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Sony sees easing of PS3 price pressure

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344w ago - Recent strong sales of higher-priced PlayStation 3 models may be an indication that Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) does not need to cut prices of the flagship video game console soon, a U.S. executive said on Thursday.

When Sony lowered U.S. prices of the PlayStation 3 last November, it was surprised to see that consumers bought as many $500 models as $400 models, said Scott Steinberg, vice president of product marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America.

"So we're seeing that the hard-core gamer is not afraid to throw another $100 at the PlayStation 3 because the value proposition is so rich," Steinberg told Reuters in an interview.

The main difference between the two models is that the $500 version has an 80-gigabyte hard drive, double that of the cheaper model.

"We're still in the phase of studying what this means for the potential roadmap for the year," Steinberg said.

Asked if that meant the pricing pressure posited by many analysts had not materialized, Steinberg said. "It's leading us to think so."

Sales of the PS3 lagged those of Nintendo Co Ltd's (7974.OS: Quote, Profile, Research) Wii and Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Xbox 360 last year, with many analysts citing its higher price and lack of must-have...
 

19 Hottest and Most Anticipated Games of 2008

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344w ago - We've spent the past few weeks researching ahead, and we are proud to bring you a list of our staff's most anticipated games, presented in alphabetical order...

Alan Wake: This psychological action thriller, from Remedy, (of Max Payne 1 and 2 fame) is published by Microsoft Game Studios, exclusively for Windows Vista and Xbox 360 (unfortunately, the previously planned PlayStation 3 version was nixed). The main character is based on Ilkka Villi, a Finnish professional actor and writer.

Disaster: Day of Crisis: This new "Survivor" Wii game uses natural disasters as the impetus to inspire rogue Special Forces, while players race cars down mountains, dodge toppling buildings, and try to avoid the devastation of an earthquake, in addition to swimming through a raging flood.

Endwar: Best-selling author, Tom Clancy's story, set during World War III, was designed by Ubisoft Shanghai. Previously known as "Firehawk," it is a real-time strategy game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Nintendo DS.

Fallout 3: Those who have viewed development blogs and screenshots have said that this game appears to be re-done from the ground up; designed for true fans of the Fallout series. It seems like a true departure from the first two games, released 10 years ago, but it is promised to "stay...
 

Metal Gear Online Looking to Take Over PSN

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344w ago - After the success of the online portions of Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence on PS2, Konami is Gearing up to conquer the online gaming world with Metal Gear Online for PlayStation 3, which may be released as a part of the Metal Gear Online Starter Pack.

While being set against the backdrop of the upcoming Guns of the Patriots, MGO is looking to rival online juggernauts such as Call of Duty4 and Team Fortress 2 for dedicated fans. There are features that MGO, if properly integrated, could prove to be quite a memorable experience. A few notables are:

- Tried and true arsenal, including the VZ.83, AK10Z and M4s
- New system called SOKKU, which quickly gathers info about your allies.
- 16 player death-match, capture the base, along with other sneak and attack combat which is still TBA
- Character creation and leveling up, rivaling Call of Duty 4

It is still too early to tell if MGO will be commanding a legion of fans or just lag out into nothing more but hype. Even without any characters from the leading cast (although some screens suggest Snake will make an appearance), Konami still feels that this game will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has previously played anything from the Metal Gear franchise.

It is still unknown if MGO will be sold independently....
 

GDC: Call of Duty 4 Feature Patch Details

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344w 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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344w 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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