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PS3 Home BETA gets huge update next week

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349w ago - The update will bring the version number to 0.8.3 (taking us ever closer to its release at v1.0.0) and the information comes from the beta message board on the official PlayStation site, so we're certain it's legit.

Playstation Home BETA update version 0.8.3:

New user interface:

The UI has undergone a major change (our graphical artist calls the new interface "Home CS" [Home Chip System]) and it's not just there to look good; we also believe it improves the logical flow of your interactions.

Other UI changes include a new vector based font system that improves text clarity and improvements to a range of different icons (for example the loading icon under your character's feet now gives a sense of something happening).

Another nice addition is that people on your friends list in the virtual PSP are sorted by three different states: "Offline", "Online" and "Online in Home" - these are colour coded too.

The Virtual PSP has undergone considerable changes. We have changed the structure of the menus to try and make it easier and more logical to navigate. There are also new icons for all of the options and new backgrounds available to customise the look. In the past an option that was unavailable to you was simply invisible; but now the option will remain...
 

COD 4: Modern Warfare - online maps

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349w ago - This year's Games Developer Conference is definitely turning out to be a goldmine of information, and this update regarding the upcoming map packs for Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PC, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PS3) is no exception.

Good news is that the developers are finally letting loose a few morsels of knowledge about them - bad news is that they're still not being specific about the entire thing.

So, what did the guys from Infinity Ward - more specifically, community manager Robert Bowling - reveal about the map packs? Well, it seems that pretty much anyone who likes Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare will like the new maps. Bowling's statement, verbatim:

People who want open maps are going to be happy with this map pack. People who want more indoor locales are going to be happy with this map pack. People who want something completely different from what they're currently playing are going to be happy with this map pack.

Yep, that pretty much covers everyone. Besides that, though, he confirmed that the first maps will be available in a pack of three maps each. No word if they're going to be free or if there's a nominal fee one has to pay to access them yet though.
 

Microsoft Office now on Linux/PS3 via StreamMyGame

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349w ago - StreamMyGame.com announced today that its software now enables 2D applications as such as Microsoft Office as well as 3D games to be used remotely on low spec Windows notebooks, Linux devices and the PlayStation 3.

StreamMyGame.com offers its members the flexibility to use their 2D applications installed on a main PC on any other PC or Linux device in their home or home office. The application does not need to be installed on the remote PC/device. Their applications can be viewed at HDTV resolution and two people can simultaneously use the same application making it easy to collaborate.

All 2D applications can be used including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, XP Media Center and even Photoshop along with commercial applications such as MYSQL Administrator and SAP's Database Manager.

Gamers who use Valve's Steam network can now use StreamMyGame to remotely see Steam's 2D launcher. They can start games such as Half Life 2, Counter Strike Source and Team Fortress and then record, broadcast and stream them, even to the PlayStation 3.

"Our members wanted to be able to launch and play their Steam games remotely," said Richard Faria CEO. "We have delivered that and provided them with the ability to access email and use other office applications...
 

GDC: Call of Duty 4 Feature Patch Details

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349w ago - For all the PlayStation 3 Call of Duty 4 players out there, listen up. Today we spoke with Infinity Ward's Community Relations Manager Robert Bowling and acquired new information about the upcoming "Features Patch" soon to be released.

Here is a detailed list of some of the improvements Infinity Ward will be including in the new patch:

- Optimized servers
- New Kill cams (grenades, RPG's, airstrikes, claymores, and more)
- Quick Mute (allows user to mute annoying players by pressing X on their gamertag in the lobby)
- Addition of "Recently Met Players" for the PlayStation Network
- Improvements to the Sniper Rifles and Acog attachments (no more delayed shots)

"(With the new kill cams) you can watch from when the grenade leaves the enemies hand all the way to the explosion that kills you," said Bowling.

In addition to the new patch details, PS3 gamers can expect servers to run smoother. The four hour "Downloading Game Settings" bug was due to DemonWares servers having to handle the massive amounts of PlayStation 3 users logging in. With the new optimizations, gamers shouldn't have too many problems with in the future.
 

How the format war was won - Sony outspent, outsold Toshiba

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349w ago - Sony's victory in the high-definition format war is a badly needed win for the Japanese electronics giant, after a series of humiliating failures that have left control of the music market with Apple. The question that Sony has yet to answer, however, is whether the price paid to see off Toshiba - at least $3 billion (£1.54 billion) - was worth it.

Blu-ray is more expensive to manufacture than Toshiba's HD-DVD player. Toshiba players are on sale for as little as £149.99 this year, £120 less than the cheapest Blu-ray. Although some of that discounting reflected a last throw of the dice from Toshiba, for the moment consumers have been saddled with a more expensive format and Sony's losses to make up.

The only way for Sony to distribute Blu-ray in large quantities was to build the technology into the PlayStation 3 and sell the games console at a discount. Sony's console division ran up a $1.97 billion deficit in the year to March 31 last year, which it followed with a $991 million loss in the first three quarters of the current year. Yet the true costs of Blu-ray are probably much greater: early research and development expenses have not been included.

Analysts believe, however, that Sony will recoup its $3billion-plus investment eventually. Richard Hooper, an analyst with Screen Digest,...
 
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