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Hope Fades for the PlayStation 3 as a Comeback Player

400°
291w ago - Here we go again... the Wall Street Journal aren't feeling too good about the possibility of the PlayStation 3 console's success.

In their latest article (linked above) they doubt it will come back and assert that the PS3 is sagging, while the XBox 360 and Wii are widening their leads.

They pick up on a number of factors including the PS3's price and lack of 'attractive' and exclusive titles.

To quote: With Stringer saying, 'We will be profitable,' you can't cut price," says Michael Pachter, a research analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles. He expects Sony to cut prices at the start of its new fiscal year in April, which could help boost sales.

Sony also is suffering from a lack of attractive titles that are exclusive to the PS3. Microsoft has hit the jackpot with two action-adventure game franchises, Halo and Gears of War, which are available only on the Xbox 360. Most of Nintendo's top games are Made in house and playable only on the Wii.

Sony used to have a stable of exclusive games. But in recent years, Microsoft has persuaded most game publishers to release highly anticipated games to it and Sony at the same time.

Last month, four of the five best-selling U.S. games were exclusive to either the Wii or Xbox 360, according to...
 

Benchmark Proves PlayStation 3 is the Best Blu-ray Player

200°
295w ago - A benchmark test on Blu-ray players has recently been conducted by Blu-ray.com, and findings based on the results indicate that overall the PlayStation 3 is the best Blu-ray player out there.

It out performed all its competitors, and the fact that the PS3 doubles up as a game console makes it the best choice if you want a Blu-ray player.

To quote: The results were a bit surprising, to tell the truth, since they proved that actually, Sony's PS3 was pretty much THE best Blu-ray player out there, out-performing each and every one of its competitors in just about all of the tests mentioned above.

Add that to the extra functionality it provides and Sony's claims that the PS3 is all that one needs within one's home entertainment center don't seem that farfetched anymore, especially given the fact that the price tag of the PS3 is actually lower than those of many of its competitors from the test.
 

PlayStation 3 Now $400 More Than the Cheapest Blu-ray Player

550°
298w ago - Remember when the PS3 came out? It was comfortably the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market. That was a huge selling point for the console, trust us. When the PS2 first launched we conducted a survey that showed that over 30% of the early adopters bought it primarily for its DVD playback.

We haven't seen figures for the PS3 in relation to how many consumers picked it up as a Blu-ray player, but the release strategies and state of the market are comparative and a similar percentage would've been expected. (we've contacted Sony for this statistic and will update you when/if we get a response)

In fact at the time of the PS3's launch, the Blu-ray diode that powered the ROM was the costly and relatively difficult to produce component which stalled the release of the system in territories like Australia, and where Sony was losing much of its money on each console sold.

Earlier this week we reported that the Xbox 360 had received another price-drop and as a result was now 57% cheaper than the PS3 at a buy-in level. Yeah you can talk about Wi-Fi this and hard-drive that as they are valid points to many, but if you want to play Call of Duty: World at War tomorrow, you can for 57% less on the Xbox 360.

That's a face. We spoke to a Sony representative as to whether they would...
 

Hands-On: Windows Media Player 12's Surprising New Features

50°
300w ago - Though many previously bundled applets now will ship separately to Windows 7, Windows Media Player remains part of the core OS. Windows 7 will ship with Windows Media Player 12, which includes some surprising new features.

The UI itself is brighter and lighter than WMP11. Some buttons and toolbar items have been moved around, but the experience should be pretty familiar to users of version 11. What does represent a big change is the removal of the Now Playing button, which in WMP11 switches to a view showing the current playlist.

This is because WMP12 completely separates library management from what's currently playing, with two distinct player modes; Now Playing view, and Library view. Library view contains all the library manipulation features that should be familiar from WMP11. Now Playing view contains the current playlist, visualizations, and videos.

There's also a new taskbar miniviewer that works with the new Windows 7 taskbar, and WMP12 includes support for Jump Lists.

Aside from the split between Library and Now Playing, the basic operation of WMP12 is the same as in version 11. There are plenty of small refinements, like automatic previewing (hovering on any song plays a 15-second preview of the song), and the Library view now shows all media types in the tree simultaneously...
 

Blu-ray Surpasses 30% of all DVD Recorder/Player Shipments

50°
300w ago - We knew Japan was warming up to Blu-ray, but apparently those tepid desires have morphed into infernos of passion.

According to new statistics loosed by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), Blu-ray Disc recorder / player shipments hit a level of 138,000, or around 107 times more than the shipments posted a year ago.

Moreover, those shipments accounted for 31% of "overall shipments of DVD equipment on a volume basis."

Unsurprisingly, BD equipment -- coupled with flat-panel TVs -- were the two biggest drivers of consumer electronics shipments in Japan this year, with visual equipment shipments rising 8.2% year-over-year.

Blu-ray and HDTV: a match made in heaven. Or Tokyo.
 
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