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October 23, 2014

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Microsoft Courted Conan to Plug His Show Into XBox Live

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 14th 2010 9:03AM
Conan O'Brien in front of the Mario Bros. backdrop
Conan O'Brien's deal with TBS
may have thrown every TV pundit and pontificator for a loop, but here's one that will make your head spin clear around your neck. (WARNING: TV Squad and its parent companies will not be held responsible for any head and/or neck trauma that may occur while reading this article).

While everyone thought Conan would simply jump to Fox because it was the last remaining network without a strong late night slot, Coco and company were being courted by all sorts of networks and media outlets, including ... Microsoft???

That's right, the technology giant had been talking to Conan about a deal that would have brought his nightly talk show to their XBox Live service.

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TV Squad Ten: Shows that deserve to have their own video game

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 16th 2009 11:35AM
TV shows that deserve to be video gamesThere is nothing inherently wrong with turning a TV series into a video game spinoff. It can fill in the gaps between seasons to quell the viewers' hunger, let audiences explore characters from new perspectives and even give the more hardcore couch potatoes some much needed exercise even if they only burned 1/100ths of a calorie solely through their thumbs.

The problem is video game developers pick TV shows that should never even become a travel sized board game. Developers have given the greenlight to games based on shows like American Idol, Desperate Housewives and even ... Grey's Anatomy?!? I hope that last one was a first-person shooter.

There are far better shows that offer far more entertaining elements for a kick-ass video game. These are the shows that should be next in line for a pixelated re-treatment.

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Brought To You By... - VIDEOS

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 21st 2008 2:02PM
Macy's logoLet's talk turkey. Actually, let's talk Thanksgiving Day commercials, which may or may not involve actual turkeys.

I know, you probably can't remember a Thanksgiving commercial to save your life. There have been a ton of them over the years, but 99.9% of them have to do with department store sales ("Before Thanksgiving Sale!" and "After Thanksgiving Sale!" with a "Thanksgiving Sale!" thrown in for good measure) and they all seem to blend into each other after a while. But there are have been a few over the years that are worth looking at again, and after the jump we'll take a look at them.

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Microsoft adds Netflix, NBC, Universal videos to Xbox Live Marketplace

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 14th 2008 3:27PM
Engadget
Microsoft has announced plans to expand the internet video content available to Xbox Live users. Probably the most exciting new feature (although also the most predictable) is a partnership with Netflix that will let Netflix customers stream video using an Xbox 360 starting this fall.

Netflix currently lets users stream selected content using a web browser or a dedicated set top box developed by Roku. You won't need to pay any additional fees to watch Netflix videos. But you will need a Netflix subscription. Microsoft says the Xbox 360 will be the only video game console to support Netflix videos, but I wouldn't be surprised if what Microsoft is really saying is that the Xbox 360 will be the first video game console with Netflix support.

Microsoft has also announced that customers will be able to purchase and download videos from NBC and Universal. Titles will include Battlestar Galactica, The Office, Monk, The Mummy, and the Bourne Supremacy. The videos will be available in high definition. Microsoft says there are now over 10,000 movies and TV shows available through the Xbox Live marketplace.

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South Park DVD won't have Rock Band tracks after all

by Brad Trechak, posted May 17th 2008 2:08PM
South Park Season 11Remember when it was previously reported that the South Park Season 11 DVD set will have tracks for the XBox 360 video game Rock Band? Well, apparently they took it back, according to our sister site, XBox 360 Fanboy.

Xay de Matos from Fanboy speculates that the reason behind ditching the tracks is that they were never intended for Rock Band. Rather, they were intended for Guitar Hero (specifically Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock), the video game an entire episode in Season 11 is dedicated to. Apparently, the people in marketing didn't know the difference.

I don't understand the logic behind this decision. It's an excellent promotional possibility, so why wouldn't the makers of these video games be all over this like a fly on rotting food?

The final specs for the DVD set haven't been released, so it's possible some extra goodies will still be on it (Trey and Matt have historically at least done mini-commentaries for every episode). It's a case of wait and see.

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South Park Season 11 DVD to include XBox goodies

by Brad Trechak, posted May 6th 2008 7:03PM

South Park Season 11It looks like some extra goodies are being included with the South Park Season 11 DVD set. Not only do you get great episodes such as "Cartman Sucks", "More Crap" and the immortal "Imaginationland" story arc (I pray the season DVD includes the full commentary of the "Imaginationland" one), but the DVD also includes a 3-song download for the XBox version of the video game Rock Band.

This marketing move makes sense on a couple of levels. First, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are big gamers so they probably got some cool stuff that other gamers only wish they had access to. They even confess their hobby on one of their DVD mini-commentaries. Second, the season includes the episode "Guitar Queer-o", which uses the predecessor game Guitar Hero as central to the plot.

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Dexter finally comes to the Xbox 360

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 3rd 2008 8:58PM
DexterToo many anguished nights have I spent watching Showtime's Dexter, wondering aloud, "Why can't I control Dexter's actions through my Xbox like so much Lara Croft?", and I know you have too. Believe it or not, we freaks are in luck, because it looks like there's going to be a Dexter video game. Finally! Another few months without it and I would have killed someone.

Okay, I think I have reached my sarcasm quota of the day, so let's get serious here. Dexter is a fantastic show and I have watched it faithfully through its run so far. However much I enjoy it, I cannot imagine it becoming a video game, let alone playing it. The show is built around blood, self-tortured deception, and internal monologue.

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Disney-ABC will sell TV shows on Xbox Live

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 7th 2008 10:23AM
LostFrom the CES, Disney-ABC has announced it will start selling shows on Microsoft's XBox gaming console via the XBox Live and XBox Live Marketplace. This includes material from two Disney Channels, three ABC Channels and material from the MGM video library.

