Our friends over at Gamespot posted a blog yesterday discussing the likelihood of a rumored $400 PS3 that would arrive in time for the holidays. The entry links to a story on Ars Technica about how the PlayStation 3's sales are slowing again after a brief burst of momentum following the price drop to $500 on the 60GB version of the console. Analysts are already predicting that Sony will soon drop the price of the 80GB PS3 to $500 and one of Ars Technica's "reliable" moles is saying that Sony will also bring out a $400 … Read more
Sony and a technology site are using a conference to show off a confluence of next-generation, monopoly-bypassing technology: a Sony Playstation 3 videogame console running Linux and Firefox as a foundation for Web-based "Office 2.0" applications.
Sony called the conference a great opportunity to "showcase the PS3 system's computing power and productivity capabilities."
"Installing Linux and Firefox on the PS3 enables … Read more
In a year dominated by game sequels, movie tie-ins and brand extensions, original video game ideas (referred to as original IP, or intellectual property) are hard to come by. Grand Theft Auto IV was on target to be one of 2007's biggest games before its recent delay, but two other franchise entries, Halo 3 and the latest Madden game, will clearly dominate the holiday shopping season. One of the reasons 2K's BioShock, released at the end of August, has generated such positive buzz among gamers is that it represents a rare high-profile stab at an original game.
Fortunately, … Read more
Many home theater geeks love their PlayStation 3s as Blu-ray players, but don't want to pick up a gaming controller to watch a movie. But thanks to the PS3's lack of an infrared port, existing universal remotes can't be used with the console. That's why the niche of PlayStation 3 remotes has popped up, and the newest remote from Messiah is slick-looking. The Messiah Darklite DVD remote strongly resembles LG's Chocolate cell phones, and as you slide down to open the remote you get access to more advanced functions like chapter forward/backward and display. The remote also looks to be fully backlit, which is a big plus if you plan to use it in a darkened home theater. Backlighting uses a lot of battery juice, so it's nice that the Darklite has a built-in rechargeable battery that plugs into the base station. The base station itself connects to the PS3 via a USB port. The base also doubles as an IR receiver, which means you'll need to physically point the remote at the station, unlike Sony's own Bluetooth-powered remote.
The Darklite has a cool design and its $30 price tag isn't terrible, but I think a whole lot of home theater buffs just want a cheap USB IR receiver they can use with their universal remotes. Messiah is currently taking preorders for the Darklite DVD remote, with a shipping date of September 25.… Read more
Along with a few other tech journalists, I spent a couple of hours today over at the Westchester Country Club, which is gearing up for The Barclays PGA Tour event. What the hell was I doing there? Well, as part of a marketing deal with the PGA Tour, Mitsubishi is the "official large outdoor video display provider" of the Tour, and the PR team wanted us to see some of these displays in action--along with the Tour's ShotLink technology, which tracks players' shots almost down to the centimeter (the info is then displayed on those giant Mitsubishi scoreboards). That's all sorts of interesting if you're a golf fan, but things got a little sexier when Mitsubishi representatives took us into a hospitality suite, handed us each a pair of fancy 3D glasses (a little smaller than the ones shown in the photo), and showed us a demo of some new 3D-imaging technology the company's working on.
The demo was run from a massive Dell desktop and output onto a large DLP set. In an effort to inject new life into the fading rear-projection category, the company's pitch was that the 3D technology worked with existing DLP TVs and projectors (due to DLP's native 120Hz refresh rate, which allows you to split it into 60/60 for 3D) but not with LCD and plasma displays.
Most of us were pretty impressed by the demo, which included clips from movies, commercials, and sporting events. There was real depth to the 3D, and you got that 3D-feeling of objects poking out at you from the screen. All the demo material had been shot in 3D, but the kicker to the whole presentation was that Mitsubishi apparently has a Blu-ray player in its labs that can convert existing 2D movies into 3D on the fly. Better yet, according to company representatives, it may be available early next year.
GameSpot UK is running an article that's based on an interview with Warwick Light, Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand's head of marketing. The article appeared in New Zealand's The Press under the headline "The Future According to Sony."
What's interesting about the article is that Light uses terms such as "future proof," "true next-generation machine," "scope for scalability," "home entertainment system," and "super computer," to describe the PS3. He also goes on to talk about the flexibility of the machine, noting how "We (… Read more
While Rockstar Games was unwilling to go Sony-only for the next version of Grand Theft Auto, the company is apparently working on its "next great franchise," and it will be a PS3-exclusive. No details were offered on just what that franchise might be--or when it will be released--but according to Gamespot UK, it won't be LA Noire.
In explaining why Sony locked up the game, the article quotes SCEA's director of third-party relations, Michael Shorrock, who wrote on the official US PlayStation blog: "Rockstar really wanted to make a game that you can truly only … Read more
Ah, the prices for HD DVD players just keep falling. This time it's not one of Toshiba's standalone players, but the HD DVD add-on for the Xbox 360. Starting August 1, the player will shed $20, dropping to $179. If that isn't enough to entice you, the press release notes that "buyers can choose five HD DVD titles for free from a selection of 15 popular titles via a mail-in offer."
All that said, in terms of pure hardware costs for a game console/next-gen DVD player, the 60GB PS3 (with built-in Blu-ray player) remains … Read more
You can stop rubbing your eyes--this is the first actual gameplay footage of Solid Snake's final adventure. This 15-minute demo shows off some of the new features of the game in addition to the impressive graphics and presentation. If you have trouble reading the subtitles, try viewing the video in full-screen mode by clicking the arrow in the bottom-right hand corner of the player.
Thanks to Kotaku, word is out that a new 1.90 firmware upgrade is now available for download to PS3 owners in Japan. Based on an initial post from the Japanese site, Game Watch, the following features/tweaks are part of the update:
-- Ability to rearrange games on the XMB
-- Option menu now includes "eject disk"
-- Press triangle to eject games/CDs/movies in the XMB
-- XMB backgrounds
-- Change the folder classification
-- Change CD output to 44.1/88.2/176.4kHz
-- Force 24Hz output for Blu-ray over HDMI … Read more