Gadling is giving away free tickets to Amsterdam!

MS lays into Blu-ray, dispells latest rumors

Another month and another Xbox 360 Blu-ray rumor. Though, this time we don't really have to talk about its validity, because Microsoft has already debunked it and gone on record as saying the latest round of 360 Blu-ray rumors are false.

Edge Online received a "Microsoft has no plans to introduce an Xbox 360 Blu-ray add-on" comment from the MS folks, which puts it ever so bluntly that, again, no Blu-ray Xbox plans are in the works. Even more juicier is Microsoft product manager Aaron Greenberg's Blu-ray dissing, telling Major Nelson in an interview that "no one knows what Blu-ray will be. It's pretty clear it is not the next DVD, right? The days of one physical format being the standard are gone." Burn!

[Via Eurogamer]

New Live bundle with Chatpad and PGR4 for $69 [update]

Update: According to's accessory page, this new bundle will be available at retailers on October 7th.

By golly, that Live 12 month bundle rumor turned out to be true. Over on, a new listing for a 12 month bundle called the "Xbox LIVE Messenger Gold Pack" popped up and is listed at $69, which is actually a pretty darn good deal. Included in the Messenger Gold Pack is a 12 month subscription to Xbox Live, a Chatpad, a wired headset and a copy of Project Gotham Racing 4. Not too shabby, especially for those in the market for Live subscriptions and Chatpads.

[Thanks, Lightsout565]

120GB HDD price drop to $149, still too spendy

Looking to increase the size of your hard drive? You know, swap your Xbox 360's measly 20GB or 60GB hard drive for a whopping 120GB of storage goodness all without having to tap into your 401K? Well, you're sorta in luck, because GameDaily was able to probe Microsoft enough to learn that the 360's standalone 120GB HDD has officially dropped its retail price to $149. That's a $30 price drop from its original $179 price tag.

That said, we don't have to tell you that $149 for a 120GB HDD is very spendy and, as GameDaily was keen to point out, you could technically plop down an extra $50 and buy a brand new 360 Arcade. True, you wouldn't get any additional storage capacity with the Arcade, but you'd have a 512MB 256MB memory card and a backup just in case your primary console decides to ring out.

Rumor: 60GB HDD, 3mo. Live and ethernet for $99, new 12mo. Live bundle too

You've been asking about it, you've been wondering when and at what price it'll release and now we may have an answer for you. The 60GB standalone Xbox 360 hard drive is rumored to release as a bundle for $99, maybe ...

According to the 1UP rumor mill, the 60GB HDD bundle was recently revealed to attendees of the GameStop Expo in Las Vegas (employees only, please). The bundle is said to include the 60GB HDD, a 3 month subscription to Xbox Live and an ethernet cable all for $99. Not horribly bad. But what also caught our eye is the other GameStop Expo rumor regarding a new 12 month Xbox Live bundle.The new bundle is pegged to include a year of Xbox Live, a copy of PGR4 and a 360 Messenger Kit for $69. Again, this is all gossipy rumor stuff, so don't get overly excited just yet.

[Via NeoGAF]

60GB HDD + headset + 3 months Live = 79 Euros

Word coming from the Leipzig Games Convention is that Microsoft has an Xbox 360 60GB HDD bundle planned for Europe and, relatively speaking, it's pretty decently priced.

A Microsoft produced flyer is making the internet rounds that was supposedly sent to Xbox Live Gold members in Germany. The flyer informs us of a new Xbox 360 Live 60GB HDD Starter Pack will release in November and will include the hard drive itself, a wired headset and three months of Xbox Live all for 79 Euros. Not too bad, seeing that a standalone 120GB HDD costs a whopping 129 Euros already. We aren't certain if this is an European exclusive offer or if it'll be sold in North America as well, but we'd totally welcome a cheaper 60GB HDD bundle. With open arms.

[Thanks, Sjeltur]

Rumor: New 360 controllers feature revised d-pad [update]

Update: D-pad rumors are cleared up and it looks like we aren't getting an improved d-pad anymore.

In rumor news coming straight from the Leipzig Games Convention floor, Eurogamer is reporting that Microsoft has plans to release new Xbox 360 controllers featuring a revised d-pad.