This move is yet another step in putting a ubiquitous entertainment console in the living room. Not that this is a bad thing. Some of the content will be available in HD, despite the fact that Microsoft is not offering HD-DVD in the console. Maybe they're going Blu-ray?

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Xbox Media Center coming to Mac OS X?

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 4th 2008 12:57PM
Xbox Media Center
Once upon a time open source media center software Xbox Media Center (or XMBC) was designed to run on an Xbox. Makes sense, doesn't it? But the Xbox 360 is replacing the original Xbox, making the older gaming console a bit harder to find. And while the developers could focus all of their efforts on getting XMBC to run on the Xbox 360, it turns out the code can be ported to all sorts of other devices, including computers running Linux or Mac OS X.

Last year, a group of XBMC developers started working on a Linux port. And now one XBMC community member has begun creating a Mac port as a replacement for Apple's Front Row software. The software's not exactly stable just yet, and there's a good chance that if you try running it nothing will happen. But if you've got some programming chops, you could pitch in and help develop the Mac port. If not, you might just want to keep an eye on the project so you can try it out when a workable version is released.

[via tuaw]

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Big shock of the day -- Chuck's Gomez is a gaming wonk

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 12th 2007 10:02AM

Joshua Gomez loves his games, and shows it on ChuckJoshua Gomez, Morgan on the NBC action-comedy Chuck, loves his video games. And, when I say 'loves' I really mean 'LOVES'. He's a man who can spout philosophically about the difference between Halo and Halo 2, and can spend 12 straight hours on the couch playing Xbox. Now, that's dedication! Especially since he never mentions anything about bathroom breaks.

So, being cast as a die hard gaming wonk on Chuck was probably the best thing that could have happened to him. That, and he was able to find a kindred gaming spirit in the show's star, Zach Levi. In an article at the gaming website Kotaku, Gomez talks about the game references that are liberally sprinkled throughout an episode. He mentions that many of those references are ad-libbed because the writers aren't actually gamers, themselves.

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Microsoft partners with Nickelodeon

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 24th 2007 9:27AM
XBox 360According to a CNN article, Microsoft is going to partner with Nickelodeon and Warner Brothers to produce a library of family games and entertainment for XBox LIVE. This will include kid-friendly games as well as video entertainment

I have to admit that I don't own a gaming console of any kind, mostly because I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to tear myself away from it. This sort of merger of video-on-demand and games-on-demand with a gaming console would no doubt make it harder.

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Is Microsoft planning a new Xbox 360 with an HDTV tuner?

by Brad Linder, posted Oct 21st 2007 3:00PM
Xbox 360It's no secret that Sony and Microsoft have big plans for their Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. As video game systems, both consoles are already in millions of homes. But they each contain plenty of advanced features that make them good building blocks for complete home entertainment systems.

Sony has already announced plant to launch a TV-tuner add-on for the PS3 that will turn the system into a PVR complete with a hard drive, electronic program guide, and the ability to watch and record live TV. Now it looks like there's talk that Microsoft may issue an updated version of the Xbox 360 with an HDTV tuner as well.

The new unit would reportedly have an HD-DVD drive built in. Right now you need to buy an external device if you want to use your Xbox 360 to watch HD-DVD movies. Sony's PS3 has an internal Blu-Ray drive, which is one of the reasons the video game system launched at a significantly higher price than the Xbox 360 (or any other video game console in history). But with the cost of next generation DVD players coming down, it's getting cheaper to build HD video support directly into a gaming console.

Maybe one day we'll stop calling them game consoles and begin referring to them as entertainment systems. Even though I don't play games very often, for the right price, I'd be willing to buy a single box that can watch and record TV, play music, movies, internet video, and video games.

[via Slashdot]

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Rare Simpsons Xbox on eBay

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 25th 2007 12:03PM

simpsons xboxSo, back in May I told you about a limited number of Simpsons-style XBoxes being given away at promotional events in anticipation of the upcoming movie. If you weren't lucky enough to snag one of the yellow consoles with Homer's visage at one of these events, you can try bidding on one that recently popped up on eBay. Just bring a lot of cash, 'cause the bidding, as I type this sentence, is at $1,900.

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Watch CinemaNow movies on an Xbox 360

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 19th 2007 5:33PM
CinemaNow
Good news for Xbox 360 owners unsatisfied with the video offerings on Xbox Live Marketplace. CinemaNow has issued an update that lets customers download and watch movies on an Xbox 360. Up until now, the movie and TV download service was only available to PC users.

You'll still need a PC to download movies. But if your Xbox 360 is plugged into your home network, CinemaNow's Media Manager software will recognize it. That means while the movie will still be sitting on your PC, you can stream it over your network to your Xbox for viewing on your television set.

Nothing too revolutionary there, except that CinemaNow has a library of over 7,000 videos, some of which you will not be able to access from the Xbox Marketplace.

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Help port Xbox Media Center to Linux

by Brad Linder, posted May 29th 2007 2:27PM
Xbox Media Center
Why use your Xbox as a piddly little media extender for Windows Media Center when you could turn your video game console into a full fledged media center PC in its own right? That's the raison d'etre of Team-XBMC, the makers of the Xbox Media Center.

The Xbox Media Center can play music, videos, and pictures from the original Xbox console's hard drive, DVD drive, a USB flash drive, your home network, or the internet. But when it comes right down to it, the media center's just too cool and useful to be confined to a single hardware platform, so a group of the developers are busy porting it to run on any Linux machine. And they're asking for help.

If you have experience programming with C/C++ and have time to volunteer, you can contact the developers directly.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

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