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Infogrames offers to buy Atari Inc.

50°
334w ago - Atari Inc. has announced that it received a letter from Infogrames Entertainment S.A., the company's majority shareholder, expressing its intent to acquire the remaining outstanding stock of the company.

Infogrames' offer, which is non-binding, amounts to USD 1.68 per share for the Atari Inc. stock it does not own.

Atari Inc. said that a special committee of the company's board of directors intends to undertake, together with its advisors, a thorough evaluation of the proposal.

There is no assurance that any transaction will occur or to the terms of any transaction.
 

Sony, Microsoft discuss Blu-ray for Xbox 360

350°
334w ago - Sony is in talks with console rival Microsoft about offering a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360, according to a senior executive.

The Japanese electronics maker has until now touted Blu-ray as an advantage its PlayStation 3 holds over Microsoft's console. Microsoft has backed Toshiba's HD-DVD format and offered an HD-DVD drive that can be plugged into the 360.

But after Sony's victory last month in the high-definition DVD format war, Stan Glasgow, Sony Electronics US president, said the two sides were now talking about Microsoft adopting Blu-ray.

A Blu-ray drive in a 360 would make Microsoft more competitive with the PS3, but it would also mean extra revenues for Sony's electronics division. It would also add further cost to the 360, meaning a premium edition of the console could be necessary.

A Blu-ray drive could be incorporated in its top-of-the-range Elite Xbox, or Microsoft could again offer a drive as a plug-in peripheral.

Mr Glasgow, speaking at a media dinner, added that discussions were also taking place with Apple, which has not offered Blu-ray drives on any of its computers so far and has focused on digital media via downloads and streaming through devices such as its Apple TV.

The Sony president said he did not believe Blu-ray would be...
 

Sony/Ready at Dawn's God of War: Chains of Olympus

100°
334w ago - This week's edition of the regular Critical Reception column examines online reaction to God of War: Chains of Olympus, a PSP-exclusive prequel that "hit[s] the mark on every level of production," according to critics.

After seeing its 2005 debut on the PlayStation 2, Sony's God of War won critical acclaim both for its solid action-based gameplay and for its attention to visual and audio production. Boasting a strong narrative atypical of its fellow hack-and-slashers, God of War pushed the expected limits of its platform, and its presentation quality and polished gameplay resulted in an experience that is widely regarded as one of the best of its kind on the PlayStation 2.

God of War II was released last year to similar acclaim, and the recently released series prequel God of War: Chains of Olympus has been credited with challenging the PlayStation Portable's hardware as much as its predecessors did with the PS2. Chains of Olympus currently averages a score of 94 out of 100 at Metacritic.com.

Matt Leone at 1UP.com gives God of War: Chains of Olympus a rating of A, praising developer Ready At Dawn's aptitude at translating console hits to portables. "With Chains of Olympus, Ready At Dawn has cemented its reputation as a master mimic," he says. "In 2006, the studio reenergized the Jak and Daxter...
 

User-Generated Guitar Hero Content At Least Five Years Away

200°
334w ago - Making your own songs within a game like Guitar Hero, then self-publishing those songs, is a big deal, right? So you'd expect companies like Activision would be toiling day and night to get that kind of power into consumer's hands, right? Notsomuch.

As part of his address at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference yesterday, Activision boss Bobby Kotick says that while his company recognises that it's a big, big deal for a game like GH to incorporate its own user-generated content, he also says that making that kind of software available is "not easy", and that it won't be happening within the next five years.

It will happen, he reiterates, just not soon. In the meantime, users will have to instead prepare for things like tournaments and playing for cash, which Kotick says are "the evolution of the medium".

For those that are interested in a small-scale, amateur version of this idea, check out Frets On Fire, or even the recently-released Audioforge, and get jamming!
 

US Air Force Wants 300 40gb PS3s

500°
334w ago - It looks like the United States Air Force needs some heavy research machinery at a low cost. Who do they turn to? The PlayStation 3, 300 of them to be exact.

The Air Force Research Laboratory is conducting a technology assessment of certain cell processors.

The processors in the Sony PlayStation 3 are the only brand on the market that utilizes the specific cell processor characteristics needed for this program at an acceptable cost.

At this moment it is only a Request for Proposal, in which sellers will provide price quotes to the Air Force.
 
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