Microsoft gifting 10-year anniversary Xbox 360s to long-term Xbox Live loyalists

Microsoft's offering a hearty thank you to some of its longest running Xbox Live members with the handsome limited edition Xbox 360 seen above -- totally gratis -- celebrating this month's 10 year Xbox Live anniversary. Director of Xbox programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb posted an image of the box to his Twitter account this evening along with a tease that Redmond's hooking up more than just old-school XBLers. "I'll have details on how you can win one for yourself later this week," he noted. One lucky Kotaku reader already got their hands on the limited edition 360, which appears to be a Slim model -- it's unclear how much HDD space it comes equipped with. Hopefully it's more than enough to handle the 10 years of downloadable content it'll soon be holding.

[Source: Engadget]

Xbox 360 USB storage quietly doubled from 16GB to 32GB in latest dashboard update

It seems that Microsoft's latest dashboard update to the Xbox 360 was little more than a trojan horse for a super secret USB storage update from the original 16GB cap to 32GB -- you can't fool us, Microsoft! Er, at least you can't fool the vast swaths of people using their Xbox 360s, who tipped our superfriends at Joystiq on the update. Microsoft confirmed the storage limit change as intentional and explained its purpose in a statement: "The more our customers use their profile and download digital content, the larger the file size necessary to store that content and move it between consoles gets. Therefore we increased the size of the memory to enable our customers to take more of their Xbox profile with them on the go." So, there you have it! If you'll excuse us, we'll be over here loading our entire history of game saves to USB sticks for mobile gloating.

[Source: Engadget]

Microsoft 'retiring' Facebook and Twitter Xbox 360 Dashboard apps

Eagle-eyed gamers may have already noticed that the Xbox 360's dedicated Twitter and Facebook appshave gone missing after the latest Dashboard update, and now Redmond has confirmed it's put the applications out to pasture. According to a Microsoft representative that spoke to IGN, the firm is "retiring the Facebook and Twitter apps" as it works to streamline functionality. When asked if the pair of apps will ever make a comeback, Ballmer and Co. didn't comment. Still crave to update your friends on your latest gaming exploits through the console? Spreading the news on the digital grapevine is still possible, but you'll have to access the social networks through the freshly added Internet Explorer app -- an experience we hope Xbox SmartGlass will improve.

[Source: Engadget]

Microsoft’s Project Natal Could Cost $200

I just read over on Mashable that Microsoft's Project Natal could cost the equivalent of almost $200, so for those of us here in the UK, that'll equate to, errr, £200 at the current exchange rate.

In all seriousness, I find the whole Project Natal thing intriguing. From the demonstrations it looked like quite a nice way to interact with a new breed of games. Certainly a step forward from the wiggle your Wii remote in any direction and it works. More of an intelligent way to move around a game and to perhaps have a sword fight with someone. It is due out really soon, but if the price is this high then they are onto a loser. I would have liked to see Natal as a £50 add-on if you are purchasing with a console, or a maximum of £79 as a standalone unit. At least that way it is within the reach of most gamers budget.

Of course Sony are trying their luck too, with their Move Motion and Navigation controllers. These are more like a direct take on the Wii controllers, but without the wire that you have connecting the two together. They certainly do look funky, I just hope that they work well and get some great game support.

So, it seems like game console manufacturers are not currently looking for the next level of hardware with improved graphics (well not telling us yet), rather they are trying to enhance their current consoles. It looks like an interesting time for gaming as we all get to try out these new control methods.