Minecraft Xbox 360: Patches, Features & DLC – Everything You Need To Know

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, Microsoft, Xbox

Minecraft Xbox 360 news as it happens, all in our regularly updated round-up. Bookmark this page to stay informed.


We’ll be updating this page with new Minecraft Xbox 360 screens, patch notes, rumours and trailers as they happen, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for updates.

Last Updated 11/07/12


10/07/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: 4J Talks Updates, Texture Packs, Custom Skins

4J Studios has continued to discuss its plans for Minecraft Xbox 360, with hopes for new features and content currently pinned on the future 1.8.2 update.

4J said it is “looking at texture packs”, will add the ability for guest players to be blocked from affecting your world, “will be adding new content” and may even introduce custom, player-designed skins “much later on”, despite there being issues doing that on the console “that get lawyers all excited”.

Check out the full quotes and details here.


04/07/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Patch 1.7.3 Adds New Skins DLC – First Images


On this day, 4J Studios revealed a batch of images for Minecraft 1.7.3’s new character skins. 

The Minecraft Xbox 360 Skin Pack 1 will add 40 new skins to the mix, and hans’t got a release date yet.

Some of the skins available in the pack include:


  • Creeper Man
  • ‘Splosion Man
  • Trials Man
  • Covenant Grunt
  • King
You can check out the skin pack DLC images in full here.




03/07/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Patch 1.7.3 Release Date ‘Within 10 Days’

On this day, 4J Studios announced it had submitted Minecraft Xbox 360 patch 1.7.3 to Microsoft for approval, along with some additional patch notes:



  • Added pistons.
  • Fixed clay generation.
  • Flint and Steel or redstone is now required to trigger TNT
  • Fences can be stacked.
  • Added Shears.
  • Redstone wire now will connect to a repeater
  • Shears can be used to pick up leaf blocks.
  • Shears can be used to shear sheep without hurting them
  • Sheep no longer drop wool from being punched, only from being killed when they are unsheared.
  • New textures for Cobblestone and Brick blocks.
  • Silverfish skin was added (for Beta 1.8).




27/06/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition To Have Trial Skin Packs, Maybe Server Rental


Minecraft Xbox 360 could offer players dedicated servers via similar rental system to that introduced in Battlefield 3.

Developer 4J Studios tweeted that discussions for dedicated servers “so far are around a rental” – a similar solution to Minecraft on PC.

Meanwhile the upcoming Skin DLC packs will feature ‘trial’ versions with some skin unlocked, according to the studio.



21/06/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Open Servers, Skin Packs Detailed, Update 1.8.2 In The Works


Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition will support paid-for skin pack DLC when the 1.7.3 update launches in July, developer 4J Studios confirmed.

Skin packs will likely cost players MS points, 4J confirmed on Twitter and will contain “40+ skins per pack”, as well as some free skins per pack.

Although the 1.7.3 patch has yet to launch, 4J also confirmed it is already working on the next Minecraft Xbox 360 update – which will most closely resemble the PC beta version 1.8.2 – the Adventure Update.

Meanwhile, 4J also said that the adding open servers to the game was “in discussion”.



18/06/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition 1.7.3 Update Coming In July With Skins DLC

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition will be updated to version 1.7.3 in early July, as confirmed by 4J Studios. The developer also announced that the update would launch alongside a new skins DLC pack.

4J Studios also confirmed it would update the game to 1.7.3 then aim to jump to Beta 1.8.3 then bring Minecraft up to par with version 1.2.3 of the final code.


13/06/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Update Expected In July, Adds Autosave, Multiple Fixes

Minecraft Xbox 360 developer 4J Studios revealed some the contents of its first patch on this day, including auto-save features and more. Here are some of the revealed patch notes here:

New additions:



  • Added an autosave, and the ability to turn autosave off, or set it from 15 minutes up to 2 hours in 15 minute steps.
  • Split the sensitivity controls into an in-game sensitivity and an in-menu sensitivity.
  • Added an Interface Opacity slider in the settings for plasma screen users.
  • Added a gamertag display in splitscreen, and the ability to enable/disable it in the settings.
  • Added an option in the settings menu to enable/disable in-game hints.
  • Added an option in the settings menu to enable/disable tooltips.
  • Added a co-ordinate display to the in-game map.
  • Added new sections in the How To Play on Multiplayer, Sharing Screenshots, and What’s New.
  • Added a warning message when attempting to place lava near the spawn area.




