318w ago - In a wide-ranging interview posted on the Nintendo web site recently, company executives offered investors a rare glimpse into the Japanese gaming giant's business strategy and future plans, discussing everything from Shigeru Miyamoto's recent hobbies to the chances that we'll see a DS phone any time soon.
But mostly, they talked about Nintendo's strengths in a global videogame marketplace they increasingly define. We wish they would have named it the Super Okay Fun-Time Party, but they called it the Corporate Management Policy Briefing instead. Despite the dry name, we read it anyway, and came away with some fascinating insights.
The interview was posted on the Nintendo site after the company's recent sales results conference (linked via Gamasutra), and contains five pages of Q&A.
Rather than ramble on, we'll pull out some of the more interesting bits and interpret them below. Maybe it's the Japanese-to-English translation, but Nintendo execs sure seem to use the word "weapon" a lot when discussing its business model...
What's a tie ratio, and why do I care?
In the videogame industry, tie ratio refers to the amount of software sold per console. For hardware developers and first-party publishers/developers...
318w ago - Are you a Canadian who was looking to purchase a new 40 GB PS3, but are little tight in the wallet from days spent on beer or women? Well look no further, because Dell is offering the console for $399.99. You must be reading this thinking "Where's the deal, isn't that the original price?"
Dell is offering it at that price, but it also includes Spider-Man 3 on Blu-Ray, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (check out our review) and a Startech 6 ft. HDMI cable. Original price, yes, but it does come with the free game, movie, and cable- and you can't beat that.
Forming the perfect Rock Band can be very difficult to say the least, but Electronic Arts is doing their part to make it easier on your wallet by offering the guitar, drums, and microphone bundle at $169.99. While that deal is nice, we have something even better.
Newegg.com will save you ten dollars more, as they have the Xbox 360 and PS3 bundles for just $159.99. Be aware that Rock Band doesn't come out for another couple weeks, but you can preorder it, and so far this is the best price we have seen for the bundle.
318w ago - October 31, 2007 was the official end of the "grace period" for Blu-ray manufacturers, after which all players released must comply with the latest standard--Blu-ray Profile 1.1 (also known as Final Standard Profile and BD-Video Profile 1.1).
Of course, that doesn't mean Profile 1.0 Blu-ray players still can't be sold, and if you walk into your local electronics store over the next few months, you're likely to see both Profile 1.0 and Profile 1.1 Blu-ray players on the shelf. So what's the big difference between Profile 1.0 and Profile 1.1?
Profile 1.0 vs. 1.1 There are several different hardware requirements (see the chart below), but it basically boils down to picture-in-picture functionality. All Blu-ray players up until this point have been Profile 1.0 and have lacked the secondary video and audio decoders necessary to play a smaller video in the corner while also playing the main high-def movie in the background. With the notable exception of the PlayStation 3, Profile 1.0 players cannot be upgraded via firmware to become Profile 1.1 players.
Because Profile 1.0 players lacked this functionality, movie studios have understandably not included picture-in-picture functionality on any current Blu-ray disc. According to High-Def Digest, Fox has announced that it will release...
318w ago - The first downloadable content for Guitar Hero III has been revealed by a fan at the ScoreHero forums who accidentally made the discovery.
It looks like three downloadable content packages will be made available, in the same way downloadable content was handled for Guitar Hero II. Expect a Foo Fighters pack with All My Life, The Pretender and This Is A Call, a Velvet Revolver pack with Slither, She Builds Quick Machines and Messages and the final pack for the boss battle music. No word on pricing or when to expect these songs.
Here's hoping that Activision doesn't charge for the boss battle pack. The Foo Fighters and Velvet Revolver packs, we can understand because of the licensing costs involved. But charging you so you can play music that's already in Guitar Hero III? Please say it ain't so. We'll give Activision the benefit of the doubt for now, so let's hope they don't prove us wrong.
318w ago - Now that there's a multitude of versions and bundles for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, it's trickier for the general consumer to figure out which to purchase.
The Guardian recently did an analysis of both PS3 and Xbox 360 and has decidedly more positive things to say about Sony's new iteration as compared to Microsoft's.
"So which should you go for? I'll leave the basic Xbox vs. PS3 quandary to you, but as for packages, at £299 the 40GB PlayStation 3 is good value - it'll be rare for you ever to need more than two USB ports. Keep an eye out for retailer bundle deals - most will offer a game or at least a Blu-ray movie or two and for a few extra quid you could get an extra controller as well," recommends The Guardian's Keith Stuart.
"With Xbox 360, the Arcade machine's lack of a hard drive is a big minus for those hoping to use Xbox Live Arcade by downloading more games, plus GTA fans will find themselves having to fork out more than £100 for a hard drive when GTA IV comes along," he concluded.
We can't argue with any of those points. The Elite's 120GB HDD certainly isn't a requirement these days, but not having a hard drive at all in 2007 seems a tad archaic.