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    by Published on February 15th, 2008 22:26


    HD DVD dropped by Wal-Mart, Toshiba?
    Megaretailer goes Blu-ray-exclusive as competing format's creator is reportedly ready to throw in the towel.

    HD DVD dropped by Wal-Mart, Toshiba? Megaretailer goes Blu-ray exclusive as competing format's creator is reportedly ready to throw in the towel.

    It's been a rough year for Toshiba's HD DVD format. After spending 2006 and 2007 locked in a heated battle with the Sony-backed Blu-ray for high-definition, high-capacity disc format dominance, HD DVD has suffered a series of devastating setbacks in the first two months of the year.

    Warner Bros. kicked 2008 off by going Blu-ray exclusive in the first week of January. An apparently panicked HD DVD camp canceled its Consumer Electronics Show conference in response, and reports quickly surfaced that HD DVD holdouts Paramount and Universal were looking to switch to Blu-ray.

    Bad news for HD DVD fans is continuing to snowball this week, as Best Buy and movie rental service Netflix both said they would back the Sony-supported format going forward. (Best Buy will still stock HD DVD, but its salespeople will advise prospective customers to go Blu-ray).

    Two more big names came up as abandoning HD DVD today. This morning the official Wal-Mart blog confirmed that the massive retail chain is going Blu-ray exclusive by June, and the Hollywood Reporter is citing "reliable industry sources" for the news that Toshiba itself is ready to drop its own format.

    A Toshiba representative denied the news to the film-focused trade newspaper, but left plenty of room for people to infer there is some truth to the report.

    "Given the market developments in the past month," the rep is quoted as saying, "Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players."

    A source "close to the HD-DVD camp" told the paper that an announcement could be made in a matter of weeks, but that it is definitely coming soon.
    by Published on February 11th, 2008 20:21

    From: http://n4g.com/tech/NewsCom-109951.aspx

    TheGamersThought.com has reported that Universal Studios will no longer support HD DVD exclusively as per EGM's March 2008 issue. Picture of the story covered in EGM's magazine has been scanned by TheGamersThought.com

    Full Article available here: http://www.thegamersthought.com/ (Second article, after the Netflix Going Blu Article)

    Looks like this format war will be over sooner than we all thought... That leaves 1 major studio backing HD-DVD... ...
    by Published on February 11th, 2008 20:21

    From: http://n4g.com/tech/NewsCom-109951.aspx

    TheGamersThought.com has reported that Universal Studios will no longer support HD DVD exclusively as per EGM's March 2008 issue. Picture of the story covered in EGM's magazine has been scanned by TheGamersThought.com

    Full Article available here: http://www.thegamersthought.com/ (Second article, after the Netflix Going Blu Article)

    Looks like this format war will be over sooner than we all thought... That leaves 1 major studio backing HD-DVD... ...
    by Published on January 17th, 2008 23:03

    From: http://www.gamesradar.com/us/ps3/gam...09104752229059

    Even before the PC version released, rumours of a PS3 conversion of the stunning Crysis (developed by Far Cry creators Crytek) were rife, and not far off the mark if insiders at the studio are to be believed. The game looks to be a port of the PC original plus some extra modes and features, a kind of Crysis 1.5. Like the PC game you can expect a visual powerhouse; an open-world shooter that begins on a beautiful tropical island before things take a turn for the worse and aliens from a parallel world stake a claim on Earth. Only the mighty Killzone 2 could possibly hold a candle to this shooter. For technical reasons we hear an Xbox 360 version of Crysis isn’t in development. Bet you’re glad you bought a PS3 now, eh? ...
    by Published on January 15th, 2008 20:10

    From: http://n4g.com/News-100018.aspx

    "We don't create these videos for the fanboys. That's not the point. We create them so that people who own both systems can be a little more informed on which version to buy. It's the fanboys that turn the comments section for these videos into a debacle.

    As for using RGB or adjusting the white levels on the PS3, that completely defeats the point of these videos. We play both systems on default settings with the same cabling. If we were to adjust the settings on the PS3 to make it look better then we'd be sacrificing the integrity of the video. It's not the other way around."

    Many comparison videos of games on the PS3 and Xbox360 from Gametrailers have the PS3 version looking faded; which is often cited against the PS3. However, if the TV allows RGB Full, it is on by default. Otherwise it is off to save energy. ...
    by Published on July 12th, 2007 01:49

    From http://www.g4tv.com/e32007/blog/post....html#readmore

    The Sony press conference kicked off just moments ago, and the company brought da noise with Sony style: Strong, assertive and with the kind of swagger that only comes from having won the last console war hands-down.