Eurogamer heard about the d-pad revision from a third party publisher who confirmed that the new controllers will look exactly like the current model, but with 32 direction support. We're also told that the Games Convention booth for Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer is using the new controller and Capcom's Street Fighter IV will supposedly support the new d-pad as well. Eurogamer posted pictures of the revised d-pad controller which is coincidentally the new green controller set to release next month. Does that mean the new green and red controllers are the rumored to be revised controller models with improved d-pads? We aren't exactly sure, so we'll wait for Microsoft to comment.

E308: Up close and personal new red and green controllers

This E3, not only did we receive megaton Xbox 360 software announcements, but we also received two megaton peripheral announcements too. Well, not exactly megaton in scale, but there are two brand new controller colors hitting retailers later this September.

High resolution pictures of he red and blacked controller as well as the solid green wireless controllers (with matching battery packs) can be viewed in the gallery below. If you're a Gears of War 2 fanboy, then we say go with the red / black controller. If you're all about saving the Earth, then go green with the green controller. Then again, if you're all about saving the planet we wouldn't recommend purchasing a factory manufactured petroleum plastic based product. We'd feel dirty.

Gallery: E308: Red and Green Controllers

The Guitar Hero / Rock Band guitar matrix v2.0!

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith recently released and we have Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 2 to look forward to later this year, meaning we're getting a bunch of brand new guitar peripherals. Take into account the older guitars from Guitar Hero II and III as well as the original Rock Band and you're left with a confusing instrument compatibility mess. Our head hurts just thinking about it. But team Joystiq has done their best to make sure you understand which guitar peripherals work with which games, breaking down the information into a convenient Guitar Hero / Rock Band guitar compatibility matrix (version 2.0). Make the jump to view the complete matrix of guitar compatibility and be in complete peripheral compatibility awe and, possibly, complete compatibility disgust.

It's Rock Band 2's wireless drums and guitar peripherals all boxed up

Looky here! It's Rock Band 2's wireless drum set and wireless guitar! Spotted on! All boxed up and hidden from view! Enough with the exclamation points already! Okay!

Yes sir, Harmonix will be releasing a standalone drum set and wireless guitar that, according to folks at, are set to release alongside the special edition Rock Band 2 bundle and software in September. That means, unlike the original Rock Band, you won't have to wait months after the game's release to buy standalone peripherals. Both the drums and guitar (again, all boxed up) are $10 more expensive then their Rock Band brothers, with the drums retailing for $89.99 and the guitar retailing for $69.99. Ouch ... we know. While you ponder whether or not a wireless drum set is worth $90, we advise just sitting back and admiring their retail boxes. They're so boxy, so blue, so Rock Band inspired and so damn expensive.

[Thanks, Willenholly]

Source - Rock Band 2 wireless drums
Source - Rock Band 2 wireless guitar

Buy $100 in 360 accessories, get a free game

Microsoft is running an interesting deal for Canadian fanboys, where they're giving customers a free game for purchasing at least $100 in 360 accessories. Suh-weet!

This mail-in offer (again, only available in Canada) gives customers the choice of receiving Halo 3, Lost Odyssey, PGR4 or Viva Pinata Party Animals for FREE as long as receipt proof can be supplied proving that $100 in accessories were purchased between June 17th and July 1st, 2008. And by accessories, we mean pretty much every accessory known to exist including controllers, Vision camera, wireless adapter, 120GB HDD and the Messenger Kit. That means if you are already in the market for high priced 360 accessories like the 120GB HDD or wireless adapter, you pretty much score a free game with your purchase. Hit the "source" link below (warning, it is a PDF link) to read all offer details.

