Xbox 360 Warranty Retroactively Expanded to 3 Years

Microsoft announced today that it is expanding its Xbox 360 warranty to three years for any customer who experiences the three flashing red lights error message that indicates hardware failure. All repairs will be made free of charge for three years from the time of purchase, including shipping expenses. Anybody who previously has paid for their consoles to be repaired related to three red light error message will be retroactively reimbursed. Other existing Xbox 360 warranties remain unchanged.

First the warranty was 3 months, then under pressure Microsoft expanded it to 1 year. Now three years… There’s obviously a serious problem. I have a replacement being shipped to me right now because of RedRing, so I’m ecstatic to hear that Microsoft is doing something about this. This quote from IGN is what especially interests me:

The company is making the move as a result of what the company views as “an unacceptable number of repairs to Xbox 360 consoles.” Microsoft claims that it has identified a number of factors that cause the three flashing red lights error message and has made improvements to the console.

I’m just hoping that the replacement that was sent to me has been equipped with these improvements!

Via: IGN

Flash Games Use Wii Remote

Recently Stumbleupon Video launched a Wii version of the site that automatically detects the Wii Opera browser and formats the content for the Wii/TV. To me, the most notable thing that they did was add Wii Remote D-pad support for navigating videos and rating what you like/dislike. Their flash application was pulling button presses straight from the remote, not just clicks from the A button. Nintendo is allowing all of the key presses from the remote to not only hit the browser, but to also be accessed by online applications.

This morning I saw some related news that really caught my interest.

WiiCade is proud to announce the immediate availability of software that unlocks Nintendo Wii Remote functionality previously unavailable to online video games. This Application Programmer Interface (API) allows Flash developers to utilize the full range of buttons on the wireless remote device. Additionally, the API gives developers the potential to detect multiple, simultaneous button presses without interfering with the pointing capabilities of the remote; a feature not seen in previous APIs.

I have really been amazed how application development for the Wii has not come to us through unsigned code exploits or hardware mod chips, but instead through the browser. When people want new functionality they write a website for it designed specifically for the Wii. Wiiminder added tabbed browsing, not by modifying the code of the Opera browser, but by making a website that loads multiple pages and provides pop-up toolbars, all with web technologies.

I feel like this Wiicade API will mark the beginning of a whole new wave of Wii Flash games that will progressively blur the line between a game you play online and a game you buy on a disc. I’m hoping that the retail release of the Wii Opera browser will provide a much needed autohide function for the browser toolbar. I believe that if that happens, we may reach a point where Wii applications hosted on the internet achieve a level of maturity that rivals Nintendo’s own offerings in the dashboard. I can’t wait.

Tapwave Taps Out

Tapwave ZodiacWell… it has happened. Tapwave is slapping the mat and crying uncle. After spending a couple of years trying to get their Zodiac game-oriented PalmOS handhelds to take hold of the market Tapwave is getting out of the business. They had mentioned doing work for OEM partners, but as Engadget states, a statement on their homepage points toward bankruptcy. This is a true shame, as the Zodiac really pushed the envelope in a lot of areas for it’s class of products. Just take a look at what the PSP is now, and know that the Zodiac had many of the same features two years ago (though it obviously lacked the very impressive graphics hardware packed into the PSP).

Via: Engadget