    Here are some of the major highlights:

    * Jack Tretton showed up as his PSHome character. Pretty nifty. the Avatar walked through Home Square, apparently a new area of Home.
    * Tretton: "over the past 14 years...Sony has strived to deliver great entertainment and innovation... we're going to show you games, games and more games." Good call, Sony.
    * A little love for the PS2: Tretton trumpets the console's sucess and says over 160 games are coming to the console this year.

    * PSP Games shown include: SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals Tactical Strike, Wipeout: Pulse, Syphon Filter; Logan's Shadow, NBA '08, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Silent Hill Origins, Patapon, Tiger Woods '08, Sonic Rivals 2, Sims 2: Castaway, SWAT: Target Liberty, Final Fantasy Tacktics: The war of the Lion, Castlevania.
    * Tretton showed off some of the awesome custimization stuff available on the PSHome. Kaz and Tretton virtually "hung out" and did a little comedy. Comedy is hard for everyone, so we gave them a pass.
    * Kaz took the stage to cheers and unveiled the new PSP!
    * New PSP: still has UMD, but it's 33% lighter than current and 19% slimmer. Improved battery, improved video, and can be hooked up to televisions! Wow!
    * Kaz demoed the new PSP with a showing of Spiderman 2, controlled from a PSP.
    * Comes in designer colors: "Ice Silver" Comes with Daxter and 1meg memory stick and The Family Guy: Frickin' Sweet UMD.
    * Chewbaca (?!!) made an appearance to show off the Star Wars: Battlefront bundle. A white PSP with Darth Vader on the back. $199.99. TheFeed thinks corporate executives should not try to do comedy. Also, when did we drop acid?
    * Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron comes out this fall.
    * PlayStation Network is next up. 2 million users and 20 million downloads, according to Tretton.
    * Phil Harrison takes the stage. Shows off five games from the PlayStation Network: EchoChrome, a puzzle game that look simply waste-your-life amazing. Like an Escher print and Line Rider had a genius offspring. You'll be hearing a lot about this one.
    * Pain. Funny, destructive and as addictive as you can imagine.
    * PS Network Games Shown include: Wipeout HD, Warhawk, SOCOM Confrontation.
    * PlayStation Home: Home client can run on Sony phones. Without graphics, but with all the social networking acess.
    * Harrison showed off some of the new spaces in Home. Very impressive.
    * SingStar playable within Home.
    * Harrison demonstrates the media capabilities of the phone/home connection by taking, then instantly uploading a photo of the crowd to PlayStation Home. Instantly uploads photos to Home. Very cool.
    * Can push screenshots from in Home to webpages. Like MySpace but for fake you.
    * Ability to launch any game from PS3 from inside Home.
    * Shows off Motorstorm from Home. Eagles Nest map available next month.
    * 80 gig PS3 model will be priced at $599 and is available on August.
    * Sales of 60 gig model have doubled, according to Tretton.
    * Prediction of 11 million sales of PS3s this year.
    * Sony "never waivered in belief that Blu-Ray was the way to go."
    * Tretton trumpets a 2-to-1 sales ration of Blu-Ray over HD-DVD.
    * 120 games. 15 exclusive first-party games.
    * Trailer for Ubisoft's Haze, a PS3 exclusive that many, many gamers are waiting for. Amazing visuals. Truly breathtaking.
    * Sony announces Unreal Tournament 3 as a PlayStation 3 exclusive! Also: user created mods will be transferable from PCs to PS3s. NICE!
    * Other games coming: Call of Duty 4, Assassin's Creed, Kane and Lynch: Dead Men, Resident Evil 5, Burnout Paradise, Madden NFL '08, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Simpson's Game, Guitar Hero III, Medal of Honor Airborn, and Rock Band.
    * Tretton announces another Third Party Exclusive: Metal Gear Solid 4, putting to rest rumors that the game might be headed to 360s.
    * Metal Gear Solid 4 will be the LAST Metal Gear game...evar!
    * Real Time footage of the game was shown, and it is as good as it could possibly be. Wow. Blown away.
    * Metal Gear Solid coming in "Early 2008!"
    * Harrison and Tretton went on to discuss exclusives coming for the PS3, including Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Folklore, Heavenly Sword, NBA '08, LittleBigPlanet, (including
    by Published on May 21st, 2007 06:50

