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Friday, September 02, 2005



"New details about playing online with the Xbox 360 emerge from Game Developers Conference

Lectures are rarely interesting. In fact, they're normally quite boring, and if the heating is turned up a bit too high, then it's not long before zzzzzzz... Well, thankfully Microsoft broke the trend at the Game Developers Conference yesterday, giving a few interesting new details about Live play for the Xbox 360.

First up was the demonstration of the 'Gamer Profile'. This enables you to save your preferences universally across titles, so if you're an inverted-Y axis man, any first-person shooter you load up will instantly sate your controller demands.

Games will also be programmed with varying levels of 'Achievement'. These are awarded to you according to your performances, and give fellow players the chance to laugh at/be jealous of your skills online. The primary purpose of this, of course, is to warn others of your abilities before challenging you to a heated bout of something like Dead Or Alive 4.

In addition, a 'Reputation' feature is being touted as a good way of seeking out new online friends. After each session, you'll be able to give feedback on a player's reliability, ability and personality traits, which can be viewed by others. Likewise, a 'Gamerzone' feature allows you to assess your own personal style for the benefit of others.

There will be four categories in total, highlighting casual types, competitive types, alternative types and family-friendly types for those deeply opposed to four-lettered barrages and scenes of pixellated decapitation.

Finally, arguably the most interesting feature of the new Xbox Live is the statistics one, which Bungie conjured up for Halo 2. This is where you get to analyse your online performance through visual breakdowns of your actions and decisions. Reportedly, this will become a common part of Xbox 360 games. Bet you'll feel just like an American sports pundit once you've got your head round that one..."

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