1UP previews The Orange Box for the PS3 – “This version of The Box has issues “

22 11 2007

“In an interview earlier this year, Valve Software founder Gabe Newell referred to PlayStation 3 as “a waste of everybody’s time.” This attitude shows in the development structure of The Orange Box. While the PC and Xbox 360 versions were handled by Valve, the PS3 port was handed off to an internal team at EA. Originally scheduled to be released day and date with the PC and 360 versions, the PS3 Orange Box has been delayed until December. PS3 owners, forced to watch from the sidelines as their gaming kindred inundates them with tales of Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal, continue to wait patiently for their chance to take a stroll through Valve’s universe.”

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UK PS Store is hiding a PSP secret

22 11 2007

Sony is being very good to PSP owners right before the Thanksgiving holiday. Not only did the PlayStation Store launch yesterday to allow access from your PC, but the company also decided to plant an easter egg for those curious enough to browse the store. This easter egg came in the form of a new trailer for a game called “Beats” that was hidden by Sony within the PSP game trailers section.

Shortly after releasing the trailer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe launched the downloadable game “Beats” through the UK PlayStation Store with a price tag of GBP 4.99. The game is great for music fans that have their music collection on their PSP. Beats is based almost completely on the playback of your personal music collection, taking any song and turning it into gameplay.

The game is similar to DDR and DJ Max Portable as it uses beat tracking technology to create button-press sequences for each song in your personal music collection. The trailer provides details on two different modes labeled “Jamming” and “Challenge”. It also appears that the game will allow a wide array of customization options so that you are able to change your background and visual style.

Multiplayer is available locally for 1-4 players and details on the Official UK page state that the title allows for game sharing (players sharing the game with other PSP users who do not currently own the game). An online ranking system is said to be available (one can assume there will be online playability) but there is no official word yet regarding online play.

As of right now, the game is only available through the UK PlayStation Store with no official release date announced for a US version, but due to the sudden release of the game in the UK, North America & Europe can hope it will only be some time before it is released there.





Sound Advice: HD DVD leaves Blu-ray in the dust

12 11 2007

Don Lindich, a national columnist and creator of the “Digital Made Easy” book series states, ” I enthusiastically recommend HD DVD because it’s a better product and a better proposition for consumers. Signs are showing it is going to trounce Blu-ray, and soon.”

“For those looking for a single sentence explaining why go with HD DVD: It’s a better thought-out, more solid product than Blu-ray, it is half the price, and picture and sound quality are identical. At less than $200 including seven or more movies, HD DVD players are a stunning value. Why pay twice the money when Blu-ray has serious issues and the movies look and sound the same?”

“I smile when I see people buying HD DVD players based on bargain pricing, because they are unknowingly getting the Ferrari as well. Despite its purported superiority and much higher cost, Blu-ray is the emperor with no clothes. HD DVD has been superior since day one.”

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Game Of The Year: BioShock, Halo 3, Mass Effect & Orange Box nominated in Spike’s VGA

9 11 2007

Yes, The Game Of The Year (GOTY) discussion is already beginning! Spike is hosting its 5th annual Video Game Awards this December in Las Vegas, and this morning the nominees were released on Spike.com. What’s in contention for Game of the Year? Orange Box, Halo 3, BioShock, and Mass Effect.

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The State of Blu-ray

9 11 2007

Gizmodo on November 8 reveals the root of Blu-ray’s problem: the format did not have a finished specification when devices went into production. Instead, there were two or three “profiles,” outlined in the chart below. The article explains and clarifies the three BD profiles at length – including attributes and manufacturers for each profile.

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Why did Xbox 360 Japanese Sales increased by 580%?

9 11 2007

Today was a great day for X360 Fanboys because they claimed victory in DS Land vs their enemy, the Sony PlayStation 3 by 239 units (According to Media Create anyways)! If a random market analysis who knows nothing about videogame at all would look at this data and say, 17,673 X360 vs 17,434 PS3 sales is about 1.3% victory, and with a usual build in statistical build in error rates, the slight margin of 1.3% victory would have been thrown out of the door. (Media Create would have to have interview 16,641 retailers in order to get a 99% confidence level with a +/- 1% error rate.)

There are only two reasons that will spike video game console sale, game and price. Price was stable, so it must be the games.

Jump to read the whole article.





Blu-ray Profile 1.1 makes existing players obsolete?

6 11 2007

October 31, 2007 was the official end of the “grace period” for Blu-ray manufacturers, after which all players released must comply with the latest standard–Blu-ray Profile 1.1 (also known as Final Standard Profile and BD-Video Profile 1.1). Of course, that doesn’t mean Profile 1.0 Blu-ray players still can’t be sold, and if you walk into your local electronics store over the next few months, you’re likely to see both Profile 1.0 and Profile 1.1 Blu-ray players on the shelf. So what’s the big difference between Profile 1.0 and Profile 1.1?

Profile 1.0 vs. 1.1

There are several different hardware requirements (see the chart below), but it basically boils down to picture-in-picture functionality. All Blu-ray players up until this point have been Profile 1.0 and have lacked the secondary video and audio decoders necessary to play a smaller video in the corner while also playing the main high-def movie in the background. With the notable exception of the PlayStation 3, Profile 1.0 players cannot be upgraded via firmware to become Profile 1.1 players.

Because Profile 1.0 players lacked this functionality, movie studios have understandably not included picture-in-picture functionality on any current Blu-ray disc. According to High-Def Digest, Fox has announced that it will release its first Profile 1.1-enabled disc, Sunshine, in the first quarter of 2008. And as more Profile 1.1 players become available, we expect more Profile 1.1 discs to be released.

Profile 1.1 vs. 2.0

Despite Profile 1.1 also being known as Final Standard Profile, there’s actually still another Blu-ray specification, Profile 2.0, also known as BD-Live. The major difference between Profiles 1.1 and 2.0 is that Profile 2.0 requires that the player has an Internet connection. Although some current Blu-ray players have an Ethernet port, these are strictly for firmware updates and can’t be used to access downloadable content.

Again, since Internet connectivity isn’t a mandatory feature on current Blu-ray players, there are currently no Internet-enabled Blu-ray discs and none have been announced for the future. Internet connectivity could be used to download additional movie content, download trailers, or enable purchasing movie-related merchandise. Profile 2.0 also increases the mandatory local storage capacity to 1GB, which is presumably to accommodate downloaded content. Read the rest of this entry »