  • Fix for the leaderboard crash when toggling between filters/leaderboards.
  • Fix for server disconnect message appearing when offline or in leaderboards.
  • Fix for issue where posting a screenshot to Facebook caused a back out to the main menu.
  • Fix for clay generation.
  • Fix for ‘Awaiting Approval’ showing all the time on some signs.
  • Various crafting menu fixes.
  • Fix for being able to stand on sugarcane.
  • Fix for intermittent crash on saving.
  • Fix for duplication bug with the furnace.
  • Fix for not being able to place water near the spawn area.
  • Fix for intermittent problem on entering the Nether putting the player above the Nether world.
  • Fix for frame-rate drop around the edge of the world.
  • Fix for intermittent problem where some achievements were not being awarded.
  • Fix for graphical issue with stairs.
  • Fix for issue with enemies spawning inside a house when they shouldn’t.
  • Fix for Zombie Pigmen not being counted for leaderboard scores.



25/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Played More Online Than Black Ops

This was the news on this day, following Xbox Live figures published by Microsoft. More people played Minecraft Xbox 360 than Call of Duty: Black Ops. That’s a big deal indeed.

Check out the full story here.


24/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Update To Include ‘As Many PC Features As Possible’, says 4J Studios

4J Studios explained that it was trying to implement as many Minecraft PC features as it could into the first Minecraft Xbox 360 update. Here’s the studio’s quote:


“We are working with Daniel Kaplan at Mojang to define what is going in to the Xbox version”, 4J’s Paddy Burns explained, “But the aim is to include as many of the PC features that make sense on the Xbox as possible. The game isn’t Minecraft on the Xbox, it is Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, so it isn’t really a direct port of the PC game.”

See the full story here.


23/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Microsoft Refunding For SDTV Split-Screen Issues

Minecraft Xbox 360 owners running the game on standard definition TVs quickly found themselves unable to play the split screen version of the game. Microsoft quickly released a statement on the issue, and refunded anyone affected.

The statement read:


“We updated our pre-sale notification to inform customers that an HD screen is required for the split-screen multiplayer feature on Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition,” the publisher said in a statement.

“If a player does not have an HD screen and purchased this game prior to the notification update, they are eligible for a full refund through customer support.”


Check out the full story here.


16/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition Update Coming ‘This Summer’

Mojang tweeted that an update for Minecraft Xbox 360 would be coming in the summer. Here’s the quote:

“A lot of people are asking about the next Minecraft Xbox update. All I can say is it’s planned to be released “this summer”

Check out the full story here.


15/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Sells Over A Million Copies In Launch Week, Says Microsoft

Just a week after launching on Xbox Live Arcade, Microsoft revealed that Minecraft had sold over a million downloads. 

Check out the ull Minecraft Xbox 360 sales statement here.


11/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: How To Survive Your First 5 Days

NowGamer’s Adam Barnes and Dave Cook play through five days in Minecraft, and teach newcomers how to survive, create necessary tools and how to fend off the evil Creepers in a series of ace video guides.

Check out our guide – Minecraft Xbox 360: How to survive your first five days – here.


10/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Became Profitable After An Hour On Sale, Says Notch

The day after Minecraft Xbox 360 launched, Mojang founder Notch revealed that the game made back its budget in just over an hour.

Check out the insane sales figures and Notch’s response here.


09/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Gets Rave Reviews, Notch Hints At Positive Sales

Following Minecraft Xbox 360’s release, we collated all of the major reviews and scores out there online into one handy article. Notch also spoke out about the game’s superb success and hinted that the game was hitting stunning sales figures. 

Check out our Minecraft Xbox 360 review round up, and Notch’s quote here.


09/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 – The official NowGamer review!

We reviewed Minecaft on Xbox 360 in full, giving it a great score and revealing tons of new information of 4J Studio’s superb port. 

You can read our full Minecraft Xbox 360 review right here.


07/04/12 Minecraft Xbox Gets New Screens Ahead of Release

Minecraft Xbox 360 got another huge batch of new screens, courtesy of 4J Studios and Mojang. The new images show off Creepers, dungeons, snow environments, giant lakes and much more.

Check out this batch of Minecraft Xbox 360 images here.


06/04/12 Minecraft: Mojang ‘Keen For Xbox 360 Exclusive Content’

Minecraft Xbox 360 developer 4J Studios revealed that Mojang was keen for the game to grow in a different direction to the PC version.

