You may have noticed that the LIVE service has been having a few issues over the past few days. This includes things like signing in, matchmaking and account recovery. Not everyone has had problems, but I know some of you have and I wanted to give you and update. While the service was never completely offline, problems like this are not acceptable. The entire LIVE team has been working day and night to ensure that you can have a great LIVE experience. While we’re not done yet, I wanted to let you know that things are getting better each hour and that no one on the team is going anywhere until the job is done. Thanks for your patience.

Edit: As people have noticed, we have made good progress. We have a bit more work to do, but we’re doing much better now. I know some of you still may be having issues, and we’re working on those. Oh, and Happy New Year to those that are celebrating.

Content: KUF:COD Playable Demo
Price: Free
Availability: Asia, Australia, Canada. Mexico, New Zealand, and US
Dash Text: [ESRB: M (Mature) BLOOD AND GORE,SUGGESTIVE THEMES,VIOLENCE] Battle through 2 stages of Act 1 as Kendal or Leinhart with enhanced level and abilities against a unique set of monsters. Coming this Winter, Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom is a dark and twisted Action RPG filled with demented monsters to battle using nearly infinite combos of weapons, abilities and spells.

Size: 1.2 GB

Edit: I have confirmed that this demo is coming to European Xbox LIVE regions in mid-January, prior to the game shipping in those regions.

Typically, this is a slow week around the office as many folks are off for the Holidays and spending time with the Family. After a few days off from work, I have returned to the office to kick off my annual post-Christmas, pre-New Years ritual. It consists of a few things which revolve, for the most part, around tidying up and preparing for the new calendar year:

  • Backing up my office computers (both my Dell and Mac) and preparing them for a reformat and reinstall of their OS’s to start the year off fresh
  • This year I am installing Leopard on my office Mac, so let’s see how that goes. (I think I need more memory for it though.)
  • My Windows machine will see Vista Enterprise and Office 2007 (no surprise there huh?)
  • Burning all the 2007 shows onto DVD for back up
  • Cleaning my office (mental note: way to many boxes and cables)
  • A random trip to Fry’s with e to take advantage of any post Holiday bargains
  • Organizing my games library which became slightly disorganized over the year
  • Taking all of the holiday cards I got this year and copying names and addresses to my contacts file
  • Preparing for CES as best I can, as there is no good way I have found to prepare for it…it just happens
  • This year, I think I am going to build a WHS so I can start backing up my home media collection

Do you have any yearly customs that you perform between the Holidays to prepare yourself for the New Year?

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There are only a few days left in voting for the Xbox 2007 Community Choice Awards over at This is your chance let the editors at know what your top gaming choices are for 2007. Here are some of the categories:

Best Game
Best Game Add-on
Best New IP
Best Role-Playing Game
Best Racing Game
Best Family Game
Best Arcade Game
Best Sports Game
Best Co-op Game
Best Weapon
Best Vehicle
Best Xbox LIVE Event
Toughest Achievement
Coolest Xbox 360 Accessory
Best Sequel
Best Movie Download
Best TV Download
Best Game You May Have Missed

The voting is done directly in the Xbox forums and open to anyone with a Gamertag.

I have received a few questions as to why Xbox LIVE members under 18 cannot access game demos or trailers on Xbox LIVE. The answer lies with video game ratings organizations, like the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Game demos and trailers distributed over Xbox LIVE are considered advertising and in accordance with the ESRB’s Principles and Guidelines for Responsible Advertising Practices Xbox LIVE members under 18 do not have access to demos or trailers for a title rated M (Mature) or RP (Rating Pending.) ESRB Guidelines are industry wide and are not unique to Xbox LIVE. In other words, these are the rules that all online console stores, like the Wii Shop Channel and the Playstation Store, need to adhere to in order to in be in line with the ESRB’s Guidlines.

Content: SpongeBob Underpants!
Price: 800 Microsoft Points
Availability: Canada & United States
Dash Text: [ESRB: E (EVERYONE) COMIC MISCHIEF, MILD CARTOON VIOLENCE] Single Player, Xbox LIVE Multiplayer 2-4, Local Multiplayer 2-4, HD (High Definition). SpongeBob SquarePants Underpants Slam! is a fast-paced, side-scrolling multiplayer slapstick collect ‘em-up set deep in the sea. A Royal Laundry shipment of Neptune, Lord of the Sea’s undergarments, has been spread across the sea bottom by an incredibly powerful storm current! Neptune has called upon the commonfish to collect his lost undergarments and fix this ‘delicate’ situation. He’s offered a bounteous reward to the sea creature who collects the most bloomers! There are no refunds for this item. For more information, see

Xbox 360 Top Live Titles ( based on UU’s)
1 Halo 3
2 Call of Duty 4
3 Gears of War
4 Guitar Hero III
5 Burnout Paradise Demo
6 Assassin’s Creed
7 Madden NFL 08
8 Mass Effect
9 Kane & Lynch (Demo)
10 Guitar Hero II

Top Arcade Titles (Full Versions)
1 Sensible World of Soccer
2 Arkadian Warriors
3 Tempest
4 Sonic The Hedgehog 2
6 Marble Blast Ultra
7 Bomberman LIVE
8 Bankshot Billiards 2
9 Worms
10 Geometry Wars Evolved
The arcade list is based on full versions purchased.

Original Xbox Top Live Games
1 Halo 2
2 Battlefield 2: MC
3 Star Wars: Battlfrnt 2
4 Fable
5 Counter-Strike
6 Madden NFL 08
7 Call of Duty 3
8 Crimson Skies
9 Rainbow Six 3
10 Ghost Recon 2

These lists are based on global unique users connected to Xbox Live or in the case of Arcade, full versions purchased that week.