact, you can't disclose the existence of the agreement. OK, maybe two catches: this may violate FTC rules on endorsements in advertising [PDF]. Smith's tweet was quickly taken down (and the Twitter handle taken by some vituperative anti-Machinima person), but the news spread to NeoGAF before being confirmed by ArsTechinica and by Kotaku. Want to know who nibbled at the bait? Check the Poptent activity panel for Nick Sheets, who according to LinkedIn is the "Manager, Affiliate Activations (Branded Entertainment)" for Machinima's L.A. office.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta on Jan 20, 2014 - 18 comments

And then there was One?

Microsoft has unveiled their new console, and it wants to dominate your living room. How Xbox One plans to fight Sony, Steam, and everything else.
posted by Artw on May 21, 2013 - 495 comments

Environment mapping for the masses

Microsoft's IllumiRoom takes gaming visuals outside the box and onto the living room. Basically projection mapping for your living room, based on a 3D scan using Kinect, Microsoft Research's IllumiRoom lets you show either all of a game's environment, or only certain parts, projected on your living room walls.
posted by Joakim Ziegler on May 2, 2013 - 24 comments

Right, Zach?

The cult 2010 video game Deadly Premonition gets a Director's Cut this week. The brainchild of a guy who calls himself SWERY, one could make a strong case for Deadly Premonition being the most entertainingly bizarre game ever made. It's undeniably influenced by Twin Peaks and more than a touch of Japanese horror, yet that doesn't begin to explain how unique, disturbing and hilarious the game is. The humor is intentionally unintentional. Everyone agrees there are significant gameplay problems, but the phrase "so bad it's good" does the game a terrible disservice. "Capable of swinging from zany to nasty, inspired to absurd within the course of a single sequence," and boasting an eccentric, often inappropriate soundtrack, Deadly Premonition is either a joke, a masterpiece or both. (Previously: It's like watching two clowns eat each other.)
posted by naju on Apr 30, 2013 - 33 comments

Durango Unchained

The Australian Raid On SuperDaE And How A Prank Over The Next Xbox Ended In Corporate Espionage
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 21, 2013 - 43 comments

The Walls Are Shifting...

What is Spelunky? Well, it's a game that's "as generous as it is bloodthirsty," with "astonishing creativity and spectacular depth." First appearing as a freeware PC game in 2008, Spelunky (previously) is a hilariously brutal and oddly addicting marriage of roguelike, platformer, and puzzler. A new version was released for Xbox Live Arcade on July 4th, with updated visuals and a warbly soundtrack that recall the days of SNES gaming, as well as a deathmatch mode that's been compared to the mayhem of Bomberman. If you're anything like me, you'll get hopelessly consumed. (Trailer. Original freeware version for PC and Mac.)
posted by naju on Jul 5, 2012 - 40 comments

Fez is a Twin Peaks/Link's Awakening/Myst/2001: A Space Odyssey mashup for cubist tetromino cryptographers.

Fez is an independently developed game available on Xbox Live Arcade. It's available for 800 Microsoft funbucks ($10 USD real world currency). [more inside]
posted by sparkletone on May 2, 2012 - 35 comments

Do the Trash Compactor!

Dancing with Han Solo is a real thing that exists.
posted by DoctorFedora on Apr 2, 2012 - 99 comments

Happy Birthday, Xbox

Today marks the 10th birthday of the Xbox. VentureBeat takes an in-depth look back at its history, from its rocky inception to the Kinect. Part 2. [more inside]
posted by kyp on Nov 15, 2011 - 24 comments

