A constant complaint that we receive here at Lazygamer is that the South African Xbox marketplace isn’t up to scratch compared to the worldwide stores and even the local PSN store. But a lot of people are stuck using it still.
Numerous reports are coming in of widespread Xbox Live bans again, but itâ€™s not the usual â€œmodded consoleâ€ banwave that makes affected consoles unable to connect to Microsoftâ€™s network.
Instead, users are being banned for â€œMarketplace theft.â€ The problem, this time, is that many claim theyâ€™ve done no wrong.
When Xbox live finally launched in South Africa last November, we were elated; our years of campaigning and hard work had finally paid off. No longer would we be treated as second class netizens! Of course, being realists we stashed a little cynicism and skepticism aside just in case it wouldnâ€™t be the digital land of milk and honey we were promised. It soon became evident that our stowed pessimism wasnâ€™t for naught, when the local marketplace started out empty and was slow to populate. Blame has mostly been laid at the feet of our local Film and Publications Board, which certifies and rates the media entertainment that's put up for public consumption.
Itâ€™s been nearly six months since Xbox Live launched locally - so where are we now?
Today is the first day that Xbox Live is officially available from South Africa. The migration process has been pretty smooth for most â€“ except for the jarring realisation that beyond a handful of arcade titles and add-ons, the ZA store is pretty barren.
Yesterday, we had a brief chat with Head of Product Marketing for Xbox Live in the EMEA regions, Robin Burrowes who explained why.
Nick de Bruyne
Major Nelson has confirmed to us all that there are some goodies awaiting us on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The new Borderlands DLC New Robot Revolution is now available for download on the marketplace, and will run you 800 MS points and 1GB.
Also available today is the EA Sports MMA demo which also weighs in at 1GB.
You can schedule up the Borderlands DLC here and the MMA demo here.
Source: Major Nelson
Unfortunately the reality of being a gamer these days means that itâ€™s virtually impossible to afford every single brand new title that gets released and as such we have a huge second hand game market in South Africa. But unless you have been living under a rock for the past 1 000 years you would also know that trading games on forums is risky and retailers arenâ€™t the most generous institutions when it comes to trading in used games.
But have no fear as kalahari.net has come to the rescue and starting immediately you can now sell new or second hand games directly from their website. Whatâ€™s even better is that they have made this process as simple as possible.
Nick de Bruyne
Those of you out there who are petrol-heads and are still enjoying Forza Motorsport 3 can now head on over to the Xbox Live Marketplace and pick up the latest DLC car pack, titled The Road & Track Pack.
The new DLC pack is 104MB, costs 400 MS Points and includes 10 new sexy beasts for you to get loose with. If you only go with the sample pack, the new MINI Coupe Concept car is yours for free, and you get to see the other new cars around you when playing online, rather than that generic black thing.
More information about the cars in the pack and link after the jump.
Nick de Bruyne
Major Nelson has just informed us via his Twitter feed that Xbox Live is now having an inventory blowout sale (list in image above).
What his basically is, is a whole heap of marketplace content selling mostly at half price. The best part is that it is available to both Gold and Silver members, so if anything on the list interests you, now is the time to get buying.
The discounted prices will be available until April 7.
Source: Major Nelson
Nick de Bruyne
Battlefield fans rejoice! The multiplayer demo for Bad Company 2 is officially available to download right now for the Xbox 360 on Xbox Live.
Some local tweets informed me that the demo is apparently only up on the US marketplace but I have found a direct link to the Xbox.com Marketplace and it seems to be scheduling up just fine.
We will have to see if it will block the actual Xbox for any reason and we will try to update as soon as we can.
Here is the LINK to the marketplace. The demo is 1GB and features the Port Valdez map.
The moment of reckoning has arrived, the Left 4 Dead 2 demo has landed on the Xbox Live Marketplace and we all now get the chance to see if itâ€™s really worthy of being a sequel or is it purely a cash in that should have been DLC?
The demo clocks in at over 2Gb so itâ€™s not for the feint hearted but seeing as this demo is multiplayer enabled and could really be viewed as a mini arcade title all by itself I would say itâ€™s worth the download.
We will be downloading it throughout the day and hopefully have some first impression feedback in the morning.
The new Xbox Live/Summer Dashboard update has spurned some serious debates even before it was released. But as you all should have already known by now, the marketplace includes an Avatar Market which allows you to buy some expanded gear for your digital self.
In other words if by some miracle despite the global economic state of the world, you have some extra ZA Rands to burn or singe then here's some cool stuff you can spend it on. So scroll down to check out some cool Star Wars, BioShock 2 and Gears of War 2 apparel you can pimp out your Avatar with.
I have to express my utter dismay at this attempt to squeeze some more cash out of us gamers who love to personalize our gear... but that isn't to say some of these items are pretty cool despite their price.
After a couple of false starts it seems we are all ready to get going with the latest Fallout 3 DLC, Broken Steel.
Major Nelson announced this morning that it was once again available for download from the Xbox Live Marketplace and this time they are quite sure that they have fixed the problems.
If you have downloaded it previously you will unfortunately need to download the entire things again and then after that if you are still missing those all important achievements just recover our gamertag and you should be good to go.
How things like this slip through Microsoft's certification process still amazes me as that is meant to be the every developers personal nightmare.
Source: Major Nelson
Major Nelson posts up the Xbox Live Activity charts on a weekly basis and every now and then they throw up a bit of a surprise and we post about it.
This week the normal charts have very little to get excited about, the top 4 shuffle around but stay the top 4 (COD WaW, Halo 3, COD4, Gears 2).
On the Arcade charts NHL 3v3 makes a great debut on top and Castle Crashers, Worms and UNO keep up their dominance of that chart.
And then the interesting stats, for the first time ever (I think) the new Community Games rankings have been listed.
You know those moments in life when you suddenly realise everyone else knows somwthing you don't? Like when you're told to go ask little Suzy out even though everyone (but you) knows that little Suzy is going out with Billy Bob and doesn't like you? No? Well... lets get back to gaming now shall we.
This just in, Â 2 weeks ago the NXE was launched and alongside that the online Marketplace has been added to Xbox.com. So now you can waste away the hours at the office by browsing through the marketplace and seeing what you would like to download, then selecting download and the next time your Xbox 360 is turned on the download will start.
Honestly I had never heard of this show before until Unsafestcorpse pointed it out to me on the Xbox Live marketplace last night. If you want to check out more of the episodes shoot over too their Youtube page. I myself don't find it that funny after watching a couple of them, they have their moments though. [ It's quite a laugh if you are a big fan of MMO's - Ed ]
What does catch me as strange is that Microsoft and Xbox Live have actually sponsored them to create a second season, which will be available on Xbox Live in HD. It's good for them and everyone deserves a chance, I personally would have rather seem Arbie and Chief in HD on Xbox Live, but hey at least they are free.