10 ways to modify your Xbox 360

Feature - As a self-proclaimed tech-nerd I do not believe I own one piece of technology that I haven't taken apart, modified or hacked into. The Internet is booming with hacks, cracks, and mods, I try as many as possible on my gadgets. Here are my top 10 recommendations for the Xbox 360.

Mario goes Baseball for Nintendo Wii

Nintendo is bringing its popular franchise character Mario and company to baseball for the Wii with the launch of the new interactive title Mario Super Sluggers. It will cost you around $50 when it hits retail shortly.

Load faster, kill faster, win more – Intel touts SSDs for extreme gaming

A solid state drive, more specifically an Intel SSD, could mean the difference between killing your virtual opponent and taking a dirt nap on the electronic battlefield.  At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel engineers touted the speed of their upcoming flash drives saying that they can keep up with the bandwidth demands of modern CPUs.  They also boldly claimed that competitive gamers could get in the first kills while their spinning platter hard drive using opponents were still on the loading screen.

Logitech premieres force feedback wheel for Wii

Wii owners holding out for a dedicated force feedback racing wheel will be happy to note that Logitech is debuting one this November here and in Europe. It is called the Logitech Speed Force Wireless and will cost about $100.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 slaps Sony’s PS3 in Japan

Once again, it is an exclusive game title that is the decisive factor in console sales. In this case, it is worth a special note, as the Xbox 360 sold almost three times more units as the PS3 over the course of one week. Nationally and internationally, the Xbox 360 and the PS3 seem to be involved in a dead heat with sales advantages shifting almost every month. Who will make the winning move?

Blizzard’s President apologizes for Blizzcon ticket fiasco

Blizzard Entertainment’s President and co-founder, Mike Morhaime, publically apologized today for the company’s Blizzcon ticket buying meltdown.  Tickets to the fan convention were scheduled to start on Monday after midnight, but website and other server crashes delayed that until late morning.  Crashes continually brought down the ticket buying site for the next two days until Blizzard suddenly closed sales.  Morhaime posted his apology on the World of Warcraft homepage and said 3000 extra tickets will now be sold on a lottery system.

New Lara Croft is more than just a model

Unlike previous Lara Croft models that mostly came from the world of fashion or acting, the new face of Tomb Raider: Underworld has a different talent.

Universal challenges iTunes with free music streaming service

Universal is challenging Apple’s iTunes with a new music service dubbed Total Music. The site provide free, ad-supported music streaming, allowing anyone to embed the service on their own site. Its goal: To derail iTunes.

EA to release Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning on September 18

Electronic Arts today announced that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning will go live in next month and will be marketed via various subscription models that will cost at least $13 per month.

Thailand pulls GTA IV after teenager murders cab driver

Video game stores in Thailand have pulled copies of the popular Grand Theft Auto IV game off their shelves after a teenager murdered a taxi cab driver.  19-year-old Polwat Chino told police he was trying to recreate a scene from the game by robbing a cab driver and then stealing his car.  Chino was caught after putting the car in reverse and losing control.

Scrabulous phoenix rises from ashes, reborn as Wordscraper

Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, Scrabulous has been reborn into Wordscraper.  Two days ago, the Facebook game was momentarily felled by the legal arrows fired by Hasbro’s attorneys and hopefully this new game is just different enough to appease the toy giant.  Wordscraper features circle tiles, different point values for letters and customizable boards.  So far the game is a hit on Facebook with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars and 3500 daily active users.

Spore creators banning pornographic creators

You can build almost any creature with Spore’s Creature Creator, but the creators of the upcoming game are now banning people who’ve gone a bit too far in their creativity – namely in making obscene creatures.  Due to hit store shelves this fall, the Spore game is a collaboration between legendary game designer Will Wright and Electronic Arts.  Players have almost  unlimited flexibility in building their own creatures and that flexibility includes making creatures that resemble giant penises and breasts.

OCZ to challenge gamers’ brains, promises rich awards

OCZ is promoting its innovative OCZ NIA gaming controllers in unique way:  gamers using the headset in nearly 45 LAN parties in Europe and North America will have a chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes.  The inaugural tournaments will be held at this week’s QuakeCon (Dallas, TX), Digital Storm (Vancouver, BC) and CmaxX Enlarged in Germany.

DirectX 11 promises to unlock the horsepower in multi-core CPUs and enable GP GPUs

Interview - Last week, Microsoft held its annual XNA Gamefest developers conference.  During the conference, Microsoft announced major changes for its Games for Windows Live service. Also, the company announced DirectX 11, which is considered to be key API for next generation of PC and console games. We got the opportunity to chat with Microsoft’s Windows gaming guy about these changes and how they will affect the platform and gamers. And we learned that DX11 is perhaps the DX that should have been released with Windows Vista.

Batman and Superman to join forces in new MMO. KAPOW!

You’ll soon be able to fight alongside Batman, Superman or even The Joker in an upcoming MMO based on the DC comics universe.  The aptly-named DC Universe Online is being developed by Sony Online Entertainment and will be available for both the PlayStation 3 and PCs.  Players will be able to step into the legendary universe and more than 60 years worth of comic book history as they create heroes and villains with customizable powers and appearances.  An early version of the game is currently being shown off at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego up until July 27th.

New York’s new video game labeling law has no teeth

New York’s Governor David Paterson has signed a new video game labeling law that critics claim is too lenient and too broad.  The law will require visible labeling on video games sold in retail stores and will also create an advisory panel to study game ratings and the link between violent games and crime.  Game console makers will also be forced to include parental lockout features by 2010.

Microsoft Games for Windows LIVE multiplayer features now free

Microsoft is hosting its XNA Gamefest conference in Seattle, and first news is coming in. Prepare yourself, it's big. First of all, starting with today, all Games for Windows - LIVE multiplayer services are completely free. Achievements, TruSkill matchaking, cross-platform play with Xbox 360 (on cross-platform games, such as Champions Online) - all of the features that went with GfW – LIVE Gold service became free. This is a logical move, since users of PC platform pay for operating system, while owners of Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles get their operating system for free (well not exactly free, but it’s integrated into the price).

Sony gets more aggressive, sets 150 million unit target for PS3

After a very rocky start, Sony is now much more optimistic about the sales potential of its game console: Sony hopes the PS3 will outsell the PS2 eventually.

The best thing we saw at E3 – D-BOX’s rocking chair on steroids

Most of E3 was pretty ho hum, but D-BOX, a small company from Quebec, showed us what can only be described as "rocking chairs on stereoids". D-BOX is not the first company to offer interactive racing or flying seats, but products we tested offered quite a compelling experience.

Blast from the past: Apogee announces Duke Nukem trilogy

Legendary software publisher, Apogee, is coming back from the grave with a vengeance. Apogee owns or co-owns a lot of heroes from the 1980s and 1990s and the company now looks to develop new versions or remakes of titles from the dawn of gaming and the first one will be Duke Nukem Trilogy.