Find out what that means in our article here.


05/04/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Rebuilding Notch’s Masterpiece For Consoles – Interview

NowGamer spoke with Minecraft Xbox 360 developer 4J Studios about the responsiblity of porting such an epic game to Microsoft’s hardware, and disucces at length how the game would grow through future patches.

It’s a big interview rammed full of interesting facts, and you can read it all here.


04/04/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 gets its debut trailer, and tons of new information

4J Studios and Mojang released the debut trailer for Minecraft Xbox 360, showing off four player split screen mode, button prompts and much more. Watch the full trailer here.


22/03/12 Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Gets May Release Date, High Price

As part of Microsoft’s ‘Arcade Next’ season, Minecraft was dated for Xbox Live release on 9 May, at a lofty 1600 MS Points, or £13 to talk in real money terms.

See the announcement here.


05/03/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Castles, Dungeons, Enemies – Screens

Minecraft Xbox 360 got its first batch of gameplay screens, courtesy of Scottish developer 4J Studios. The initial shots show off a recreation of Edinburgh Castle, which is found in Scotland’s captial. Animals, plantlife and dungeons were also shown. 

Check out the big batch of screenshots here.


13/06/11 Minecraft Xbox 360 Kinect is optional, Notch confirms

Notch confirmed that while Minecraft Xbox 360 supports Kinect play, it is entirely optional. This was good news to anyone who isn’t a fan of the Kinect hardware.


06/06/11 Minecraft Xbox 360 is confirmed, along with Kinect support

The Minecraft Xbox 360 saga began as Microsoft announced that Minecraft would be making its way to Xbox Live Arcade, during its pre-E3 2011 conference. Check out the announcement here.

Sony: Cuts PS Vita Price With Limited Time Offer Update

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, Sony

PlayStation Vita will be around £40 cheaper from next week, Sony has confirmed.

The PS Vita will be available for a period of aound six weeks with a sub-£200 RRP from 1 June, according to MCV.

Sony has apparently confirmed a €50 (£40) rebate programme for all Vita handhelds sold between 1 June and 15 July.

If the discount holds true, the rebate will make the console available with a starting RRP of around £189.99 for the WiFi version and £229.99 for the 3G version, based on the console’s launch prices.

Actual pricing via the offer has yet to be confirmed.

MCV has tweeted that the offer may not be applicable to the UK, instead isolated to France. More when we get it.

Rumor Roundup, Episode 6: iWant to believe

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, Microsoft, NDS, iPhone

Unlike the week before, this past week hasn’t seen an epic B.S.-storm of rumors. A few of the ones that came out got huge piles of attention, however, not the least because rumors of a 16:9 screen iPhone sound so delicious to so many that we all want to believe… even though we’ve all been “burned” on this one once before.

But before we can get to those slightly plausible rumors, we have to get the utterly ridiculous ones out of the way first.

New Apple TV Will Feature Seamless Siri Integration (Insideris)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Apple’s HDTV will have a feature where you can control playback and other functions using Siri on your i*BZZT*

B.S. detector reading: 8/10. We’ve been hearing this one since Siri debuted, yet the latest Apple TV shows zero integration with the “intelligent” voice assistant. In fact, it’s been seven months since Siri went public, and aside from a very modest expansion of language support, the software hasn’t seemed to improve much. It’s still restricted to a single device, the iPhone 4S, and it still doesn’t handle driving directions or local business searches in most countries.

Then, there’s this week’s gossip that Siri has been a disappointment to Apple so far, and Steve Jobs would have “lost his mind” if the voice-activated software was launched during his tenure. I have no problem with Siri personally; it does everything I ask it. I just wish I were able to ask it more things. But I’m not holding my breath for Siri integration with a product that has about as much evidence in its favor as Sasquatch.

Apple’s Coming Plan To Take Over The TV Business (Forrester Research)

Forrester Research, famous for predicting Apple’s unparalleled ascendancy and imminent doom in the same week, now predicts the Apple HDTV will be a non-TV TV. In other words, picture hanging a 32-inch iPad on your wall. Think about how “easy” it is to get media from various sources on an iPad. Then picture that replacing your current TV. Now picture that someone got paid to say that with a straight face.

B.S. detector reading: 10/10. What Forrester has proposed is effectively no different from the existing Apple TV, except it comes with a 32-inch screen and a much higher price tag. It sounds like the kind of product Apple would have been ecstatic to launch in 1996, back when the company had no idea how to make products that actually earned it money. The Apple of 2012 knows better.

