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Tuesday, August 31

New Xbox 360 Controller Coming November 9th

Major Nelson just went live with a YouTube video detailing the new piece. The new D-pad is a trick new patented design it's a disc in the normal configuration, but a quick twist raises the crossbars about a quarter-inch, making it eminently more usable. The analog sticks have also been tweaked to be slightly more concave, and the ABXY buttons are now translucent monochrome instead of colored. The new matte silver controller will only come bundled with the Play and Charge kit for $64.99 and will be release November 9th.

Monday, August 30

MS Jacking Up Xbox Live Prices in November

Microsoft's Major Nelson just announced that Xbox Live Gold will be getting more expensive in the US, UK, Canada, and Mexico starting November 1. A single month will go from $7.99 to $9.99, three months will go from $19.99 to $24.99, and the yearly sub will now be $59.99, up from $49.99. Get your Year subscriptions NOW!

Save 30% on LIVE through MS for $39.99. Offer ends October 31, 2010. Offer is Here!

Saturday, August 28

Halo Reach Firefight Montage

Sunday, August 22

Around the Hawk: Madden '11 Patch Details

Jerhawk's take: At least this is a step in the right direction. Ian and the team are listening to the complaints out there, and I'm sure there's a lot of them. Rightfully so. There are several issues with this game, and this patch seems to address the majority of them. Here's the official link.

Quick update for Madden fans

by Ian Cummings 08/21/10 10:41 AM

First off, you may or may not have noticed some news that was recently propped to your consoles regarding online quitters. The number one issue that we heard loud and clear out of the community was that rampant quitting had become a major problem in the online experience, both in ranked games and Madden Ultimate Team games. Well we were able to work on this over the last week and then deploy some quick fixes to the server to help deter this practice. The fixes were as follows:
1. Any quitter / disconnecter in a ranked game will automatically be given a loss. The victim will automatically be given a win.
2. We are currently monitoring the leaderboards and planning on zero’ing out the stats of any accounts found to be using quitting tactics (via high DNF / win percentages and game logs). This monitoring will be standard practice moving forward as well, as we have built in notifications to our server team that will automatically zero out any folks caught “boosting”, or using one account to quit immediately and award a win.
3. In a Madden Ultimate Team game, a person quitting will have a game burned off of his contracts for the players in the game to discourage this practice. The victim will always receive coins, prorated based on the percentage complete of the game (i.e. if it’s the 1st quarter, he’ll only get ¼ of the coins he would have gotten if he were to finish, if it’s at the end of the game, he’ll get ~90%, etc). The same note applies as above on anyone caught “boosting” after this fix is rolled out – they will be punished with bans, contract removals, or any other tactics we see fit.
4. We also found an issue where PDLC OTP boosts were being subtracted incorrectly. Anyone that had this happen has had their boost coin purchase refunded.
One thing I should note is that there is a bit of a trade-off with stats with the auto-loss / auto-win implementation. Since we wanted to roll this out as quickly as possible, there is one thing to be aware of in that average stats will take a hit when a quit occurs. What I mean by this is that if you have played 3 games and are averaging 100 rush yards per game, if a quit occurs, your rush average will drop down to 75 since you have a 4th game with zero stats. We will look into addressing this down the line but we wanted to get the fix out for the quitters as soon as possible.
Moving forward, we are working on addressing some of the most common feedback in upcoming title updates. You all already know that we are planning on releasing an update to enable old-school pre-play controls right around the start of the NFL season, which also will include the brand new Madden Moments LIVE feature where you can replay the top games from each week. In that update we will also have numerous art, gameplay, and stability fixes included as well. Along with that, we have also planned a second update to come towards the end of September. Below is a list of the top priority issues we seem to be hearing the most about that we are looking at:
- Fixing a bug to allow friend invites to ranked games
- Generally making pass defense more effective
- Reducing number of broken tackles
- Fixing user blitz exploit(s)
- Tuning injuries
- Tuning CPU & GameFlow play-calling logic
- Improving play action blocking
- Improving kick return blocking
- Improving online connectivity issues with kick meter lag, media streaming, etc.
- Random stability improvements
Hopefully this should give you a glimpse of our current priorities and our continued commitment to keeping Madden NFL 11 relevant and giving you an enjoyable experience over the entire year. We continue to listen for any and all top issues, and the list above is by no means all inclusive or locked so feel free to drop by the EA Forums to provide any feedback on things you want fixed.
Lastly, thanks to all of you for buying and playing Madden NFL 11…see you on the gridiron!

Thursday, August 19

Around the Hawk: Deus Ex-Human Revolution

I know this trailer is a bit old, but for those who haven't seen it, this is the teaser trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, scheduled to be released in February 2011. The trailer looks spectacular.

Monday, August 9

NBA Elite 11: Become Legendary

 NBA Live...I meant Elite version of Be a Pro mode from FIFA and NHL. Seems pretty cool.

Madden NFL 11 Review

There’s no question that the gameplay in Madden NFL 11 is great at its core, but some of the AI tuning slants the game too heavily in the offense’s favor. Both Online Team Play and the inclusion of Gus Johnson are fantastic and add a lot to the package, but I can’t help but feel that the moneymakers of old have been cast into the darkness.
I think it’s clear that this year’s Madden is geared toward the mainstream football fan; someone who just wants to come in after playing a game of catch outside and get their hands on some real NFL talent. For that audience Madden NFL 11 delivers. However, if you’re the type of player who sits alone in your living room combing the free agent wire for a player to add to your beloved franchise, I think this year’s Madden is going to leave something to be desired.

IGN Ratings for Madden NFL 11 (X360)
Rating Description
out of 10
8.5 Presentation
Gus Johnson coupled with the cool new Super Bowl presentation and replay elements help bring the look of this year’s broadcast closer to Sunday than ever.
8.5 Graphics
Player details are solid and the animation work on the field just keeps getting better and better every year. Moments of slowdown during some graphical transitions are a downer.
8.0 Sound
Gus is a great addition, but they need to re-work the technology running under the hood so his dialogue isn’t so fragmented. Soundtrack could be more imaginative.
8.5 Gameplay
It’s a great game of football at its core, some of the AI decisions are more annoying than helpful. The added offensive firepower might please mainstream players, but it will upset hardcore fans.
7.5 Lasting Appeal
Madden’s typically deep Franchise Mode has been totally left out in the cold. Online Team Play is great, but it’s not the rock hard, never-ending activity that Owner and Franchise Mode once were.
(out of 10)


Wednesday, August 4

Halo Reach: Multiplayer Maps