Anticipated PS3 2.0 firmware any day now

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337w ago - The much-talked about PS3 2.0 firmware could be with us within days, following new 2.0-compatible features being added to PSP.

Newly-released PSP 3.72 firmware contains new Remote Play features which require the associated PS3 to be running on firmware version 2.0 - which has been hyped to high heaven within PS3 internet communities.

Among a whole slew of new features, PS3 version 2.0 is widely expected to add the ability to browse the Cross Media Bar menu while running a game, drastically improving the console's overall functionality.

Although there has still been no official confirmation as to what PS3 firmware 2.0 will actually add, or when it will arrive, Sony has today confirmed that it will allow you to boot up the PS3 using the Remote Play option on PSP consoles running the new 3.72 update. Are you getting all these numbers?
 

Momentum is Building for the Xbox 360 in Japan

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337w ago - Has Microsoft Turned a Corner in its Bid to Sell in Japan?

Far away in a land called Japan, a nation that retains a disproportionately large level of influence on the global games industry, there is an annual exhibition of new games and hardware. This event is the Tokyo Game Show, which runs for a few days every September, and it brings together most of the Japanese videogame scene (only Nintendo is consistently absent).

Representatives of Western developers and publishers also turn up in their droves - wearing suits and positioning sunglasses on their heads to give an impression that they are businesspeople but also 'down with the kids'. And then, after a couple of business days, the rabid gamer public is allowed entrance and the suits disappear in a sea of odorous geekdom. It's quite something to behold.

The Microsoft Booth
This year, your hardworking correspondents (without a suit between us) landed in Tokyo and took a train out to the suburbs, which is where the Makuhari Messe venue is located. Tokyo Game Show kicked off there and we eventually made our way to Microsoft's glowing white stand, where Halo 3 was being promoted loudly because ... well, it's Halo 3. It won't have as big an impact in Japan as it will have elsewhere, but Japanese players (and Japanese members...
 

Jeep Seen Driven by a Yellow Dog!

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337w ago - In early October, Terra Soft Solutions was engaged by Axion Racing to assist with the integration of a Sony PlayStation3 running Yellow Dog Linux into "Spirit", Axion's fully autonomous Jeep Grand Cherokee which is this week competing in the qualifying rounds for the DARPA autonomous vehicle challenge in Victorville, California.

Integral to the on-board, realtime image processing system, the YDL PS3 rides atop a set of 1U rackmount servers inside Spirit which drives itself through simulated city traffic and obstacles during the qualifying rounds, currently underway.

In just ten days, Terra Soft's Bill Mueller ported, wrote, and optimized code for Yellow Dog Linux on a PS3 which is connected to an RGB camera. This realtime image processing system enables the autonomous vehicle to "see" the street terrain and avoid obstacles. The RGB camera is tied into the Axion arbitrator and other computerized sensors to help determine the best path for the 3/4 ton Jeep. All sensors vote and then send commands to actuators that control steering, gas, and brakes for the vehicle. For safety, the brakes are always on, unless released by software commands that then motivate the gas pedal.

Axion "Spirit" is the only autonomous vehicle to participate in all three DARPA Challenges: was one of only 7 teams to qualify...
 

Midway Fights Next-Gen Snags

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337w ago - As Midway aims to return to profitability, snags with Unreal Engine 3, PlayStation 3 and stiff competition haven't been making things easy.
Midway hasn't made an annual profit since 1999, but analysts have noted that the Chicago-based game publisher does have potential to make money, with games like Stranglehold, Unreal Tournament 3 and Blacksite Area 51 (and of course, iterations of the undying Mortal Kombat franchise).

But there have been hurdles in front of that comeback, some of which are related to delays of PS3 versions of next-gen games and some that are related to Midway's company-wide adoption of a modified version of Epic's Unreal Engine 3, not to mention stiff competition in the action genre.

Most recently, there's the Blacksite: Area 51 delay. While the release date of the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the alien first person shooter have slipped by just a week to November 12, the PS3 version of the Unreal Engine 3 powered title has seemingly run into some more serious issues.

While not offering an explanation for the delay, a Midway spokesman confirmed to Next-Gen that the title would see a release after the other versions of the game, at some point "during the holiday season."

Whether the delay is specifically related to the UE3 engine or not is currently unclear,...
 

Blu-ray Gets the Picture -- In Picture

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337w ago - 20th Century Fox in January will release the first Blu-ray movie with picture-in-picture interactivity.

That's according to an article by Video Business.

The publication reported that Fox demonstrated the PIP feature for the sci-fi thriller Sunshine on Monday during a press briefing. (Sunshine is a UK-based movie starring a cast of unknowns.)

HD DVD, Blu-ray's high-def disc format rival, has featured PIP on some discs for a few months, including Warner's HD DVD edition of the war movie 300.

HD DVD supporters have said the PIP feature will engage movie buffs because it can offer related information while the person watches the film.

For instance, Video Business reports, Sunshine's filmmakers discuss the movie in the PIP window while it's running.

Most Blu-ray players currently do not have the capacity to display PIP, but Fox senior vice president Steve Feldstein told the publication that future models will. He added that Sony will upgrade the Play Station 3 with a PIP feature via a firmware download.

"There will be players in the market," Feldstein said.

Disney is expected to offer PIP in several titles next year, including Finding Nemo.
 







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