The Hilarious, the Sad and the Downright Stupid

Why Was I Banned? via GFi
posted by jtron on Mar 21, 2011 - 126 comments

Halo: Fandom Evolved

Contrary to a lot of idle criticism, Bungie's Halo series of video games has a surprisingly rich backstory -- a universe complex enough to support seven bestselling novels, a wiki with over 7,000 articles, and one of the most successful ARGs in history (including a full-fledged radio drama). The series has also turned out sweeping audiovisual work, from the games' cinematic cutscenes and epic music (lots of free previews) to top-shelf anime and the Hollywood-quality short films -- ODST, Believe, Deliver Hope, Landfall -- that were made to promote the games (the latter of which, produced by Neil Blomkamp, inspired District 9). And that's apart from all the material produced by Bungie's dedicated fan base: genuinely hilarious machinima from Red vs. Blue, professional-level graphic novels (table of contents at the top), gorgeous artwork, hours of recorded dialogue, complete transcripts of hidden apocrypha, and more factual analysis, story speculation, and casual discussion than you can shake an energy sword at. But most of these pale in comparison to the latest and greatest exercise in Halo beanplating: the Svmma Canonica, a 40-page, 17,000-word formal treatise on the nature of canon in the world that Bungie built, and how it will fare once Bungie moves on and the franchise is managed by 343 Industries. Discussion over at Bungie's official site, or at decade-old fan forum Halo.Bungie.Org.
posted by Rhaomi on Jan 31, 2011 - 71 comments

Mount Rushmore for Minecraft Made Easy!

Ever since open source drivers were written for the Microsoft Kinect (previously), we've seen countless innovative uses of the hardware from puppet shows to air guitar to realtime 3d data capture. The most profound and far reaching hack so far, however, is no doubt the ability to import giant 3d statues into minecraft. More info on the project can be found here. (via reddit)
posted by inedible on Jan 9, 2011 - 34 comments

WE'RE LIVING IN THE FUTURE

When the Xbox Kinect (previously) was released a month ago, it promised a new era of controller-less gaming. The system is certainly selling well heading into the holidays, but reviews so far are mixed. The minor injuries are expected, but with some less than impressive early game releases, some think that the system is only partially living up to its pre-release hype. But what happens when open source software fanatics get their hands on this new technology? [more inside]
posted by auto-correct on Dec 9, 2010 - 38 comments

All the better to see you with, my dear...

Microsoft Kinect (née Project Natal) is sure to be a monster hit this season, and no surprise: Microsoft hopes to disthrone Nintendo's Wii and are supporting the platform with a $500 million marketing budget, larger than the marketing budget for the launch of the original Xbox. However, privacy experts are raising concerns over recent comments made by Xbox CFO Dennis Durkin at at an investors' conference:
“We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are,” Durkin said. “How many people are in the room when an ad is shown? How many people are in the room when a game is being played? When you add this sort of device to a living room, there’s a bunch of business opportunities that come with that.”
One example given was that the Kinect could identify sports jersey worn by players and deliver ads specific to their team. The Kinect platform works with its array of video- and infrared cameras, 3D depth sensors, and stereo microphones, all attached to a motorized platform which can follow players' movements. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Nov 15, 2010 - 116 comments

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Microsoft Corp. and Xbox Live are apologizing to a 26-year old gamer for suspending his Xbox Live account because of information in his profile. The offending text? Fort Gay, the town he lives in. [more inside]
posted by xedrik on Sep 8, 2010 - 57 comments

Andrew "bunnie" Huang: taking it apart and making it better, then telling others how it's done

Andrew Shane Huang is a 35 year old hardware hacker, known to some as bunnie, and others as that guy who hacked the Xbox and went on to write a book about it. Finding the hidden key to the Xbox was an enjoyable distraction while he worked on getting his PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT as part of Project Aries. Since then, he has written for (and been written about) in Make Magazine, has giving talks on the strategy of hardware openness and manufacturing practices in China, as experienced with the development of the opensource ambient "internet-based TV" called Chumby. When he's not busy on such excursions, bunnie writes about hacking (and more specifically, Chumby hacking), technology in China, and even biology in exquisite detail on the bunnie studios blog (previously). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 17, 2010 - 36 comments

Can it get any worse than a combo of the Atari Jaguar and the Virtual Boy?

Platypus Comix has compiled images from around the Internet of prototype game consoles and peripherals spanning from the original NES all the way to the Sony PlayStation 3. You'll see the NES's tape recorder, a touch pad for the Sega Genesis, the infamous Nintendo PlayStation, a PlayStation Portable you can clip to your backpack ("...or whatever reckless thing they thought you'd try."), a Wii controller with just one large button, and the embarrassing PS3 "serect" button. [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 on Apr 14, 2010 - 38 comments

Sonic Joins the New Class of Old School

Retro gamers are rejoicing today as Sega revealed that its flagship character Sonic will finally be returning to his 2-D roots after languishing for years in GameStop cheapo bins everywhere. Following the releases of such new old-school titles as New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Mega Man 9, A Boy and His Blob and Adventure Island, Sonic 4 will be a downloadable title for PS3/Wii/X-Box 360 this summer.
posted by Otis on Feb 4, 2010 - 68 comments

"It's a Secret to Everybody"

"It's a secret to everybody" -- an unbelievably comprehensive blog post about the etymologies of the names of famous (and not-so-famous) video game characters.
posted by empath on Jun 20, 2009 - 26 comments

Hope you can do a high kick.