    [quote]Well we have to admit, we sure didn't see this one coming. There have been rumors of a higher capacity PlayStation 3 for several months now, but no one figured that the first 80GB model would drop not in Japan or the US, but South Korea. And yet that's exactly what's scheduled to go down June 16th, when the previously-denied, Euro-spec'ed PS3 (but no 20GB or 60GB models, it seems) will hit the land of Samsung and LG for a pre-tax 518,000 won -- or just $556. While we don't want to get your hopes up, we can't help but think that this move bodes well for US consumers too; after all, the 80 gigger is already through the FCC, meaning that price drops and unimaginable storage space could be right around the corner.

    via engadget

    This is a very interesting turn of events. As a 'higher capacity PS3' has been rumored to be in the works for some time. But whats also interesting is that the 80gb PS3 sells for less than the US, Japanese, and European 60gb PS3.

    Price cut coming soon? I sure hope so, cause Sony really needs one right about now. ...
    by Published on May 19th, 2007 00:01

    It would appear that the folks over at Infectus have made a PS3 downgrader, complete with tutorial on how to get it working. As of this writing there has been no documented case (that I have seen) of working and the overwhelming risk of brickage have turned many over at the Official Playstation Boards off to the idea.

    To get started, you should download the small software that you can find HERE.
    Then, please download the Drivers that you'll need to make Infectus visible for the System Here

    Once you have got everything turn your console ON, connect Infectus to the USB port and start the software!

    This tutorial show you how to READ and WRITE the internal NAND FLASH of PS3:

    Here a nice video of this feature:

    Read more here: http://www.infectus.biz/tutorialps3nand-en.php

    Downgrading the PS3's firmware is an interesting prospect, however without any means of running homebrew from the XMB, there is really no point in downgrading.

    This may prove useful if an exploit is ever found however. ...
    by Published on April 25th, 2007 01:07

    Source: http://gear.ign.com/articles/769/769529p1.html

    Split Fish PS3 FragFX Controller Hands-On

    We get an early demo of the innovative mouse-hybrid controller for the PlayStation 3.
    by Gerry Block

    March 1, 2007 - Split Fish Gameware is an interesting new third party peripheral designer that's taking a relatively novel approach to breaking into the console accessory business. Rather than competing on margins and manufacturing relatively standard gamepads, all of the company's current and upcoming products aim to break new ground and give gamers some unique new options for control.

    Most exciting among the company's products soon to be released is the FragFX Competition Controller for the PlayStation 3. PC gamers have always sworn by the accuracy provided by the traditional mouse and keyboard combo in FPS titles, yet console gamers have long been denied such accouterments. Though a couple of PS2 games supported mice back in the day, like Unreal Tournament, and some innovative controllers were designed to take full advantage of such, like the BodieLobus Reflex, when developer support for mice on the PS2 dried up there was no recourse.

    The retail PS3 version will be black to match the console.

    Happily, Split Fish has managed to overcome the technical hurdles that have previously prevented mouse-type inputs from working with all games. The company went on to design the FragFX controller for both the PS2 and PS3 to finally give PC gamers their weapons of choice on a gaming console. Earlier today the team from Split Fish Gameware visited the IGN offices to give us some hands on time with the upcoming FragFX Competition Controller for the PlayStation 3.

    The unit we got our hands on was a near-final prototype design, though we heard there were a couple of secret extra features for the controller that may or may not make it into the final build. What was there, however, seemed rather complete. The FragFX controller basically breaks a standard gamepad in two, replacing the right analog stick with an optical mouse and moving the left analog stick to a Wii Nunchuck-like dongle. The general design seems thoroughly planned and we were impressed to learn that Split Fish supported fully analog buttons (including the main action buttons on the mouse) in order to fully match the capabilities of the SIXAXIS.

    Tilt sensitivity will reside in the left-hand pseudo-nunchuck (Fragchuck!), which makes sense, as well as two other features entirely unique to the FragFX. The first is a small scroll wheel on the Fragchuck that is positioned directly under the natural space for one's thumb and allows for on the fly sensitivity adjustment of the mouse. Combined with in-game sensitivity settings there should be enough variability to make everyone happy. The second feature is an analog button on the Fragchuck positioned just above the two relocated L1 and L2 shoulder buttons. Dubbed the Flash or Frag button, when depressed it progressively desensitizes the mouse in accordance with the button's degree of depression. We immediately understood its usefulness for taking quick aim with the mouse at full speed and then slowing the movement down to put someone's forehead right in the crosshairs and hold it there.

