New Sony Blu-ray Players Aimed at Low Price Point

291w ago - In an interesting development that may de-value it's own PS3, Sony is focusing on more user-friendly price points to promote its two new Blu-ray Disc players.

The new models, showcased at a Sony event today, are aimed at current DVD and HDTV users who have previously been priced out of the market.

Sony technology communications manager Paul Colley explained that the new Blu-ray strategy is heavily influenced by history, with the Sony looking to replicate the whirlwind take-up of DVD. Colley noted that DVD players didn't explode in popularity until the players were able to reach a price point more agreeable with everyday consumers.

This was back in December 2001, when the price point for DVD players came down to around the $400 mark. In was at this time that DVD players finally overcame various competing formats to become the number one choice for movie playback in Australia. Sony hasn't been able to get its prices that low, but they have come close.

The new BDP-S350, which will be available in October 2008, is RRP $449. Also launched today was the BDP-S550, which is RRP $649. This latter model will be available in November.

The key feature of these models that Colley highlighted was BD Live. This enables users to retrieve bonus content though access to...

Sony: Life with PlayStation Released by Mistake

291w ago - Sony has told CVG that today's surprise launch of the PS3's news and weather channel, Life with PlayStation, was a mistake.

The channel went live earlier today, surprising the lucky few who stumbled across the update and managed to get it all installed before Sony whipped it back offline again.

The 126MB download changes the Folding@Home app into the new Life with PlayStation channel (F@H does its cancer-curing job in the background while you read the news), but the update is no longer available.

"Today, while testing the application, Life with PlayStation was available for download temporarily, by mistake," Sony UK told CVG.

"We will make [an] official announcement for the service launch shortly," it added.

Moore: Microsoft's XBox Strategy Completely Fixated on Sony

291w ago - Ex-Xbox head Peter Moore has revealed how Microsoft was "completely fixated on Sony" with its Xbox Strategy.

Speaking in the second part of an interview with The Guardian, Moore revealed that Nintendo wasn't even considered when discussing console strategies with Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer (and now Wii's at the top).

"In January (2003) I flew up [to Redmond] and had lunch with Steve Ballmer and you don't say no to Ballmer," Moore said, discussing his route into Xbox. "We had a great lunch and he convinced me that Microsoft was going to take on Sony; so I get to put on my suit of armour, get on my horse and take on Sony again - but with a little bit more money this time!"

It was a classic "build or buy" conversation, said the now EA Sport boss. "Xbox had launched but it was an aggressive black box for shooters, and how do we evolve that, how do we build the next Xbox, how do we get after Sony?

"Interestingly, we were just completely fixated on Sony," Moore revealed. "Nintendo didn't even come into the conversation. But Steve was very compelling, particularly when you're one-on-one with him in his office - we talked about what we'd done to compete with Sony, where I felt their weaknesses were."

Microsoft had "a little bit of a concern" with Sony, Moore added....

Jaffe And Sony Named in Suit Over Alleged God of War Plagiarism

291w ago - It seems God of War may have looked to more than just Greek Mythology for inspiration. Sony and game designer David Jaffe have been sued for copyright infringement.

The suit claims that story elements of God of War were stolen from a pre-existing works of fiction submitted to Sony in 2002. Now here's how it goes:

* The works of fiction were submitted to Sony in 2002
* The first game was released in 2005
* Jaffe once said that the game took three years to develop

Coinkidink? Well, the plaintiffs don't seem to think so. The plaintiffs, Jonathan Bissoon-Dath and Jennifer Barrette-Herzog, cited several examples to how the game stole from their work. Examples of these are:

* Plaintiff's works tell the original story of how a champion saves Athens from destruction by the invading Spartan army that has been sent by Ares... [GoW]... is the story of how a champion chosen by Zeus and Athens saves Athen from destruction by an invading army sent by Ares...

* In plaintiff's original work and God of War, the Champion's family is hacked to death in a one-room building in a small peaceful village. In both stories the Champion feels partially responsible even though he is not really to blame...

Sony Unaware of Any Slow PlayStation 3 PSN Download Speeds

292w ago - Gamers and journalists alike have complained about the slow download speeds on PSN. "I would say PSN is generally slower than other services, especially wireless," says Chris Morell, senior editor and PlayStation liaison at GamePro.

However, Sony's director of communications Patrick Seybold has responded by saying that he hasn't noticed this at all, and "I have both [a 360 and Wii] at home and downloads are comparable if not slightly quicker for PS3. Of course, that's just my experience."

To quote: Two weeks ago, it took a frustrating six hours to download WarGames from the PlayStation Store, all while my PC, Powerbook, 360, and Wii enjoyed fast, uninterrupted wireless transfers. This was slower than normal, but I typically suffer less-than-desirable wait times for PS3 demos and system updates as well. (I get 15 mbps down in my area courtesy of Comcast, by the way.)

"I would say PSN is generally slower than other services, especially wireless," says Chris Morell, senior editor and PlayStation liaison at GamePro. "I switched to wired, which is better, but it took me a long time to download the new Ratchet and Clank the other night, despite my ridiculous 32 mbps down."

A quick Google search reveals the same, that several other users have experienced slow PSN downloads,...

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