Microsoft releases X-Box 360 HD DVD Firmware Update

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314w ago - In a surprising move, Microsoft has released a new Firmware Update for the X-Box 360 HD DVD player, which will automatically download the next time users watch an HD DVD movie.

The new update includes "compatibility improvements" for specific HD DVD titles as well as "additional support for network features," according to a post by X-Box Live's Larry Hryb in his official blog.

The update is widely expected to be the last Firmware Update for any HD DVD player. In fact, it comes as quite a surprise that an update was released at all, as Microsoft officially disowned the fallen format last month.

It is also peculiar to see additional network support as one of the updates, because most movie studios have stopped supporting online features on their HD DVD discs.

The update is available now from the X-Box 360 console and will also be posted on XBox.com "later this week," said Hryb.
 

Future PS3 Firmware to Support Managed Copy

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314w ago - We know that a future PlayStation 3 firmware update will enable Portable Copy, a feature that will allow users to copy a downsampled version of certain Blu-ray titles over to their PSP for portable viewing.

But in a recent interview with Japanese site Impress Watch, Sony engineers revealed that an upcoming firmware update will also bring support for Managed Copy.

With Managed Copy, PS3 owners will be able to pop-in a Blu-ray disc and legally rip it straight to their PS3's hard drive. Additionally, future updates are expected to bring 1080 deinterlacing and DTS-HD MA support to the console. A release window for the new features was not given.

On the subject of Firmware 2.20, one of the engineers said that the forthcoming update will greatly reduce system memory usage.

Without a doubt, this is great news for developers and likely means that Sony is paving the way for in-game XMB.
 

NVIDIA Slowing Down Graphics Upgrades?

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315w ago - If you've recently found yourself thinking that you might just bite the bullet and buy a new high-end graphics card, news last week that new models from NVIDIA could be coming as soon as July may make you rethink that decision. The day before the 9800GTX was officially unveiled, rumors started to leak that NVIDIA was already preparing a new line-up of high-end cards under the 9900 naming scheme, and that the 9800 series would be discontinued in July.

Word is that we will see a similar setup to what we currently have now; a 9900GTX sporting a single core and a 9900GX2 that will carry with it two GPUs like the current 9800GX2. It's clear that NVIDIA wants to continue to be on top of AMD when it comes to speed, but these constant refreshes with minor improvements are coming to the point where it's just plain ridiculous.

AMD on the other hand seem to be hard at work creating what should be a true next generation card with the new 4000 series due out around a similar time. With specifications on the card already floating about, there isn't a doubt in our mind that NVIDIA already have something up their sleeve to beat AMD come launch day, and the chances are that it will just beat out the AMD offering.

The problem with NVIDIA at the moment is that all they're doing is placing doubt in...
 

Coming soon: Superfast Internet

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315w ago - The Internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds.

At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, "the grid" will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.

The latest spin-off from Cern, the particle physics centre that created the web, the grid could also provide the kind of power needed to transmit holographic images; allow instant online gaming with hundreds of thousands of players; and offer high-definition video telephony for the price of a local call.

David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies could "revolutionise" society. "With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine," he said.

The power of the grid will become apparent this summer after what scientists at Cern have termed their "red button" day - the switching-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new particle accelerator built to probe the origin of the universe. The grid will be activated...
 

Steinberg hints at a few upcoming PS3 features

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315w ago - Scott Steinberg seems to be in a PR overhaul lately, popping up in several interviews. This latest installment has what some would call a challenge to the competition, but we won't focus on that flamebait comment.

He talks about how Sony hasn't had a big keynote speech this year yet -- he feels the Blu-ray victory is good enough for now. We're personally expecting a big one at E3. He hints also that movie and music download services may be coming soon -- perhaps also to be covered at our expected E3 speech?

Big name titles, he says, will keep momentum going for the PS3 this year, but he also mentions the possibility of more downloadable PS-One and PS2 games on the PlayStation Store. Steinberg says there are "on-going sessions" to get more third-party titles up on the store, so who knows, before the end of the year we might have a much more impressive library than we do now. Maybe it'll almost rival the insane selection available on the Japanese store.

Speaking of games, there's no open Home beta now because Sony has set the bar so very high, they don't want any more people to see it until it meets their standards to get into the public eye. We'd like to see more PS-One and PS2 games on the store, and an open beta for Home would be nice. We'll see what happens this year!
 







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