Bigger than an iPhone, yet smaller than an iPad: the next Apple TV? (GigaOM)

GigaOM reaches the Singularity of stupid Apple rumors by combining the Apple HDTV and iPad mini into one epically mythical, misguided product. The iPad mini will be the TV that goes wherever you go! And it’ll provide zero advantages over any of Apple’s existing products!

B.S. detector reading: 10/10. Bad enough that GigaOM has divided by zero as far as Apple rumors go, the site has also conveniently neglected close to 65 years of TV viewing habits. Even if our 9.7-inch iPads now offer nearly double the resolution of the best HDTV out there, I’d be willing to bet 99.9 percent of you still watch most of your TV on a much bigger screen that’s much farther away.

Even assuming the iPad mini existed, it’d have to be just as multifunctional as the iPad Grande it’s supposed to complement. Otherwise, why would anyone buy it?

Microsoft set to release Office for iOS and Android tablets in November (BGR)

A “reliable source” tells BGR Microsoft Office is heading to iOS devices in six months. No really, this time for sure, guys.

B.S. detector reading: 6/10. I fully expect Office to debut on at least the iPad, eventually. But “reliable source” and BGR go together about as well as pickles and caramel. The site’s BREAKING EXCLUSIVE RUMORS have been so consistently wrong (remember the “Sprint-only iPhone 5?”) that virtually anything the site says has to be taken with enough salt to induce cardiac arrest.

Facebook Tries, Tries Again on a Smartphone (New York Times)

Facebook, world famous for this week’s terrible IPO and one of the buggiest household-name iOS apps in existence, is supposedly working on its own smartphone. Again. Just like in 2011, and 2010, both of which were indisputably the Year of the Facebook Phone (that never launched).

B.S. detector reading: 7/10. A software company building its very own smartphone wouldn’t be a new development. Google did it with the Nexus lineup… sort of. And the Microsoft-Nokia pairing is almost certain to see some Windows 8 devices coming out sometime between now and 2099.

But here’s the problem: most of the people accessing Facebook from a smartphone already have an iPhone. Facebook’s going to have to make a phone that’s more compelling than the most successful smartphone in the world, and I’m not convinced that a company with no hardware sales experience is going to manage well in that regard.

Plus, if the phone’s OS is anything like Facebook itself, the user interface is going to change so often (and almost never for the better) that people are never going to get used to how the damned phone works.

Apple May Make A Splash…With The Mac (Wall Street Journal)

A bunch of analysts agree that Apple’s getting ready to launch new Macs with Retina displays.

B.S. detector reading: 5/10. Here’s the problem: I want to believe that new Macs with Retina Displays are on the way. But because a bunch of clueless “analysts” predicted them, it kind of feels like the products vanished from existence the second the WSJ’s story went live.

These analysts don’t have any more information than the rest of us. They’re going off the same information we have, which is the usual slurry of rumors and made-up nonsense. Since that’s all they’ve got to go on, take their predictions as seriously as they deserve to be taken.

3-year-old iPhone 3GS primed for revival (BGR)

Some analyst claims the iPhone 3GS is going to be reduced in price and offered as a prepaid handset. As evidence, he says- hahaha, no, he didn’t offer any evidence whatsoever.

B.S. detector reading: 6/10. Apple has shown no intention of entering the prepaid market in spite of years worth of analysis claiming otherwise. About the closest the company has come to addressing the prepaid market is offering its handsets contract-free at an unsubsidised price.

The iPhone 3GS may seem like an ideal prepaid iPhone, but the question is whether Apple wants to “water down” the iPhone brand by offering such a super-cheap alternative. And given that the iPhone 3GS shares almost no components with later iPhones and iPod touches, at some point it’s simply going to be more trouble to continue building the device than it’s worth.

Likely next-generation iPhone with 3.999-inch display, 1136 x 640 resolution in testing (updated: more decimals) (9to5 Mac)

9to5 Mac makes a bold claim with initially plausible sounding numbers backing it up: the next iPhone will have a 16:9 ratio, 4-inch display at a resolution of 1136 x 640. The site throws in some official-sounding codenames and some typically cloak-and-dagger tales of phones being carried around Apple’s campuses in fake cases to disguise them.

