From playing games, to watching movies, to listening to music, Microsoft's all-in-one companion application, Xbox SmartGlass, continues to build a hefty catalog of ways to interact with your Xbox 360. For anyone still in the dark about inviting SmartGlass into their holy trinity of media consumption, or aren't familiar with what exactly it does, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. His name's Peter Orullian.
But first, what is Xbox SmartGlass? Consider SmartGlass the very best parts of a friendship without having to subscribe to that nagging social courtesy of considering their feelings. Too lazy to get up and grab your Xbox remote? No problem, SmartGlass loves being a remote. Need a quick tip about the game you're playing? SmartGlass will show you in real time, and won't ask to play or tell you what you're doing wrong. Actually, consider Xbox SmartGlass to be like your personal virtual servant; a media genie that only likes what you like and never pesters you about freedom, or lamps.
In a series of tutorial videos released yesterday, Xbox SmartGlass Product Manager Peter Orullian has outlined the many possible ways you can enhance any experience with the SmartGlass application, including our favorite, Xbox Live Arcade. Giving us the first information on how we can expect to utilize SmartGlass with Signal Studios' upcoming action-RPG Ascend: New Gods, Orullian demonstrates the newly unveiled Ascend: Oracle of the New Gods, which acts as an interactive compendium, realtime dungeon map and stat tracker. All this while showing off some much appreciated gameplay footage. Check out the video after the jump.
Update: In the brief span of time since this article was published, Lab Zero Games was able to raise another $25,000, meaning it has hit its first stretch goal: Squigly will now get her own stage and story mode. Original story follows.
Lab Zero Games was hoping to reach its goal in 30 days. Some thought the notion of raising $150,000 for a DLC character for XBLA, PSN and PC fighting game Skullgirls would be "impossible." As it turns out, it was — just not in the way many onlookers were thinking.
It didn't take Lab Zero 30 days to raise the funds it requires to finish designing the character Squigly and get her into its game. It didn't even take 30 hours. In less than a day, the independent studio that last year was sculpted out of some bits of clay that fell from Reverge Labs was able to raise the full $150,000 it says it requires to bring Squigly to gamers.
"In less than 24 hours, #Skullgirls has raised $150k for Squigly!" reads a tweet that went out this morning from the official Skullgirls account. "Everyone at Lab Zero is humbled. Thank you so much!"
Shortly thereafter, Lab Zero Games CEO Peter Bartholow provided XBLAFans with details on the character's XBLA release. First, a title update and mandatory DLC pack that will add Squigly — along with any stretch items that the Indiegogo campaign is able to hit — will be released. An initially free-of-charge Squigly unlock will be released simultaneously. Squigly will remain free for a 3-month period and will set gamers back $5 from that point forward.
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He's real all right. He is one man, and he really did gain inside knowledge of Microsoft's next-gen Xbox, among other once-secretive industry projects. But he's not a former Microsoft employee or developer who has worked on a game for the platform said to be codenamed Durango. He's a hacker.
The skilled Australian hacker previously known to the public only as "SuperDaE" has at varying times gained surreptitious computer access to Microsoft, Sony, Epic and Blizzard. What exactly he was privy to once on the inside of any of these industry titans' systems is still up for some debate, as many of the reported details differ between publisher and hacker. However, there was a time when he was almost certainly in possession of myriad whitepapers containing intricate details about Microsoft and Sony's respective next-gen console plans.
"Was" is the operative word here. SuperDae, whose real name is Dan "Dylan" Henry and who once attempted to sell what was either an actual Xbox Durango development kit or an uncannily convincing replica of one, has been caught. On the morning of Tuesday, February 19, Australian police — along with an American who Dylan alleges to be an FBI agent — raided Henry's home and confiscated enough items to fill a 6-page police report. In a tell-almost-all, Kotaku Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo recounts in fascinating detail not just the search and seizure of Henry's belongings, but Totilo's entire history of dealings with the man who is undoubtedly the most publicly known spiller of next-gen beans.
"I've lost everything," Henry told Kotaku a few days ago. After the seizure of his computers, paperwork, his Blackberry, his Visa, banking records and, strangely, a phallic-shaped cup, the hacker described his life as now being in ruins. Members of Western Australia's Technology Crime Investigation Unit who took part in the raid reportedly told Henry, who has not been charged with any crime, that he was not allowed a lawyer and taunted him over how he would be treated in prison.
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