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Forty per cent failure rate for 40GB PS3

354w ago - Sony appears to be having problems with failure rates on the new 40GB PlayStation 3 model, according to retail sources.

Speaking to Dutch site Gamed.nl, Belgian games retailer Games Mania has said that while the new 40GB model is selling well, some 40 per cent of the new consoles sold so far have been returned due to hardware defects that result in the console being unable to read Blu-Ray and other discs.

No actual numbers have been made available so far, so it's unclear whether this is simply a case of a single retailer receiving a batch of dud consoles or whether this is a more sizeable problem along the lines of the infamous 360 three red lights issue.

Given the lack of similar reports from around the globe, we'd certainly hold off from declaring the 40GB as unreliable just yet. However, it is worth pointing out that the 40GB model has been made using revised manufacturing techniques designed to lower costs, and features fewer cooling vents than previous models.

Have you had any problems with your PS3, or is it running as smoothly as clockwork? The comments section is just below.

IGN launching "PlayStation Network Portal"

354w ago - If you're a casual reader of the web site IGN, you may have stumbled across this web page.

It's a new portal for the PlayStation Network, ostensibly, so we can assume IGN and Sony have partnered up to develop some sort of exclusive news site.

Microsoft Service "Sucks" Xbox 360 Boss Says

354w ago - The head of the Microsoft Xbox operation in Australia, David Mclean, who is becoming famous for what he doesn't say rather than what he does, is set to hear from yet another very "angry" Xbox 360 customer who is so angry with Mclean and his operation that he has packed up his second broken Xbox and shipped it directly to him with a letter that says: "Microsoft sucks you can keep your busted Xbox". He also said that he will never deal with Microsoft again.

This year Microsoft has allocated over $1.3 billion to fix faulty Xbox 360 consoles with retailers reporting a console failure rate of up to 30%.

Marcel Ollmann of New Zealand claims in a letter to Mclean that he is now on his second Xbox 360 and like a lot of other Xbox 360 users who have had problems with Microsoft over their gaming consoles, it is not the failure of the Xbox that galls him but the "shocking" service that Ollmann received when he attempted to get his first Xbox 360 fixed.

He has also had major problems with Microsoft support and Microsoft Live. In a blunt letter to Mclean he states: "It is fair to say that for the past year Microsoft has treated me like shit".

"Rather than following New Zealand law and providing replacements at a point of sale I was forced to call the Xbox support and get a resolution...

God of War III officially PS3-bound

354w ago - Confirming Cory Barlog's exit from its Santa Monica studio, SCEA announces Kratos is indeed coming to its next-gen console.

In March, Sony Computer Entertainment America held a lavish launch party in San Francisco for God of War II. In the course of the celebrations, Cory Barlog, the game's outspoken director, dropped some none-too-subtle hints that the series would be coming to the PlayStation 3 along with force feedback.

"If we were to do a God of War III on the PS3," Barlog told the enthusiastic crowd. "We're excited about the potential--maybe, no commitment, no announcement or anything like that--to maybe have [God of War hero] Kratos in 1080p with the Sixaxis and vibration. Vibration is coming back to the PS3, that's pretty cool, huh?"

At the time of Barlog's outburst, SCEA reps would comment on neither a rumble-enabled Sixaxis nor God of War III coming to the PS3. Now, less than two months after the Dual Shock 3 was unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, Sony has officially confirmed that God of War III is indeed in development exclusively for the PS3 at SCEA's Santa Monica studio. It provided no further details on the game.

Unfortunately, the God of War III announcement was tempered by some bittersweet news. SCEA has confirmed Barlog himself no longer works at the company's...

Super Mario Walloping Sony, Microsoft, exec says

354w ago - Sony and Microsoft have put themselves in a strategic hole by failing to court casual gamers, a top Nintendo executive said Tuesday.

Speaking at the annual Interactive Entertainment Conference sponsored by BMO Capital Markets in New York Cty, Reginald Fils Aime, president of Nintendo of America, said the makers of the PlayStation and the Xbox video game consoles will have difficulty extricating themselves from their focus on expensive, high-definition machines.

"They've gone down the path with very expensive machines where they lose money on every console sold," he said. "They have a significant strategic conundrum and one that won't be easy to resolve."

In October, Nintendo reported its profits more than doubled to $1.16 billion for the six months ended September 30 on the strength of its Wii console and Nintendo DS handheld. The Tokyo-based maker of the Super Mario video game series raised estimated shipments of Wii hardware for the full fiscal year from 16.5 million to 17.5 million and Nintendo DS hardware from 26 million to 28 million.

Nintendo, until recently a laggard in the console wars, has embarked on a campaign to extend the market for video games beyond the hard-core 15- to 29-year-old male demographic, Mr. Fils Aime said. The company has accomplished that...
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