In the time it takes Jack Bauer to save the world:
Microsoft’s codename Zephyr project has been confirmed as the Xbox 360 Elite. The Elite is all black, has a 120GB hard drive, a new, cooler chipset (power brick heat output is still a question,) and will have HDMI output for those desperate for the latest iteration of "true" high definition quality. This Elite unit will be available in April for $479US. They’re only a limited run, but once they sell out, the premium SKU will include the large hard drives and HDMI output. Hardware revision, you make me feel guilty for loving the first born. I guess that’s how my parents felt toward my older brother when I was born.
Anybody heard anything about the software update that was supposed to make our now-outdated 360s run quieter?
The PS3 will be catching up with expected functionality with the release of its 1.6 firmware update this week. With the update applied, users will be able to manage their downloads from the PS3 store, adding a queue with six slots and some capability for background downloading. This update will also include the Folding@home software that has been bandied about, letting gamers contribute to scientific progress. It’ll be kind of like Child’s Play in social relevence, except you won’t make children smile.
Gears of War‘s cinematic, shallow story has been snapped up for Hollywood by producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, who have produced The Nativity Story and Aliens vs Predator, respectively. Stuart Beattie, who did some respectable work for Michael Mann’s Collateral, has turned in a treatment for New Line. Rumor has it Epic did not make outrageous demands of the studios for the privilege of bringing their masterpiece to the screen, as was the tactic for a certain other famous game property. Stick around, because those in the higher echelons of CHUD will have more info soon.
Clive Barker’s Undying is one of the most criminally underplayed games of the Quake-engine era of PC gaming. If you’re not excited for Barker’s upcoming IP, Jericho, please get that way quickly. Gamevideos has a video interview with the gravel-voiced writer covering some of the rich mythology of the game, in which a team of gifted special forces make their way through a sort of labyrinth, passing through circles of frozen time.
Eurogamer has an entertaining, low-key interview with Ken Levine of Irrational regarding the upcoming BioShock. I love Levine’s enthusiasm when comparing BioShock to System Shock 2: "All of our previous successful games give us confidence: ‘Hey, we’re not total idiots! Maybe we have a shot of making this work out!’" Also, I have to bring up my fetish of videogame narrative, because the European folks get a fine response from Levine when they ask him why he doesn’t simply write fiction.
A couple of game confirmations to round out the round up: Sega’s NiGHTS, a cult hit on the Saturn, will receive a sequel on the Wii. The developers are keen to emphasize that this won’t be a port, to which we can all say, "Why the fuck would you make it a port?" Also, Activision has announced Guitar Hero: 80s Edition for a June release on the PS2, with no tracks confirmed. The console just can’t settle on a swan song.
Finally, here’s a review of what I’m sure will shortly be my favorite game ever.