Sony has announced the details on the next PS3 firmware update--version 2.30, coming mid-April--and the big news for home theater fans is that the PS3 is getting onboard DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding for Blu-ray movies. Home theater fans have long lamented that the PS3 could not decode the new DTS soundtracks at their highest resolution, especially since movie studios like Fox have opted for DTS-HD Master Audio on many Blu-ray releases. Without getting too technical, DTS-HD Master Audio offers 7-channels of lossless audio at 96K sampling frequency and 24-bit depths--which means that the sound sent … Read more
In a recent column over at the The Times online, a guest contributor named Giles Whittell wrote one of the most ridiculous articles I have ever read on the subject of video games. And while he may be entitled to his opinion, his belief that video games are the root of all evil and on par with "heroin and teenage parents" is not only sickening, but ludicrous.
In his piece entitled, "Video games: I'll never buy one", Whittell outlines his hatred for video games and his utter lack of knowledge about what the form of entertainment really means to children and society.
"I hate video games, on or offline," he spewed. "I hate the way they suck real people into fake worlds and hold on to them for decades at a time. I hate being made to feel hateful for saying so, and I hate being told to immerse myself in them before passing judgment, because it feels like being told to immerse myself in smack and teenage pregnancy before passing judgment on them."
Whoa. Calm down, Giles. Smack and teenage pregnancy? That's a new one. Not too sure about you, but where I come from, smack usually involves a nose or a syringe. Oh and pregnancy, yeah, that usually involves something a bit more intimate than pressing buttons on a piece of plastic.
But I digress. What is wrong with this character? Obviously this is a man that's both misguided and misinformed about what's really going on in the world of video games.… Read more
Electronic Arts has amended its takeover offer for smaller video-game publisher Take-Two Interactive.
According to an EA representative and an EA filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the offer has been extended to Friday, April 18, instead of Friday, April 11. (EA's own press release incorrectly states that April 18 is a Wednesday. Oops.)
In addition, EA added a new condition to its offer: Take-Two must chuck its "poison pill" shareholder rights plan designed to deter the takeover.
To the surprise of probably no one, Take-Two Interactive Software has rejected Electronic Arts' hostile buyout offer.
In an announcement Wednesday morning, Take-Two said its board of directors and company officers have recommended that shareholders reject EA's bid of $26 a share. The board also said it's developing alternative strategies for possible alliances with third parties, including EA, that would kick in after the April 29 of release of Grand Theft Auto IV.
Take-Two's board noted that "substantive discussions" about possible alliances have yet to occur, although it did emphasize that the company is now … Read more
The PlayStation 3 is the first Blu-ray player to support BD-Live functionality, thanks to a firmware update available today. Officially announced just last week, the update (version 2.20) was released right on schedule, and is now available as a free download to PS3 owners directly through the console's onscreen interface. Once installed, it allows the PS3's to access Internet-connected BD-Live content available on some discs. The list of compatible discs is currently minimal--just War and Saw IV available now, plus The Sixth Day and Walk Hard following on April 8--and the first round of BD-Live content doesn't seem to be very diverting. But as the list of supporting titles grows--and, ideally, the BD-Live content becomes more compelling--look for players that don't support Profile 2.0 compatibility to be confined to the clearance shelves. The PS3 remains the best bet for Blu-ray shoppers, even if they have no interest in using its gaming capabilities. … Read more
It's only rock 'n roll, but Wii like it. Harmonix, the game developer acquired by MTV Networks to create the Rock Band video game, announced Monday that the software will be available for Nintendo's Wii console on June 22. Currently, versions of Rock Band have been created for Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3.
Rumors of a Wii edition of Rock Band first started to circulate early last month. The game was originally released in November amid the soaring popularity of Activision's Guitar Hero franchise, which had a Hollywood-worthy $115 million opening weekend … Read more
This post was updated at 4:12 AM on Monday to reflect the fact that Gibson has added MTV, Harmonix, and EA to the list of plaintiffs.
Legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson Guitar has sued six major retailers--Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Amazon.com, Gamestop, and Toys-R-Us--for selling Activision's Guitar Hero video game series, MarketWatch reported Friday.
The decision was made "reluctantly," according to a statement from Gibson.
Earlier this month, Gibson sued Activision over Guitar Hero, claiming that the game violated a 1999 patent for a virtual-reality guitar-playing device that "simulate(s) participation in a concert by playing … Read more
With this morning's announcement from Asus and its EN9800GX2 graphics card, we get the first glimpse of what Nvidia's GeForce 7950GX2 should have been. That card, if you'll recall from the summer of 2006, was the first SLI-on-a-single-card design from Nvidia. Effectively, it put two 3D chips on a single two-slot card. What that means is you didn't need a specialized, SLI-compatible motherboard to enjoy superfast game performance, because all of the necessary circuitry was built into the card.
The problem with the GeForce 7950 GX2 was that it was expensive, and it hit the market … Read more
The video game industry and free-speech proponents landed yet another legal victory on Monday, when a federal appeals court affirmed a 2006 rejection of a Minnesota law restricting minors' access to violent titles.
The Minnesota law would have imposed up to a $25 fine on minors younger than 17 caught buying or renting video games rated "M" for mature or "AO" for adults-only, under the video game industry's rating system.
The drama surrounding Electronic Arts' attempt to buy Take-Two Interactive is, increasingly, playing out like a combination action-adventure and shooter game.
As noted in a story published Friday in The New York Times, Take-Two has become a moving target not only because of maneuvering by the company's officers but because of changes in its shareholder group.
The offer EA presented on Thursday directly to Take-Two shareholders--$26 per share, or about $2 billion--is essentially the same one it offered the video game publisher in February. But as the Times story points out, Take-Two's shareholder population has in … Read more