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Another contender emerges in DVD-format war

50°
347w ago - No sooner has the battle for the next-generation high-definition DVD format ended, with Blu-ray triumphing over HD DVD, than a new contender has emerged.

A new system that is incompatible with Blu-ray, called HD VMD, for versatile multilayer disc, is trying to find a niche. New Medium Enterprises, the London company behind HD VMD, says its system's quality is equal to Blu-ray's, but it costs less. By undercutting the competition in production, replication and hardware costs, it thinks it can find a market among consumers with less disposable income, particularly outside the United States.

An HD VMD player costs less than a Blu-ray because it uses the red-laser technologies found in today's standard-definition DVD players. The Blu-ray and HD DVD machines use a more expensive blue-laser system. "We do not intend to take on Blu-ray," said Shirly Levich, New Medium's vice president and product development manager, in an e-mail message. "We see VMD as a natural extension of mass market DVD product enhanced to HD capabilities. We shall not rekindle the format war."

The industry and consumers may not see it that way, given that the company is promoting its price advantages. While Blu-ray players typically cost more than $300, an HD VMD unit is priced at $199. Sales through Amazon are scheduled to begin...
 

Have the Big Three Learned from the Saturn's Mistake?

50°
347w ago - When I originally proposed this story, I called it "The Saturnization of PlayStation 3" because I saw some striking parallels between the way SEGA handled its ill-fated Saturn game console and the way Sony's been handling its PS3. Of late, though, Sony has shown signs of reasonable intelligence.

While working on the backstory of this article, I became aware that the real analogies are not between SEGA and Sony; they are between Microsoft and SEGA.

History repeats?

When I first mentioned my story idea to John Taylor, a savvy videogames analyst working for Arcadia Investment Corporation, he said, "If I were your editor I would ask, Who remembers the Saturn and why is it relevant?"

I think, though, if you look carefully, you will see parallels.

It has been 12 years since Saturn first appeared, and a lot of people have forgotten about the system, but lessons learned at that time are no less valuable today.

So let's talk history. SEGA, a Japanese company founded by Americans after the Korean War, has a long and successful history in coin-operated entertainment. It also has a history as a console manufacturer, but that history is spotty at best.

In 1986, SEGA made an unsuccessful bid to compete with the Nintendo Entertainment System (known as the...
 

First Look At Mark Wahlberg As Max Payne

50°
347w ago - Shooting has just started of the film adaptation of Max Payne, and a first look at the movies main character is now available.

As usual we are not too excited about the film, as every recent game to film translation has left us sick to our very stomachs, but with some people of quality partaking in the project it has a chance of impressing.

Mark Wahlberg will take the roll of Max Payne, and although he does not look much like the character I am sure we could have been stuck with much worse. Better news comes from the fact that John Moore will be directing. He did not do that bad with his effort in Behind Enemy Lines - although Flight of the Phoenix was less impressive.

There is a bit more bad news though, as recent reports hint that the film is trying to achieve PG-13 rating, and we just can't see Max's character been portrayed correctly under the confines of that rating.

It is currently unknown if the movie with keep the heavy film noir and slow-motion scenes of the game intact, or if it will instead adopt it's own approach. However, it is not scheduled to be released until sometime in 2009 so we still have loads of time to find and, and then complain if necessary.
 

Kojima: MGS4 is "Theoretically Impossible"

50°
347w ago - Following widely publicized complaints that the Blu-Ray format has limited development of Metal Gear Solid 4, the game's director, Hideo Kojima, took a moment to clarify his statement.

"It is not a criticism of the Blu-Ray format, but rather of the universe itself."

According to Kojima, it is theoretically impossible to create a game as ambitious as Metal Gear Solid 4. Given recent findings in quantum physics, computer science, and information, there is simply not enough space, time, or matter in the known Universe to convey his exact ambitions for Metal Gear Solid 4.

"Truly, it is a rather large game," he explains.

As to what exactly would be in the game, Kojima is cagey, although rumor has it that he had to cut a significant portion of the planned game that focused on Matthew McConaughey, known Kojima love interest. This is due to a reputed set of restraining orders the actor had to take out against the game developer in various countries.

Regardless of content that will be left out of the game, theologians and religious figures are interested in speaking to Kojima, on the basis that if he can think of the content of a game that cannot be contained in a single universe, the mind would no longer be a physical manifestation of biology, proving amongst...
 

XDR rambus on the PS3: faster is better

100°
347w ago - Many argue over the relative power put into the PlayStation 3 entertainment system with out fully grasping the technology that has gone into this monumental hardware giant.

The most common issue that people take into account with the system is the seemingly small 256MB of dedicated video and 256MB of system memory.

Video is quite long, but informative and can be seen here or linked above.
 
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