B.S. detector reading: 5/10. Even if 9to5 Mac’s story sounds mostly plausible, there’s a small problem: none of it is new. Not one iota. Not the Photoshopped mockups, not the calculated pixel resolution, not the 16:9 screen. We’ve been hearing the same thing since at least February of 2011.

An iPhone with a 16:9 screen, running apps designed for the current 3:2 screen, would run those apps “letterboxed” like a widescreen movie on a standard TV, with 88 blank pixels on either side. Some apps, including TUAW’s own app, could in theory be easily updated for that resolution. Other types of apps, particularly games, are going to take a lot more work to port to yet another resolution.

I would love it if the iPhone’s screen switched to 16:9 — that was by far my favorite of the mockups I did in February of last year — but I won’t be at all surprised if the next iPhone has exactly the same screen. But then again…

New Part Leaks Include Taller iPod Touch Front Panel, ‘iPhone 5′ Cameras

Yet another parts leak, but at least this one is more interesting than a Home button or headphone cable. MacRumors got its hands on images of an iPod touch front faceplate that seemingly matches the 16:9 aspect ratio rumored elsewhere.

B.S. detector reading: 5/10. It’d be one thing if MacRumors actually handled these parts, but all it has to go on is images from a parts supplier — images that are relatively easy to fake. That said, past parts leaks to MacRumors have panned out before, and I’m willing to give them a few bonus points just for relying on someone other than DigiTimes for a change.

As WWDC gets closer, we’re sure to hear yet more rumors surrounding the upgrades to the Mac lineup. Depending on how slow of a news week we have ahead, we’ll probably hear more about the iPad mini and Apple HDTV, too. More’s the pity.

Rumor Roundup, Episode 6: iWant to believe originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 28 May 2012 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Battlefield Premium: Early Access To DLC Expansions For One-Off Fee

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, NDS

Continued speculation over Battlefield 3’s rumoured premium service suggests it will provide early access to remaining BF3 DLC for a single fee – just like Call of Duty Elite.

Battlefield 3’s Premium Service is set to launch on 4 June – and will provide players early access to all future DLC for a one off fee, according to a story by Battlefieldo.

The service will also feature exclusive content such as a Premium knife and black dog tag, soldier camos, weapon camos, dog tags and Assignments according to previous rumours.

Sounds like how Activision has approached Call of Duty Elite which has provided access first to a season of new DLC maps and other content for the price of a premium retail game.

EA’s E3 press event also takes place on 4 June, so watch this space for a confirmation.

  • Battlefield: Bad Company 3, Mirror’s Edge 2 In Development – CVs
  • Battlefield 3: EA Planning Call Of Duty Elite-Type Subscription Service, New DLC – Rumour


Notch Reveals 0×10c Details: Graphics, Gameplay & Multiplayer

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, NDS, Xbox

Minecraft’s creator has only just revealed his Elite-style flight simulation game and already he’s detailing features of the game.

If you’re at all keen on Minecraft then you’re already aware of Notch, his latest game in development 0×10c and the fact that he likes to use Twitter. A lot.

Since the recent announcement of 0×10c, Notch has been fielding questions over Twitter to answer the intrigued masses. Piece the answers together and you’ll discover plenty of details on the next big indie game.

The visuals, for example, will be something of a step-up as Notch claims 0×10c will be in a new “prototype engine”, which the logo has been rendered in.

That said, the visuals will still have “Simple graphics. Very simple.” while it will be first-person, at least when inside the ship.

As for gameplay, it’ll be possible to build your own spaceships while your friends can jump on board a single ship and control it together. Which might be necessary, since there will be a number of necessary engineering repairs required during play.

Duct tape, however, is a fix-all regardless of malfunction for a temporary period of time.

There will be planet gameplay too with seamless travel between space and planets, though details on what the gameplay will involve is unknown. Let’s hope it’s an explore and settle style, with an ever-expanding multiverse.

As for the on-board, programmable DCPU-16, Notch is considering three computers per ship with a 100KHz speed and will take 1.44MB floppy discs for different programs and software.

It’ll even be able to play Doom, providing someone recreates it for the DCPU.

Most interesting is the communication capabilites of the CPU, enabling peer-to-peer communication, distributed processing, remote spaceship control and even cyber warfare.

Notch mentions other technical details surrounding the DCPU-16 or just how hard his hard science game will be, the rest of which you can find at an unofficial website tracking Notch’s Twitter feeds for details on 0×10c.

