223w ago - For a mere $4,000 the JVL Encore HD offers an integrated 22" LCD touchscreen, a hi-fi audio system, overhead lighting, a coin slot, and a selection of over 130 games, although if you're looking for Halo, Mario Kart or Madden, you'll be disappointed.
To quote: "It's a home version of commercial bar-top puzzle game machines, and offers "gem-swapping puzzles, poker matches, Sudoku challenges and trivia-based digital diversions," according to USA Today's Game Hunters.
Game Hunters also liked the system's flashy looks and its thumping five-speaker sounds, but its basic graphics aren't going to impress gamers used to machines made in the last few years, and surprisingly (for a machine that boasts the HD moniker) only 11 of its games are in high definition."
253w ago - Speaking in a recent interview, Sony's David Reeves has voiced agreement that the PS3 will always remain the most expensive console.
However he was quick to point out that this doesn't mean the system won't experience any price cuts.
To quote: "I think it will, yes," said Reeves, when asked whether he would agree the PS3 will remain the most expensive console.
"I'm not saying there are going to be any price cuts at all in the short term or the medium term. I'm not saying we don't need to do it - we are expensive. It is possible that as the cost [of manufacturing] comes down, we will be able to do it.
"But we're protecting ourselves with a very hard shell to get through the next one or two years of an economic situation. If you're experienced, you know you have to go into that mode - it's like being an armadillo. You have to be hard, and then you will come out when the sun comes out."
283w ago - Hudson has ruled out developing and publishing full PS3 games, due to the development costs on Sony's format being too high.
Speaking to Yahoo Japan, Hudson's president Michihiro Ishizuka ruled out making any full PS3 games, due to the high development costs and associated risks of developing for the format.
While this will undoubtedly be something of a disappointment for PS3 owners, given the developer-publisher's recent games, it's not overly surprising.
Although the company has developed a few full 360 games in the form of (the admittedly dire) Bomberman Act: Zero, Fuzion Frenzy 2 and JRPG Far East of Eden, its focus has predominantly lay with the Wii and DS.
That said, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that the company's coding efforts may yet be seen on Sony's console.
Despite ruling out releasing standard boxed titles on the PS3, Ishizuka (according to the translation, anyway) does appear to praise Sony's PSN download service, describing it as "attractive" in the business sense.
It certainly wouldn't surprise us if Hudson developed games started turning up on the PS Store.
292w ago - Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies revealed in an interview that the recently released Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3, X360) had a budget of roughly $100 million, marking the title as the most costly development of any game to date.
GTA IV's massive budget pins the title above the previous front-runner Shenmue, released for the Dreamcast in 2000 and costing an unprecedented $70 million to produce.
"It's like making a theatre production, a few movies and an album all to fit into one package," Benzies told the Times Online.
Benzies also noted that about 1,000 people pitched in on the game's development. Beyond the expected tasks of programming and design, Rockstar also set up time-lapse cameras on New York rooftops to capture the correct intensity of the rain, and took over 100,000 photographs on location to piece together Liberty City.
"We're constantly competing against ourselves," says Benzies. "If something isn't exactly right, it comes out of the game or gets fixed."
304w ago - Europe's mobile phone operators have been warned they must cut the cost of texting and internet access for users who are overseas or face regulation.
EU Commissioner Viviane Reding said firms have until 1 July to slash their so-called "roaming" charges.
A text sent while abroad can cost as much as 49 pence ($0.95) and a study found that transferring 1 megabyte (MB) of data on average costs £4.11.
Mobile phone companies say they have already begun cutting prices.
"Sending text messages or downloading other data via a mobile phone while in another EU country should not be substantially more expensive for a consumer than sending text messages or downloading data at home," Ms Reding said.
"If the industry does what it claims it can do, bringing prices down to normal, then of course, regulation will not be necessary," she added.
The Commissioner called for "credible reductions" to fees charged to business travellers and holiday makers before the summer deadline.
She warned roaming charges of anything more than about 2 pence above domestic texting charges would be unacceptable.
Last year the EU adopted regulations proposed by the EU Commissioner that forced mobile phone companies to lower the costs of...