Multi-user chat over Xbox Live

Xbox Live chat screen

One of the most requested things I’ve seen on the boards, apart from Backwards Compatibility updates, has been adding a multi-user chat “room” to the exiting one-to-one chat on Xbox Live.

When rumors of the update to the Dashboard started circulating a few weeks ago, every few posts was either specifically expressing hope for or requesting the addition of a voice chat feature that would let you have multiple people join in.

Looks like the folks on the Xbox Development Team have noticed the same thing and have addressed why one-to-one chat is the only option available on their Xbox Team blog.

Finding out that the minimum broadband requirements are 64kbps upstream and downstream for all Xbox Live functions and games was a pretty interesting piece of info to come out of it… I know nothing about games networking, but that seems like a pretty small bandwidth requirement and it’s a testament to how the networking has been optimized for online considering all the games work pretty well online.

Project Gotham Racing 3 Time Trials

For the past week I have joined some fellow people on GAF in a series of time trial challenges in PGR3 from a post by kindbudmaster.

I’ve never done time trials online in any game, even though I’ve raced online. This was a first as far as something organized and friendly would go. I can’t tell you how much fun and frustration I had joining in. Easily topped just about every other online experience I’ve had so far, and that includes joining the guys for some friendly racing if we happened to be on at the same time.

We’ve done four rounds so far and it looks they will be more to come. Kindbudmaster has been MIA for 4 days already, so I hope he comes back soon!

Check out WHOAguitarninja’s time in Round 1. Last I checked that time is still in the top 10 for Class C on the overall Leaderboards. Check the replay out, I was impressed by the consistently smooth driving around that track, especially that first nightmare-inducing chicane.

RProject Gotham Racing 3 PGR3 Ruf CTR Yellowbirdound 1
Nishiguchi Short (Tokyo) with a RUF CTR “Yellow Bird” (Class C)
Best: 53.01 (WHOAguitarninja)
Mine: 56.41

Project Gotham Racing 3 PGR3 Lamborghini MuircielagoRound 2
Flamingo Straits (Las Vegas) with a Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT (Class A)
Best: 59.36 (Brodequin)
Mine: 1:00.84

Project Gotham Racing 3 PGR3 Callaway SledgehammerRound 3
Park to Tillary (New York) with a Callaway Sledgehammer Twin Turbo (Class B)
Best: 59.36 (Brodequin)
Mine: 2:07.56

Project Gotham Racing 3 PGR3 Ferrari TestarossaRound 4
The Birdcage (London) with a Ferrari Testarossa (Class E)
Best: 1:39.12 (Tie: WHOAguitarninja and Brodequin)
Mine: 1:42.72

We <3 Katamari checks

Jumping on this bandwagon, I read via Kotaku, who got it from Boing Boing, that someone made checks with a Katamari Damacy theme.


I’m definitely going to make my own nerd checks now. The only question is… what to make them of? Community Spotlight

Xbox Community Spotlight: Community Reps

Something pretty nice happened yesterday. It was in the works for a while and I got notice it was posted onto the site. That is to say, my colleagues and I now have our own special Community Spotlight interview up on

It talks about what I do for a good part of my job these days. Which is, in a nutshell, to be a gamer and representative for Xbox, Xbox 360 and Windows games in online communities (boards, etc.). It says that in the first line in the Spotlight, so I just repeated myself.

Either way, this is a pretty cool thing to have happen, even if it came as part of my job. I do come across as this overly verbose, utter nerd though. Too late now!

PT (Do you need it?)

After a long, Xbox 360-inspired hiatus I logged back into my normal FFXI character, Arne, just to see what was going on and what was new on the server and on my linkshell, Chocobolicious.

I was shocked to find that in the two months I’ve been gone some prices have skyrocketed. I didn’t check too many things, but once I noticed one thing was off, I started checking things I buy and sell often. It was crazy, things doubled or nearly doubled in price. The positive side is something I make and sell for profit on my server at a very high profit margin just went up 78% in the Jeuno AH.

I didn’t know what to do so I hopped on an airship to Windurst to level my Dark Knight past 11. I’m working to get it to at least 25 as a specialized sub for my main class, Red Mage, which is currently at 50. After much muling and buying ingredients for making Pamama au Lait I headed out to Tahrongi Canyon to slowly level up.

Akbaba mob from Final Fantasy XI FFXII was out there for a while and then saw a Summoner and a Red Mage from the same linkshell battling together against an Akbaba. I just watched them finish their battle and then started to run off to find something else (and easier) to level up on. A few seconds later I got a string of Japanese which included the phrase “PT” and a question mark. Using the sometimes inaccurate auto-translate function I let them know I wanted to be in the party, but that I didn’t speak any Japanese. As many FFXI players know, that is usually followed by silence or a misunderstanding that you don’t want to be in their party. This time around Hiroge and Ericia invited me. Even though I wanted to go to bed soon, I was happy to be able to go through kills quicker even with some minor EXP loss.

Dark Knight Dark Harvest weapon skill from Final Fantasy XI FFXIThings went pretty well and we were fighting nearly non-stop. We all tried to work past the language barrier, I even got a flattering comment (“arn, good hunting^^”) in English once. After about an hour, they both levelled up and we called it a night not long thereafter, which was good, I needed to go to bed. When we stopped I was about 800 EXP short until the next level. The next night I logged in and zoomed past those 800 to hit level 12. It might be a while before I go back to work on getting to 13.