Related links:

  • 0×10c: Notch’s Space Game Named, Has Trading, Looting, Combat – Details
  • Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Gets May Release Date, High Price
  • Portal 2, Batman: Arkham City Winners At The 2012 Videogame BAFTAs

Deadlight Developer: ‘The Goonies Was First Visual Reference’

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, NDS, PS3, Xbox

Exciting Xbox Live Arcade platformer is inspired from an unlikely source.

Tequila Works, the minds behind survival horror platformer Deadlight, reveals some of the inspirations for its gritty art style.

“We grew up in the Eighties,” says creative director Raúl Rubio Munárriz in an interview with NowGamer, “We tried to capture the unique visual appealings of the Eighties, not the stereotypes.”

“It may sound silly, but one of the initial visual references for Deadlight was The Goonies!” reveals Munárriz, adding “First Blood was also a major influence.”

Inspirations from other games, however, aren’t what you might expect. Despite the survival horror themes, Munárriz claims “classic cinematic platformers like Prince Of Persia, Another World or Flashback” as major inspirations, focusing on “worlds where one misstep can mean death.”

Continuing to discuss the survival horror elements in a platform game, however, Munárriz said “We chose to make Deadlight that way, as we felt it was a great way to mix fast-paced gameplay with a deep horror atmosphere.

“The surprise element is working even better by making this association. We wanted the player to feel vulnerable, isolated.”

More Deadlight links:

  • Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Gets May Release Date, High Price
  • Gears Of War 3: Forces Of Nature DLC Hits Xbox Live With New Maps 
  • Jet Set Radio HD Making Summer Brighter On PS3, Xbox 360 – Screens

Trials Evolution: Gameplay Reveals Tracks, Multiplayer, Modes

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, Microsoft, Xbox


See XBLA’s fiendish bike-’em-up Trials Evolution in all its glory.

Trials Evolution is headed to XBLA on 18 April for 1200 Microsoft points, and brings more of the type of mayhem experienced in RedLynx’s first Trials game as well as on and offline multiplayer and loads more.

Get a good look at some of the game’s 60 tracks, skiing, the multiple customisations, four-way multiplayer and loads more in the clip above.

More Trials Evolution on NowGamer:


  • Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Gets May Release Date, High Price
  • Trials Evolution: RedLynx Bringing Bikes Back To XBLA Next Month?
  • Trials HD: Big Thrills DLC Out Next Month

Valentine’s Day app sales underway: Treasures of Montezuma, Hanging with Friends, Order and Chaos Online

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

Romance is almost in the air (even, if you’re as single as I am, though you might not care), and that means what every holiday seems to mean around the App Store: More sales! With all these great deals on apps, you can either enjoy one with your sweetie, or use them to distract you from your lonely, solo existence.

  • Match-3-alike Ablazed is free right now, as the recently re-released Hand of Greed (which has been re-released a few times now right?).
  • Sega has quite a few of its titles on sale for just 99 cents, including most of the Sonic titles, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Altered Beast and Gunstar Heroes.
  • EA (surprised? Us either) has lots of titles on sale too, including Scrabble, Risk, Spy Mouse, and The Sims.
  • Telltale has Back to the Future Episode 1 up for free, and the rest of them up for just $2.99.
  • Crescent Moon also has a solid sale on, including the beautiful Gears puzzle platformer, Pocket RPG for iPhone (no HD sale, unfortunately), and Evertales.
  • Match 3 title Treasures of Montezuma 3 is on sale for iPhone for 99 cents, and the iPad version is $2.99.
  • Vito Technology’s “Walk” apps are all on sale for the holiday.
  • Fantasy Sky HD is free.
  • The ad-free version of Zynga’s Hanging with Friends is just a buck. Careful with playing it on an airplane, though.
  • WoW-alike Order and Chaos Online is also just a buck. Comes with a free three month subscription, but you’ll have to pay after that.
  • TanZen for iPhone is free — but the iPad version is not.
  • Loud Crow Interactive is putting one of its apps on sale every day up and through Valentine’s Day — you have to follow them on Twitter to know which one, however.

We might see even more as the holiday gets closer, so stay tuned.

Valentine’s Day app sales underway: Treasures of Montezuma, Hanging with Friends, Order and Chaos Online originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 10 Feb 2012 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Verbatim Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard is tiny, overpriced and flawed

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

The more I review compact keyboards and keyboard folios, the more I am inclined to believe that the best keyboard for an iPad is no keyboard. The new Verbatim Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard (US$84.00) added ammunition to that argument.

