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Free gift from SONY for PSN users

550°
334w ago - In an official post on the au.playstation.com Web site, Sony is intending to give away some sort of free prize in an attempt to encourage PS3 users to play online via the PSN.

There are no official statements as to what the prize could be, although I guess it will probably be a free game of the PSN or such like. (see quote below)

"In the month of March we thought we'd show you all how much we appreciate having you as part of the Online Community by giving you a prize just for logging on and taking part on the selected nights!

Simply play online on any of the following nights between 6pm - 8pm AEST for your chance to win although you will need to get in quick as we only have a limited number of prizes.

03/03/2008
06/03/2008
11/03/2008
14/03/2008
17/03/2008
19/03/2008
25/03/2008
27/03/2008

HOW TO REGISTER: Register a friend request with the SCE account below and play online on any of the dates listed above to win. It's that easy!

COMP_SCE_ANZ_1"
 

Sony unveil free cross-platform engine called PhyreEngine

50°
335w ago - Sony unveiled PhyreEngine at the GDC yesterday, a new "free to use graphics engine" from Sony Computer Entertainment. It seems as though the engine is cross platform as out of flOw, GripShift and DiRT that were developed using the engine, only flOw is exclusive to PlayStation.

Sony say a simple recompile is all that is needed on make games run on the PS3 and they promised ongoing development and support for PhyreEngine.

To quote: But why make it potentially easier to make games on a competing console? Well, it's undeniable that developers are increasingly focused on multiplatform development. It's been rather commonplace for developers to neglect PS3 with inferior and oftentimes delayed versions of multiplatform games.

With PhyreEngine, Sony is making a much more attractive plea: make games on PS3 first, guaranteeing high quality games that will not only match their 360 counterparts, but in many cases can exceed them.

Sony's message is clear: start games on the PS3, and they will be better for both PS3 and 360 owners. It appears to us that PhyreEngine is a crucial part of that plan.
 

Labels deny deals on file sharing

50°
338w ago - Three major record labels have denied signing deals allowing their music to feature on a new file-sharing service offering unlimited free downloads.

The service, Qtrax, boasted it would carry up to 30 million tracks from "all the major labels".

But Warner, EMI and Universal all say they have not licensed their music.

Qtrax said it expected an agreement to be reached with Warner and that terms had been agreed with the others even if deals had not been formally signed.

Discussions ongoing

Qtrax aims to allow users to download music from the major labels for free, with advertising revenue used to pay licensing fees.

But Warner says it "has not authorised the use of our content on Qtrax's recently-announced service".

And Universal and EMI said discussions with Qtrax were still ongoing but that licensing deals were not in place.

A spokesman for Sony BMG - the other "big four" record label - was not available for comment.

Amazon store

Qtrax president Allan Klepfisz said that, while a deal with Warner had not been signed, he expected terms to be agreed "shortly".

"With everyone else, we have agreed on all terms," he said.

In some cases, deals had not been formally signed,...
 

Future UMD movies are region free?

50°
339w ago - Have to commend Sony for openly embracing import gamers. The PSP and the PlayStation 3 are region free for games, but not for movies.

The latter is understandable considering movie studios are stuck with draconian product control that has a thankfully easy work around in the form of a region free DVD player. UMDs are a different story because they are region encoded and there isn't a simple fix if you are using official PSP firmware.

However, the new MTV releases indicate a change of pace. All of them have an "all" region label instead of a number indicating the region next to them. Perhaps, this is only for MTV UMDs or this is some kind of packing oversight.

I hope neither of these are the case and Sony plans to make the video format completely region free, especially if anime studios start selling entire series as cheap as the UMD Aeon Flux collection.
 

EA pushes ad-backed video games

50°
339w ago - Electronic Arts is to release a free online version of the popular Battlefield game to be supported by adverts and micro payments.

The PC game, Battlefield Heroes, will be available only online later this year, and will not be sold in shops.

The move marks EA's first major attempt to tap into new sources of ad-driven revenue in Western markets.

The firm has a free version of its Fifa game in South Korea, earning more than $1m a month through in-game sales.

"Online gaming has a massive audience," said EA's Gerhard Florin, in a statement.

"People want to play games in new ways, with easier access that is quick to the fun. With Battlefield Heroes, EA brings its first major franchise to North America and Europe with a new distribution model and pricing structure adapted to the evolving way that people play."

Digital distribution

The video games industry is taking its first steps away from a retail-focused sales environment and towards digital distribution.

EA hopes the model of a free game as download that is supported by adverts and micro-payments could be applied to other franchises it owns.

The new version of Battlefield is designed to have more mass market appeal than current titles in the series, which have sold...
 
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