Microsoft are not stupid. Their video advertising campaign for Songsmith is horifically tacky but it has gone viral and the download sites are taking a bit of a hammering.
I am still downloading the product to check it out but it strikes me that Microsoft may have cunningly found a way to recoup some of the money they may lose as a result of the EU chasing them again. If they combine the product with some form of Auto-Tune (automatic pitch correction, some modern releases are smothered in it), they will probably make enough money to buy the world.
By the way, be careful when looking up examples of Auto-Tune. Once you get the feeling for the shimmery-ness (technical term) it adds to recordings, you can’t miss it! Well, when it is abused, anyway. This is similar to not being able to un-hear the major compression abuse, such as on the new Metallica album.
The New Xbox Experience is now live. And very impressive it is too. That is my new Mii^W^W^W sorry, avatar, on the left.
The whole update just oozes polish. Very much in the style of Apple with panes swooshing all over the place, and CD-rack style collections of games and options. The opening movie seems designed to say, “Yes, well, Nintendo did the cute avatars first, but check THIS out”.
The avatars are stunningly put together and animated. Lots of cute little touches like headbutting the screen should you rotate them back then forward again. And of course they wave and generally dash about. It will be very interesting when more games start to take advantage of them.
I tried out the “Install game to hard disk” feature with Fallout 3. Painless, and although there wasn’t a huge increase in speed afterwads, I could play the game without the aircraft taking off DVD drive noises. Excellent.
Of course, now I have pretty much zero hard disk space, so the 120 Gb Hard Drive Expansion is looking mighty appealing. Predictably, Amazon are sold out now.