The Ultra-Slim keyboard is typical of its class: it is small, lightweight, has good battery life, and connects to your iPad or iPhone through Bluetooth. In fact, the Ultra-Slim is probably the slimmest and lightest (6.9 ounces) Bluetooth keyboard I’ve seen. And that’s exactly where I have a problem with it.

Make no mistake: the Ultra-Slim is perfect if you want the lightest possible keyboard around for Mac, iPhone, or iPad. But my concern is that so much effort went into making this keyboard compact that it’s almost impossible to use. My current gold standard for keyboards is the Apple Wireless Keyboard. The one I have has given me years of flawless service, I can type quickly and accurately on it, and it’s compact enough that it has traveled with me on trips where I want to use a keyboard with my iPad.

The Apple Wireless Keyboard is just a bit over 11 inches wide, and a little over 5 inches deep. The keys are nicely spaced both horizontally and vertically, and it’s a fantastic keyboard for fast typing. Now let’s look at the Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard. It jams approximately the same number of keys into a keyboard just over 8.5″ wide and about 4.5 inches deep. As a result, there’s no spacing between the keys at all, and it’s quite easy to accidentally press two or more keys — even with small hands like I have!

How small is that keyboard? Well, if you hold up the Verbatim Ultra-Slim next to the virtual keyboard on the iPad, they’re about the same size. There’s a hint here, folks — if you think the iPad’s keyboard is too small, then the Ultra-Slim is going to be too small for you as well.

Gallery: Verbatim Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard

Charging is done through a standard USB to micro-USB cable, and there’s an on-off switch right next to the micro-USB port so the keyboard can be turned off to save battery life when not in use. There’s also a button to enable discovery mode on the keyboard.

Getting back to the keys on the keyboard, they’re just too small. Take the shift keys, for example — the left one is about .75″ x .5″, the right one is about .4″ square. On the Apple keyboard, they’re 1.5″ x .675″ each — a ton of space by comparison. Verbatim made the insane move of cramming even more keys into the bottom row of the keyboard than are on the Apple keyboard. The Apple keyboard has an fn key,a control key, two option(alt) keys, two command keys, the space bar, and the arrow keys in the bottom row. The Verbatim keyboard jams two Home button keys, a key to hide or show the iPad’s virtual keyboard, and the backslash key into that same row — 13 keys in a small space.

One other gripe is that some of the keys are in totally non-standard positions. For example, the quotation mark key that’s normally next to the Return/Enter key on a Mac keyboard is squeezed between the left shift key and the letter Z. The backslash is on the bottom row instead of on the right side of the “QWERTY” row of the keyboard, and the delete key is on the top row instead of the number row.

Verbatim threw a number of iOS device-specific keys onto the top row, including a lock key, search key, brightness keys, cut/copy/paste, reload, rewind/play/fast-forward, and volume keys. These are fairly standard with most Bluetooth keyboards designed for use with the iPad


All things considered, I cannot recommend the Verbatim Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard. It’s too small for any reasonable typing, many keys are in non-standard locations, and the price ($84) is ridiculously high. Apple’s Wireless Keyboard is only $69, Logitech’s Tablet Keyboard is $70, and there are generic Bluetooth keyboards that look much more comfortable for use with an iPad for as little as $13. Just yesterday, TUAW reviewed the AmazonBasics Bluetooth Keyboard that is regularly available for as little as $29.99.

My advice? Either learn to use the virtual keyboard on the iPad, which I’ve actually found gets much better the more you use it, or get the Apple Wireless Keyboard.

Verbatim Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard is tiny, overpriced and flawed originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 30 Dec 2011 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Battlefield 3: Christmas Comes Early With Origin Half Price Sale

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, Microsoft

Buy Battlefield 3 for half price on Christmas eve and Christmas day only.

EA has revealed a couple of great Christmas offers on Origin – the first is Battlefield 3 discounted by 50 per cent, if you buy it on 24/25 of December.

The second deal will knock 50 per cent off the cost of two games from the list below, and runs from 27 December until 8 January.

Microsoft and Valve also have Christmas sals on digital content.

The list of relevant games on offer on Origin are as follows:
Battlefield 3
FIFA Manager 12
Sims 3 Pets
Sims 3
Sims 3 Generations
Sims 3 Ambitions
Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe
Crysis 2
Alice Madness Returns