An update rolling out Tuesday for the Xbox Live network aims to do what Microsoft has been teasing for a while -- turn a platform designed primarily for video games into one that will be the major hub for all television viewing.
Spring has officially sprung for the video game industry, with new systems such as Nintendo's glasses-free, handheld 3DS and new titles such as "Crysis 2" and "Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars" leading the charge.
Classic movies, music and books all enjoy healthy reprints and ardent fan followings. But given ever-changing technology and fans' limited attention spans, classic video games are often left to molder in obscurity, cosigned to download from dubiously legal "abandonware" sites.
With hundreds of titles available in dozens of genres, choosing a holiday gift for the gamer on your list is never simple. It's even harder in 2010, with thousands of downloadable games, social games and iPhone apps competing for gamers' attention, as well.
From the ultraviolent side-scrolling brawler "Shank" to the tomb-raiding adventure "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light" or the trigger-mashing blaster "Monday Night Combat," there's been no shortage of enticing video games lately.
Even as gaming begins to challenge television as a leading mass entertainment medium, the industry continues to struggle with the serialized model that's made broadcast programming a nightly must-see for many.
Not all presents are available in retail stores. Many are only accessible via digital download, including a handful of excellent titles on GameTap, Nintendo's Virtual Console, the PlayStation Network, and Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade.
Not only is Microsoft Game Studios' "Halo 3" the most eagerly anticipated video game of the year -- it achieved a milestone of a million preorders two months ago -- but this action sci-fi series has become a cultural phenomenon, spawning novels, comics, action figures and a top-secret project with Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson ("The Lord of the Rings. The Return of the King").
Cadillac tried a novel approach last year to get young male car buyers excited about its tricked-out V-Series Collection luxury vehicles. Rather than make its pitch through magazines, TV commercials, or online display ads, the automaker took its campaign to the Xbox 360.
Racing fans, listen up. If you think you've got what it takes to drive competitively, you can put your clutch where your mouth is with Microsoft Game Studios' "Forza Motorsport 2," a high-definition sequel to the hit 2005 racing simulator.
Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are making significant progress in the battle for the living room. A new study by Nielsen finds more than 41 percent of U.S. homes have a gaming system - an 18.5 percent increase from 2004.
I've always taken great pride in finding just the right holiday gift for people, but it's proving to be a challenge with those darn video game executives I've got on my list. I mean, these are the people who are in charge of the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. They know from good gifts!
Three years ago, Force 10 networks faced a bleak future. Telecoms, the major customers for its high-speed data switches, were collapsing. Then Google ordered a batch of switches for a major expansion of its data centers - and has been buying ever since. "It put the company on the path to the big time," says Gary Morgenthaler, general partner at Morgenthaler Ventures, an investor in Force 10. The startup is reported to have hit $60 million in revenue in 2005 and is expected to file for an IPO soon.
Ray Ozzie spent most of his career competing with Microsoft. Now, as one of its top executives, he's trying to jolt the company out of complacency and help it figure out how to compete with the likes of Google.
Microsoft's got game. After plunging an estimated $4 billion into the development and marketing of its Xbox videogame console, the centerpiece of its strategy to expand from the office to the living room, Microsoft has taken the wraps off its next-generation game box, the Xbox 360. And judging from the features Microsoft has packed into the new box, it's clear the company is playing for keeps.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - For gaming's most enthusiastic fans, the question of whether to get an Xbox 360 was answered long ago. It would be the first entry in the next generation and a status symbol amongst their friends. But is there a reason for the rest of the world - gaming or otherwise - to rush stores?
I must admit that for a long time I thought the idea of online gaming on my computer was pointless. Why would I want to chat with other gamers in these virtual worlds when I could have as much fun playing solo offline?
Combine a military action shooter such as "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon" with the most coveted sci-fi universe this side of Tatooine and you'll end up with LucasArts "Star Wars: Republic Commando," a new squad-based adventure that drops you into the middle of an intergalactic conflict of good versus evil.
It's the bottom of the ninth and the bases are loaded. The Yankees and Red Sox are tied 4-4 when New York's Alex Rodriguez steps up to the plate -- literally engulfed in flames as a result of his "hot" performance -- and sends a ball out of the stadium and into the scoreboard, smashing it to pieces. The crowd goes wild.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - When you're a small business and you overlook a detail, it often goes unnoticed. When you're a multimillion or multibillion dollar business, it opens up the opportunity for someone to make you look foolish.