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HD DVD's loss means Microsoft is going Blu-ray for 360?

50°
343w ago - Guess again! Company executives may have already shot the notion down, but there's more to the story. With HD DVD, Microsoft had the opportunity to inject its own technology into the emerging high-definition video market. But now that the HD disc war is over, the company still has a viable group of HD video assets, including HDi and Xbox Live Marketplace.

If you take a close look at these assets, and consider their potential, it's clear why Microsoft is snubbing Blu-ray for the Xbox: The company is gearing up for another HD video assault.

First, a little backstory. Beneath the surface of the recent HD DVD/Blu-ray hardware war, a battle over programming platforms was waged. In this clash, the two camps were at odds over how to implement next-gen features like interactive menus, HD picture-in-picture, and Web-powered content such as online polls. The Blu-ray camp ultimately went with the Java-based BD-J platform, while HD DVD went with an XML dialect.

Microsoft stepped up to deliver iHD (later renamed HDi), which was a trademarked implementation of HD DVD's XML markup language. Toshiba liked it. They made HDi functionality a standard for HD DVD players, and eventually partnered with Microsoft to expand HDi's reach by founding the Advanced Interactivity Consortium. The primary goal of this group...
 

Sony Hard Drives Store Five Times More

50°
343w ago - Finding space to stash all of your multimedia has become an increasingly frustrating challenge.

From high-definition videos to countless music files, the hard drive on your laptop is literally bursting at the seams. Sony is coming to the rescue with a new hybrid magnet/laser system for hard drives, effectively increasing capacity five-fold. That's right, on the same-sized platter as you have right now, you can enjoy up to five times the memory.

This new method of writing information is said to be even viable for notebook computers. Current hard drives rely solely on magnetics, but this hybrid system more closely resembles that of optical technologies. By combining their efforts, the Sony drive is able to write information at a density as high as 125GB per square inch. The rest of the HDD remains fairly traditional.

You may be reasonably proud of the 320GB hard drive you have in your laptop now, but imagine if a near identical setup could provide you with 1.6TB of space. Cool.
 

Best Buy Hands Out $50 Gift Cards to Early HD-DVD Adopters

50°
344w ago - Did you buy an HD-DVD player from Best Buy before February 23? If so, you're eligible for a free $50 store gift card. You won't even have to get up and return your now-defunct player, as Best Buy said it is sending the cards without question to all customers that they can identify as having bought an HD-DVD player through its Reward Zone program, service plans, and online orders.

If you did not purchase your player online and are not a member of the company's Reward Zone program, then simply call (888) BEST BUY to provide proof of purchase either through a credit card or in-store receipt.

Press Release: Best Buy Stands Behind Customers By Awarding More Than $10 Million in Gift Cards to HD-DVD Purchasers

Leading Consumer Electronics Retailer will Send $50 Gift Cards to Customers Who Purchased an HD-DVD Player from Best Buy in the U.S.

MINNEAPOLIS – Mar. 19, 2008 With Blu-ray declaring victory over HD-DVD in the high definition movie format war, Best Buy, the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer, is giving $50 gift cards to customers who purchased an HD-DVD player or HD-DVD attachment from its U.S. stores before February 23, 2008. Customers will get a gift card for each player or HD-DVD attachment that they purchased. Through this program, Best Buy will distribute...
 

Latest AnyDVD HD removes BD+ Protection from Blu-ray Discs

200°
344w ago - SlySoft has released v6.4.0.0 of its AnyDVD HD software, which means it can now remove BD+ protection from Blu-ray discs.

The release also has some other upgrades and bug fixes as follows:

- New (Blu-ray): Removes the BD+ protection from Blu-ray discs! (for increased compatibility with titles released by Twentieth Century Fox :-))
- New (Blu-ray): Added option to enable / disable BD+ removal
- New (DVD): AnyDVD ripper no longer uses the Windows filesystem, it has now its own UDF parser / reader. Discs which cannot be read by Windows can now be copied with the AnyDVD ripper.
- Fix (Blu-ray): Black display with some BD discs, e.g., "Layer Cake", second release, "The Fugitive", "Wild Things" (all Region B)
- Fix (DVD): Small bugfix in "repairing defective disc structure" function of AnyDVD ripper
- Fix (DVD): Problems with some Arccos protected titles, e.g. "The Grudge", R1, US
- Some minor fixes and improvements
- Updated languages
 

Rumor: PS3 Slim and 160gb coming soon?

550°
344w ago - T3 magazine are touting a rumor that Sony have a slim PS3 in the pipeline. Their source also reckons that a 160gb machine is coming soon.

Now personally I think this is a bit too soon, but it may just be yet another downsize of the console to save on manufacturing costs.

To quote: The guys at T3 are saying one of their inside men has heard word that Sony will be producing a slimmer, sexier PS3 heading for the shelves this Spring.

While everyone knows that Sony will eventually shrink its very obese console, such news would come as a surprise given that Sony took many more years to shrink their PSOne and PS2 (though Sony has recently successfully shrunken their Blu-ray laser to fit in laptops).

Still, Sony's biggest goal at the moment is building consoles cheaper. Maybe that means small, too. Maybe it doesn't.

Either way, T3's mock-up looks sexy as hell, and they also think a new rumored 160GB model could appear in the new slinky, skinny-as-Kate-Moss form.
 
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