Drive a race car, beat someone up, and try on a dress - all from your living room and without any controllers. Microsoft's new "Natal". [video] [more inside]
posted by Defenestrator on Jun 4, 2009 - 84 comments

X-Rayed X-Boxes (And Other Video Game Consoles)

Reinier van der Ende, an x-ray technician at the largest hospital in the northern part of the Netherlands, decided to combine his work with one of his hobbies and proceeded to x-ray his collection of video game consoles, peripherals and game cartridges. Here are the fruits of his labour. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on May 2, 2009 - 20 comments

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate

EA games releases a new adaptation of the epic Italian poem The Divine Comedy that casts the player as Dante - a crusade veteran - who journeys through the Nine Circles of Hell to save his beloved Beatrice. [more inside]
posted by puckish on Apr 30, 2009 - 51 comments

Friends Help Friends Who are Under the Weather.

The Console War Is Officially Over (Via)
posted by Del Far on Feb 18, 2009 - 53 comments

UR ALL FAGZ!!

Who's best at voice-actived gaming? That's right, parrots!
posted by slater on Feb 16, 2009 - 10 comments

Why would I punch Superman?

Batman gets pwned. [more inside]
posted by P.o.B. on Feb 12, 2009 - 57 comments

Braid

Braid is the latest videogames-are-art posterchild. The mind-bending, time-twisting platformer is currently the most critically acclaimed XBLA game. Jonathan Blow, the designer, is something of a games philosopher. You can listen to a fascinating talk he gave on game design last year here.
posted by empath on Aug 11, 2008 - 96 comments

You Know, For Kids

Playing Dirty: Greenpeace vs Nintendo, Microsoft, et al. "The Greenpeace scientific report Playing Dirty states that video games consoles have tested positive for hazardous chemicals and materials such as polyvinyl chloride, phthalates, beryllium and bromine." [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on May 21, 2008 - 31 comments

BLADES OF GLORY? Are you F*****G kidding me?

The Downfall: Hitler and the End of the Third Reich was well-received by the critics. Recently, amateur subtitle writers have used a poignant scene from the movie to showcase the Fuhrer's banning from iSketch and XBox Live (previously), as well as the downfall of HD-DVD.
posted by reformedjerk on Jan 15, 2008 - 47 comments

The "Sex-Box" Race for President

"Because of the digital chip age in which we live - "Mass Effect" can be customized to sodomize whatever, whoever, however, the game player wishes. With it's "over the net" capabilities virtual orgasmic rape is just the push of a button away." [more inside]
posted by prostyle on Jan 15, 2008 - 82 comments

Improve your Rock Band drumming technique

Improve your Rock Band drumming technique. Rock Band as in the videogame, that is.
posted by nthdegx on Jan 11, 2008 - 124 comments

the way of the ninja

N, that dangerously addictive and simple flash game (previously # # #) is very close to being available on X-box live[IGN] and soon, on the PSP and Nintendo DS. More news about N and their next project, robotology can be found on their blog. [more inside]
posted by nihlton on Dec 5, 2007 - 55 comments

"Report a la bug. (That's French for bug report)." Halo 3 Linkorama.

Halo 3: Easter eggs, including the excellent Red Vs Blue in-game dialog easter egg; the RvB Halo 3 beta initiation; 3D images and how-to (dig out your glasses); achievements, ranks, armor, skulls, and campaign scoring explained; Bungie's favorites (videos, pics, maps, game variants to download to your 360)... and that grenade stick.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 28, 2007 - 22 comments

Mass Effect

Mass Effect has been released. So why should you give a damn? Developed by Bioware as the spiritual successor to KOTOR, Mass Effect has received many positive reviews, has a unique and widely touted conversation system, features omnipresent videogame voiceover actor and "that guy" Keith David, and was briefly banned in Singapore due to a human female/monogendered species sex scene.
posted by aerotive on Nov 28, 2007 - 78 comments

Homophobia in Halo 3

"I want to hang you because you're gay." [nsfw audio]
"That's not very nice." But that is what player xxx GayBoy xxx heard on while playing Halo 3 on Xbox Live. Gaygamer.net explains that other than his provoking name, he did nothing to call for the prejudice attacks. As most gamers will tell you, this sort of language is common in game. [more nsfw audio] Thank god for the mute button. It's nice to know there are still heroes. [Previously: 1, 2, 3]
posted by patr1ck on Nov 27, 2007 - 144 comments

What about getting a Wii?