[Thanks, Cody Chateauvert]

First Mad Catz Rock Band instruments next week (probably)

According to, the officially licensed Mad Catz Rock Band instruments -- announced ages ago -- will finally release next week. Apparently, the instruments were listed on Amazon at one point, but the listings have since been removed. The instruments listed are/were:
  • Wired bass guitar -- Officially licensed Fender Precision bass replica with 'split strum bar' that allows for simultaneous up and down strumming. (June 22 - $69.99)
  • Wired guitar -- Officially licensed Fender Telecaster guitar replica with programmable strum bar (programmable, as in 'cheating'?), 'quick response' fret buttons (release date not listed -- $79.99)
  • Wired microphone -- Integrated d-pad and face buttons (!), lock/unlock button, 'high profile' pop stopper (supposedly out now, though not in stores yet -- $59.99)
  • Portable drum kit -- Small, portable drum kit with quiet pads and foam tipped drumsticks. Custom drum pad covers available. It's not clear if this set is actually freestanding or it has to be set on top of something (July 15 - $49.99)
  • Premium wired drums -- Full drum set designed after real electric drum sets. Features high hat (with foot pedal), crash cymbal and 'fully adjustable' drum heads with 'two axis motion' and the ability to reposition each drum head (August 1 - $149.99)
We expect that most gamers will be most interested in the portable and premium drum kits. Unfortunately, there isn't an actual photograph of either product, so we're still in the dark about how exactly the portable drum set will work. Still, we can't help but be intrigued. It's also worth noting that all of the peripherals seem to be wired (although the portable drum kit doesn't specify wired or wireless). A wireless version of the bass is expected in September. Wireless versions of the other instruments remain in the dark (though we imagine there will eventually be a wireless version of the guitar).

Anyone ready to open their wallets for one of these?

[Thanks, eric e]

Amazon discounts 20GB and 120GB 360 hard drives

Going hand in hand with this week's retail Xbox 360 deals thus making this a money savings morning, we bring you word that has a few good deals on Xbox 360 hard drives. Money savings on both the 20GB drive and uber large 120GB model.

As part of their gaming "Deal of the Day", today and today only has discounted the 360's (already overpriced) 20GB hard drive to $65 and the 120GB hard drive to $135. As always, Amazon doesn't charge shipping on orders over $25 and (for most buyers) is also tax free. So, if you're in the market for a new 360 hard drive, today just might be the day for you to jump in and ease the purchasing pain by saving yourself 25% off of retail. Every penny counts.

[Thanks, Ben]

First glimpse of the Rock Band Stage Kit

If you recall, this past February a new (and still unannounced) Rock Band peripheral called the Stage Kit was spotted over on Gamestop's website. Back then, we were only given images of what the light and smoke peripheral's box looked like, but it was enough to warrant Stage Kit / WALL•E / police spot light comparisons. Now, Gamestop has since updated their Stage Kit pre-order page with a new picture of the peripherals including what looks to be a 360 controller / strobe light hybrid. Gamestop also pegged the (GASP!) $100 peripheral for an August 15th release, so gather what info you can from that.

[Thanks, HazyCloud]

First look at Guitar Hero IV drum set

Thanks to the Game Informer article that broke all the Guitar Hero IV news recently, comes the first photograph of the game's drum set. And after a quick look over, the biggest difference between it and the Rock Band drum set is the addition of the yellow and orange pie wedged "symbols" and use of three other drum pads. Interesting, different and ... well, interesting. We're also informed that the set's durability is top notch as they point out that "this thing is not going to crack". We'll see how durable their drum creation really is after it feels the abusive drumming madness that SuperDunners brings everytime he takes stage. As plastic peripherals shake in fear, we warn you GHIV drums ... be afraid.

Rumor: 'Lips' isn't a game, it's a new accessory

The mystery of the "Lips" game (news that was leaked days early thanks to Microsoft's press site) is seeing another twist, with word that "Lips" really isn't a game. Instead, "Lips" is rumored to be the codename for a new Xbox 360 accessory.

8Bit Joystick is reporting that months ago they got a hold of insider documents from the Xbox 360 engineering team and came across mention of a new 360 voice accessory code named "Lips". No more information was detailed in the supposed insider documents, but 8Bit Joystick speculates that these "Lips" will either be a new way to communicate or will add voice recognition to games. We aren't sure if that makes much sense seeing that we have a perfectly functioning headset that does voice recognition, but we'll go with it seeing that "Lips" speculation is more fun when thinking about new accessories. So ... is tomorrow's news here yet?

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