320w ago - So much for their earlier denial, eh? It's now official. An anonymous Sony official has "confirmed" to Japan's Nikkei that they will sell their advanced computer chip operations to Toshiba in an effort to re-focus on core business. The official announcement is expected later today.
The sale gives Toshiba the manufacturing responsibility for the much hyped Cell processor used in Sony's PS3. Sony, of course, will continue to invest in the Cell chip. Nikkei says the deal is worth some ¥100 billion (about $858 million) and should be completed by March.
320w ago - Although suspected, it's now confirmed: The 40GB PS3 model will launch November 2 in the US with a $399 price tag, along with a $100 price cut on the 80GB model, bringing the total cost down to $499. To quote:
The new version of the PS3 will come with a 40-gigabyte hard drive, cost $400, and go on sale on November 2, said Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America. The price of the 80-gigabyte version will be cut to $500 from $600.
The 40-gigabyte model has already made its debut in Europe and Japan, and was widely expected to come to the United States ahead of the crucial year-end shopping season that accounts for the largest single chunk of annual video game software and hardware sales.
For the new 40-gigabyte PS3, Sony has removed its ability to play games for the predecessor PlayStation 2, which is still selling strong despite its aging technology.
"We're choosing to focus on the PlayStation 2 consumer with the PlayStation 2, which remains incredibly relevant, and focus on the PlayStation 3 consumer with the new 40-gigabyte model and the great software coming out," Tretton said.
"Backward compatibility is a nice secondary consideration,...
321w ago - Like Office Space or The Office? Sony's newest episodic content game may be your brand of java.
Rat Race, as described by Sony, "is a PS3 exclusive comedy/adventure game... to give you the feeling of 'playing' inside an episode of your favorite TV show."
Starting this winter, Sony will begin releasing game episodes via the PlayStation Network for an undisclosed, periodic price.
The game is set in an "extremely dysfunctional" office environment where players are required to endure the nine to five as you interact with a PR hottie, a pompous jerk (aka a Dwight Schrute knock-off), and an eccentric lab scientist in addition to others.
Rat Race is being written by persons involved on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, My Name Is Earl, Saturday Night Live, South Park, and Comedy Central sketches says Sony.
While heavy focus is given to comedic interaction, the game also promises the ability to solve puzzles, eavesdrop, and steal a co-partner's Streamline stapler.
321w ago - A Sony executive has left PS3 fans all a-quiver after promising to release a firmware update "soon" that will improve the console's support for Blu-ray Disc interactivity features.
Don Eklund, VP of advanced technologies at Sony, reportedly made the promise at the recent HDTV DisplaySearch conference in California. Unfortunately, he didn't say anything more specific about the release, leaving PS3 buffs to speculate about what new interactive features Sony might introduce to the console.
The Blu-ray Disc Association has already mandated that all Blu-ray players launched after 31 October must feature picture-in-picture video playback, so Sony could be prepping things to make sure any PS3s sold after that date are compliant.
Any Sony update will follow hot on the heels of an interactivity features update for HD DVDs, announced recently by Universal. Its release consisted mainly of online shopping features, such as merchandise or trailer downloads, and a function allowing users to share their favourite movie clips with friends directly from their player.
322w ago - Sony Computer Entertainment America will unveil a $399 40GB PlayStation 3 on U.S. shores, sources said.
The release comes on the heels of an announcement by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe that a new lower-priced version of the PS3 will be launched on the continent thiscq, week of the 8th week.
"We're hearing Nov. 2 (for the U.S.)," said one industry source. A buyer for a major game retailer cited the same date, adding that SCEA has been dropping hints that stores should do all they can to clear out existing inventory in anticipation of the new model.
The new 40GB PS3 will have fewer features than the current 60GB ($499) and 80GB ($599) models, with two USB 2.0 ports instead of four, no backward compatibility for PS2 games and no multimemory card port.
But it will continue to play Blu-ray Disc movies as the PS3, despite its early struggles against Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360, remains a key part of Sony's battle with consumer electronics rivals over the future of high-definition movie playback.
SCEA did not return calls seeking comment, but in making the announcement in Europe, SCEE president David Reeves said: "The introduction of the new PS3 has been the result of extensive research into the entertainment needs and preferences of the next generation...