European Union May Order Microsoft to Bundle Other Browsers

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269w ago - The European Union's antitrust investigation team has released preliminary statements on how it will rule on the question of whether Microsoft abused its dominant market position to push the adoption of Internet Explorer; the remarks are not encouraging.

The investigation is not over–Microsoft still has time to issue its own formal response to further concerns the EU raised in January–but the company may need a Hail Mary pass to escape the penalty the EU is prepared to level.

Jonathan Todd, spokesperson for the EU Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes, gave the Web site EurActiv a peek into what the commission is planning in the event that Microsoft cannot successfully answer the EU's questions.

"If the Commission's preliminary conclusions as outlined in the recent statement of objections were confirmed," Todd said, "the Commission would intend to impose remedies that enabled users and manufacturers to make an unbiased choice between Internet Explorer and competing third party web browsers." There's also a hefty fine attached to the remedy, but it's the browser issue we'll focus on.

"Unbiased," in this case, means "bundled." Under the proposed penalty,...
 

Rumor: Sony May Launch $40 Downloadable PS3 Game Lineup

400°
269w ago - Warhawk, SOCOM, and Burnout Paradise are a couple of "full" titles that Sony has given gamers the chance to digitally download onto their HDDs.

While each game took up its fair amount of space, it was definitely convenient to not have to put the disc into the console in order to play the games. The ease of booting up our beloved console and clicking a menu item to start playing a great title like Burnout Paradise is definitely something that made the occupied HDD space worth it.

If this is something you've enjoyed, you may be happy to know that some analysts think that this may become the norm for the electronics giant we've all come to love.

According to Futuresource Consulting's senior market analyst Mai Hoang, Sony is considering rolling out an entire lineup of $40 downloadable titles that are sold at a discount in comparison to their $60 disc-based counterparts. While this idea has been tested by Sony with the previously titles mentioned, it's a treatment that first-party PSP titles in Japan have been enjoying for quite some time.

Futuresource believes that Sony wants to take a bigger piece of the digital distribution market which could validate this new game-delivery strategy. Considering that digitally...
 

Panasonic May Beat Sony to 3D Games by 2010

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270w ago - Panasonic is in development on its own 3D Blu-ray entertainment system which will be available for the public to purchase by 2010.

This concept was shown by Sony some time ago, but stated that their player will not be sold to the public, mainly because you'll need the proper hardware to make it run. And it's not like your everyday Joe's living room will come equipped with full 3D-ready technology.

Panasonic is planning to develop a Plasma 3D Full HD home theater system, a 3D-ready digital cinema projector with a 380-inch screen theater for 3D HD picture quality evaluation, and a 3-D ready MPEG-4 AVC High Profile encoder.

They have been working with Hollywood studios closely to produce some movies into 3D format already. It probably wouldn't be too far along until the 3D system will be made ready for gaming.

Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, Managing Director of Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory stated:

"Panasonic recognizes that for 3D FHD to succeed, just like Blu-ray, collaboration on research, development and production with studios and content providers is absolutely essential".

He added: "The creation of the new PHL Authoring Center will enable Hollywood to start trial production and ultimately create commercially available 3D FHD titles to realize...
 

Battle Fantasia May See US Release as PSN Download for PS3

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271w ago - Arc System Works' quirky 2D fighter, Battle Fantasia, saw a US release last year as an Xbox 360 exclusive, although the game is available on PS3 in the rest of the world (Europe and Japan).

However, it looks as though American PS3 owners may be getting a new chance at playing the game.

Siliconera (linked above) discovered a recently-appended entry to the ESRB listing for Battle Fantasia. The ratings board has the game covered on PS3 and "PSN via PS3."

To quote: It looks like there is a chance the PS3 version of Battle Fantasia could come to North America in a rather peculiar way. The ESRB re-rated Battle Fantasia as an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and "PSN via PS3 game".

So, Aksys is planning to distribute a retail PS3 game as a PlayStation Network download? We've seen this happen before with games like Warhawk, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, and Siren: Blood Curse which unlike the rest of the world was only a PSN download here.
 

Pioneer May Leave Flatscreen TV Business Due to Global Economy

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271w ago - The article states they will announce Thursday (2-12) if there will be a change in direction, to quote:

There are multiple reports from Japan indicating electronics giant Pioneer may end its flat screen TV business due to slowing demand and the struggling global economy.

"We have publicly announced that we are actively evaluating our business," Pioneer said in a public statement. "We started announcing changes in March 2008 to increase efficiencies of our business operations. We are still in that process but do not have any further announcements at this time."

If the company does indeed pull the plug on its TV lineup, the official announcement is expected on Thursday, when Pioneer announces its medium-term business plans. The company first announced last March it would stop making plasma panels due to increasing losses and higher costs.

Panasonic had control of the plasma TV market with 37 percent, Samsung Electronics had 22.8 percent, LG Electronics secured 15 percent, while Pioneer had just 5.9 percent, DisplaySearch numbers reveal.

Pioneer has already cut hundreds of jobs and closed one domestic manufacturing plant last year, with more job cuts planned in the future, Japanese media sources report. The company currently has 40,000 employees and may cut as many...
 











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