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Hands-On With PS3 Blu-ray Profile 1.1 and Resident Evil: Extinction

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362w ago - This past Tuesday, Sony released the latest Playstation 3 firmware upgrade highlighted by much-coveted Blu-ray Profile 1.1. Rushing to download the firmware isn't of much use until January 1 when the first Profile 1.1 Blu-ray Discs arrive in stores. That is, unless you get one of the discs early. Which is exactly what we did with Resident Evil: Extinction.

I was a bit stressed for time last night so providing a full review of Resident Evil: Extinction is still a couple days off. I did watch the film, and it looks and sounds fantastic, as expected. But I was most interested in how the picture-in-picture Profile 1.1 functionality would work, both in terms of how it was presented and how Playstation 3 handled it.

Activating picture-in-picture on Resident Evil: Extinction is identical to turning on a commentary track; you simply click it on in the special features and then fire up the movie. The actual picture-in-picture window will appear intermittently in any one of the four screen corners displaying either sketches or full video and audio.

Unfortunately I don't think Sony took full advantage of the two separate audio and video streams. If they did, then they need to include an instruction manual in the future because I couldn't figure it out.

When the picture-in-picture turns...
 

Sony Gift: Free PS3 With Every Full-HD Bravia

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362w ago - Update: This news article relates only to Australia. Though there are similar offers in other different regions.

Following their Bravia full-HD purchase, consumers should visit www.sony.com.au/bonusPS3 to register their purchase for redemption.

Sony is spruiking PlayStation 3 consoles with every Bravia full-HD 1080 LCD TV model bought between 21 December and 28 January, as part of a marketing campaign to encourage users to make the switch to HD.

The offer applies to current XBR, X and W series Bravia models, with a 40GB PS3 thrown in for added support - the PS3's Blu-ray Disc player works seamlessly with the full-HD panels.

"Our Full HD BRAVIA range shows the phenomenal detail possible with high definition, and what better way to experience this than through the Blu-ray-enabled PS3," said Sony Australia senior product manager, Graham Keogh.

"Sony is as much about content as we are about hardware. Now, consumers will get the best of both worlds with this Full High Definition combination."
 

Teens kill 7-year-old girl by using Mortal Kombat moves

350°
362w ago - In Jamestown, Colorado, two teens have been charged with killing a 7-year-old girl by beating her with imitations of moves from the Mortal Kombat video games, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Lamar Roberts, 17, and Heather Trujillo, 16, were charged as adults on one count each of felony child abuse causing death, according to court documents obtained be the Associated Press.

A police affidavit states that the teens were babysitting Trujillo's half-sister, Zoe Garcia, on December 6. When the teens hit, kicked, and body-slammed her with moves imitating Mortal Kombat, the girl lost consciousness and stopped breathing.

The teens tried to revive the girl by running water in her mouth and attempting CPR. They then called her mother and 911, but the girl died at the hospital.

An autopsy revealed that the girl had a broken wrist, more than 20 bruises, swelling of the brain, and bleeding in her neck muscles and under her spine.

A witness reportedly told police that Roberts said that the girl told them to stop wrestling. When the witness asked why they didn't stop, he responded, "I don't know; I was drunk."

The teens are being held at the Weld County Jail and, if convicted, could be sentenced to 48 years in prison.
 

10tacle takes over The Games Company

50°
362w ago - 10tacle Studios has taken over Berlin-based development and marketing firm The Games Company Worldwide. The acqusition was made through a stock swap of 454,545 shares of 10tacle, issued at 11 Euros per share, with the value of The Games Company estimated at five million Euros.

The takeover helps 10tacle further expand its development capacities in the area of casual gaming and secures access to a comprehensive 2008-2009 line-up featuring releases for platforms such as the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PC.
"With their comprehensive line-up and their pool of high-quality license themes from the TV, movie and entertainment sectors, The Games Company represents a first-class addition to our existing business portfolio," said 10tacle CEO Michele Pes.

"Markus Malti, Carsten Strehse and the entire TGC team have delivered first-class work over the last few months, work that we will now continue together. I look forward to the up-coming projects and the continued expansion of our development competence within the concern."

"We are incredibly pleased to be part of such a renowned and successful firm and look forward to playing an active role in the continued success of the 10tacle Studios," Malti and Strehse said in a joint statement.
The Games Company was created in 2006 from a merger of German...
 

NPD Fallout: Rock Band Proves its Worth

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362w ago - Over 350,000 copies at $170 a pop is impressive, but critical mistakes cost them more.

No one expected Rock Band to outsell Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock this holiday season. Guitar Hero is one of the most powerful franchises in gaming right now -- period. In fact, if Rock Band sold at all it'd be a triumphant feat for the new music IP, Harmonix and MTV.
Only the hardcore are even aware Harmonix was behind Rock Band (and once Guitar Hero), so while their involvement was encouraging, it was hardly relevant to the end game. And while the $170 price tag is actually cheap given the value inside -- game, guitar, drum, microphone -- the lack of individual peripherals meant that was the only way to join in on the fun, unless you were lucky enough to realize the Guitar Hero controllers work on Xbox 360. Unless you read gaming websites, you probably didn't -- or, perhaps, wrongly assumed it did on PlayStation 3.

As it turned out, Rock Band performed surprisingly well in its first few weeks on the market, according to the NPD Group, selling 296,000 copies on Xbox 360 and 68,500 copies on PS3, making for 364,500 copies combined.

The franchise's public image has taken a hit due to the incredible frequency at which the guitars have been breaking, but Electronic Arts' typically fast and courteous...
 
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