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The 360 - Online, Japan, HD-DVD 66

Lots of tidbits about Microsoft's next-gen console floating around this week. On Monday, the company revealed that almost 60% of 360 owners are now using Xbox Live. GameDaily discusses what is making their setup so dang popular. Major Nelson's Sunday podcast included a lot of details on the 360's approach to HD-DVD. HD Beat has the rundown on what was said, including the inevitable Sony smack-talk. Finally, Gamasutra has a feature on the 360's position in Japan. A group of analysts debate whether or not the system even needs Japan in order to be a success. From this last article: "I don't think that American gamers are enamored [with] Japanese product because it comes from Japan; rather, I think Americans like good games, regardless of the country of origin. Microsoft doesn't need Japanese development to succeed in the U.S.; it needs good games, period."

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.