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Midway Fights Next-Gen Snags

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359w ago - As Midway aims to return to profitability, snags with Unreal Engine 3, PlayStation 3 and stiff competition haven't been making things easy.
Midway hasn't made an annual profit since 1999, but analysts have noted that the Chicago-based game publisher does have potential to make money, with games like Stranglehold, Unreal Tournament 3 and Blacksite Area 51 (and of course, iterations of the undying Mortal Kombat franchise).

But there have been hurdles in front of that comeback, some of which are related to delays of PS3 versions of next-gen games and some that are related to Midway's company-wide adoption of a modified version of Epic's Unreal Engine 3, not to mention stiff competition in the action genre.

Most recently, there's the Blacksite: Area 51 delay. While the release date of the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the alien first person shooter have slipped by just a week to November 12, the PS3 version of the Unreal Engine 3 powered title has seemingly run into some more serious issues.

While not offering an explanation for the delay, a Midway spokesman confirmed to Next-Gen that the title would see a release after the other versions of the game, at some point "during the holiday season."

Whether the delay is specifically related to the UE3 engine or not is currently unclear,...
 

Blu-ray Gets the Picture -- In Picture

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359w ago - 20th Century Fox in January will release the first Blu-ray movie with picture-in-picture interactivity.

That's according to an article by Video Business.

The publication reported that Fox demonstrated the PIP feature for the sci-fi thriller Sunshine on Monday during a press briefing. (Sunshine is a UK-based movie starring a cast of unknowns.)

HD DVD, Blu-ray's high-def disc format rival, has featured PIP on some discs for a few months, including Warner's HD DVD edition of the war movie 300.

HD DVD supporters have said the PIP feature will engage movie buffs because it can offer related information while the person watches the film.

For instance, Video Business reports, Sunshine's filmmakers discuss the movie in the PIP window while it's running.

Most Blu-ray players currently do not have the capacity to display PIP, but Fox senior vice president Steve Feldstein told the publication that future models will. He added that Sony will upgrade the Play Station 3 with a PIP feature via a firmware download.

"There will be players in the market," Feldstein said.

Disney is expected to offer PIP in several titles next year, including Finding Nemo.
 

SingStar PS3 Delay Due to Licensing, No US Date

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359w ago - Sony doesn't want to launch without a stocked online marketplace.

A few weeks ago, Sony Computer Entertainment America confirmed that SingStar on PlayStation 3 had been delayed. The company wouldn't elaborate, but their official statement indicated the hold up was a licensing issue, not development. Then, last week, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced SingStar would arrive overseas in December, but SCEA wouldn't assign that date for the US version to 1UP.

"We have not yet set a US launch date," said a SCEA spokesperson. Additionally, when SCEA announced their new SKU, we had the chance to speak with Sony's VP of Marketing for PlayStation, Peter Dille, about the delay and came up with confirmation of a licensing hang up.

1UP: You mentioned Singstar, but that's not coming to PS3 this year anymore, correct?

Dille: That's correct. We had to push Singstar back a little bit, with an eye to making the downloadable content...

1UP: So it's more of a licensing issue?

Dille: Yeah, it's not a technology issue at all. It'll be a disc-based product and that'll be a great experience in and of itself, but obviously we're equally if not more excited to deliver content via the PlayStation Network and have consumers experience new songs that way. We want to make...
 

Top 4 reasons piracy hasn’t hit the PS3

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359w ago - In Asia's gaming culture, piracy has been common place for every major game console since the NES. In the mid 90's a device called the UFO, allowed ROM games stored on floppy disks to be played on the SNES via a disk-drive like device that sat on top of the SNES. The 32-bit era saw the rise of mod-chips and insane swap-tricks to get past CD region lockouts.

Not much has changed in the generations that followed. Even today, the Xbox 360, Wii, DS and PSP have all fallen victim to heavy piracy. The advent of torrent sites and faster download speeds don't do the major players any favors either. The PS3, on the other hand, remains a different story. I have been keeping an eye on the local pirating scene, and with almost a year after the PS3's release, it appears to be the only console piracy free. On that note, I have concluded these reasons for the PS3's success in the anti-piracy war. (Note: despite the tone of this article, I have no doubt that eventually, technology will catch up and savvy pirates will have their way)

4. Hardware complexity
Let me preface this by saying that I'm by no means an engineer or have any expertise with console hardware, but from what I've heard from around the Net, I've decided to include this point with some doubt. With the Xbox 360, all that is needed is...
 

PS3 Firmware Update v2.00 Confirmed!

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359w ago - According to the official PlayStation UK site, the recent PSP Firmware 3.72 update includes a new Remote Play feature called Remote Start, which allows users to remotely turn on their PS3 from the PSP. This was one of the rumored features for the upcoming PS3 Firmware v2.00 update.

To use the feature, Firmware v2.00 must be installed on your PS3. Last we heard, the next PS3 Firmware update was slated for the end of October.. which leaves it hitting within the next 1-2 days if Internet rumors hold true.
 
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