You know who else liked Xbox Live?
posted by EarBucket on Jul 14, 2007 - 49 comments

Minigame Burnout

An Open Letter to Devs: "Minigame compilations. How many of these games can we possibly be expected to buy? On my Wii alone, I've already gone through Rayman Raving Rabbids, Super Monkey Ball, Warioware and Sonic, with Mario Party and who knows what else on the horizon. As for the DS, just about every other game I own has some kind of mini-game compilation."
posted by SansPoint on Apr 6, 2007 - 51 comments

"is this supposed to be a TiVo replacement?"

So, you want something like the AppleTv but find the lack of features disturbing? Geexbox is a Linux HTPC distribution. Plays Divx, DVDs and comes with support for the Ati Remote Wonder. You could even add a tv card to the party.
In case you don't have an old pc or mac to use how about an old Xbox?
posted by darkripper on Jan 12, 2007 - 50 comments

Hang on Saint Christopher!

Buggy Saints Row: The Musical
posted by Arch_Stanton on Dec 29, 2006 - 11 comments

Return of the Amiga 500?

Micorsoft has now opened up the xbox 360 to homebrew development via the XNA compatibility framework. Read the XNA "Team blog" for more.
posted by Heywood Mogroot on Aug 31, 2006 - 23 comments

In The Pit

Happen to have an XBox 360 wired controller? In The Pit is a PC-based audio-only stealth action game, in which you play a nasty creature living at the bottom of a pit, hunting down people who fall in. Strangely compelling. via The Experimental Gameplay Project
posted by signalnine on Apr 20, 2006 - 33 comments

A different Burger Time

Not your older brother's Burger Time. Burger King is developing three XBox videogames starring its eponymous mascot. And not just any games: they'll be modeled after such titles as Halo, Mortal Kombat and Need for Speed. But, you know, with fast food. Confirmation of the plans came in the form of a lawsuit threatened against Kotaku, the blog that broke the story.
posted by me3dia on Apr 17, 2006 - 31 comments

Not just screenlicking any more?

Dan Hsu's interview of Microsoft's Home Entertainment VP about the XBox 360 is far from the usual "Tell us how great everything is" found in games journalism. Hsu hammers the startled marketing exec with serious questions about the 360's build quality and heat issues, lack of quality launch games and backwards compatibility, questionable "next generation content," and more. Good to see at least ONE journalist with a little hair on his chest, even if it is just regarding games. Via Penny Arcade (today's comic... and yesterday's cause it was funny)
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jan 20, 2006 - 40 comments

Hope me!

Having trouble with that new videogame you got for Christmas? Text-only walkthroughs don't do it for you? Then try Stuck Gamer. Video walkthroughs for a pretty good number of games. Including, thanks the Lords of Kobol, Ninja Gaiden.
posted by WolfDaddy on Dec 26, 2005 - 16 comments

"Warthog is the colloquial name for the M12 light reconnaissance vehicle"

Lego Puma Warthog.
posted by nthdegx on Sep 26, 2005 - 9 comments

The 3 is pronounced "x"

The best E3 wrapup I've read this year. Also the only E3 wrapup I've read this year. But there are pictures! And amusing musings! It's also by Our Boy Mefite kevspace.
posted by WolfDaddy on May 31, 2005 - 33 comments

Will Xbox 360 games run nativly on Mac OS X w/ a G5?

Will Xbox 360 games run on Mac OS X w/ a G5? (via Slashdot) Looks like Xbox 360 games run natively on the G5. Macs, for a long time, have not been considered a platform that companies have been anxious to develop their games for. Looks like this is gonna change.
posted by Livewire Confusion on May 21, 2005 - 46 comments

Bungie's up to its old tricks...

More viral marketing? Move over, BK chicken. I love bees is teh rox0r.
posted by cohappy on Aug 2, 2004 - 7 comments

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