    We put the FragFX prototype to the test with Resistance on the PS3. We encountered almost no learning curve thanks to plenty of experience with both the PC (right hand) and Wii (left hand). The best explanation of the benefits of the FragFX controller is the fact that the mouse is not effected by the variable acceleration that is applied to inputs from the standard analog sticks. On a normal gamepad, a little tilt on the analog stick moves the crosshairs slower than fully tilting the stick to the side. That's all well and good, but in situations that require precision in movements between the two extremes of the analog stick's range it can be very tricky to accurately compensate for the variable speed. The FragFX mouse manipulates the view in a direct relationship, meaning a slow movement with the mouse moves the view slowly, and a fast movement moves it fast. As PC gamers know, such control is more natural and far superior to the alternatives in FPS titles that require ultra fast movements immediately followed by pixel precise aiming.

    The cumulative effect of the FragFX during our play session was improved accuracy at distance and better target tracking at close range for the PC gamers among us. The Frag button was also useful for holding a steady bead on targets. Though we couldn't get quite as much time with the FragFX on the PS3 as we would have liked; we definitely got a sense of the potential of a well designed mouse-based controller for a next-gen console such as the PS3. Split Fish is entering full production now and expects retail availability in six weeks, ...
    by Published on April 24th, 2007 02:08



    Blu-ray Disc Sales Surpass One Million Mark

    HOLLYWOOD --(Business Wire)-- Blu-ray Disc has become the first high definition format to sell more than one million discs, a milestone it has achieved in less than a year. Blu-ray Disc sales also accounted for 70 percent of the high-definition movies sold during the first quarter of 2007, according to sales figures published today by Home Media Research.
    Blu-ray's sales lead has increased each month since the first of the year and nearly three out of every four high-definition movies sold in March were on Blu-ray Disc, according to the HMR sales figures.

    Industry projections suggest that this steady growth trend will continue based on the fact that seven of the eight major studios are releasing an increasing number of blockbuster movies on Blu-ray Disc, most of which will only be available in high-definition on Blu-ray Disc. In 2006, 18 of the top 20 selling DVD's were released by studios that are publishing their movies on Blu-ray Disc.

    Blu-ray Disc titles accounted for eight of the top ten selling high definition titles in the first quarter of this year and since the introduction of both high definition formats, seven of the top ten selling high definition movies are on Blu-ray Disc.

    "Sales of Blu-ray Disc titles have taken off since the first of the year," said Andy Parsons, Chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association's U.S. Promotion Committee and Senior Vice President New Product Development at Pioneer Electronics. "Blu-ray Discs have been outselling HD DVD by more than two to one since the beginning of the year and the gap is steadily widening. It's exactly what we've said all along would happen - the strong support for Blu-ray among movie studio and equipment manufacturers means that consumers have more choices when it comes to players and titles. And they're choosing Blu-ray by an ever-increasing margin."

    The sustained sales advantage enjoyed by Blu-ray throughout the first three months of the year will continue as studios maintain an aggressive release schedule to bring the biggest Hollywood movies to high definition. In the coming months, Blu-ray Disc studios will be releasing blockbuster titles such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Night at the Museum, Cars and Dreamgirls (for a complete release schedule, see attached chart).

    About Blu-ray Disc

    Blu-ray Disc is the next-generation optical disc format being developed for high-definition video and high-capacity software applications. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc will hold up to 25 gigabytes of data and a double-layer Blu-ray Disc will hold up to 50 gigabytes of data.

    About the Blu-ray Disc Association

    The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is responsible for promoting and further developing business opportunities for Blu-ray Disc - the next-generation optical disc for storing high-definition movies, games, photos and other digital content. The BDA has more than 180 members. Its Board of Directors consists of Apple; Dell Inc.; HP; Hitachi, Ltd.; LG Electronics Inc.; Mitsubishi Electric Corporation; Panasonic (Matsushita Electric); Pioneer Corporation; Royal Philips Electronics; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Sharp Corporation; Sony Corporation; Sun Microsystems, Inc.; TDK Corporation; Thomson; Twentieth Century Fox; Walt Disney Pictures and Television; Warner Bros. Entertainment. ...
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