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X-Box 360 HD-DVD Emulator Now Free!

100°
350w ago - Back in December 2007, Microsoft released an HD-DVD emulator toolkit for film studios and disc authoring companies to test out their projects before printing them off to an actual HD-DVD disc.

The piece of kit carried a hefty price tag - $2,999 to be exact. But now? It's free, seeing as HD-DVD is dead and all!

Those inserted in tinkering around with the emulator for learning purposes can send a request for a download link over at Microsoft's Web site.

Refunds will be issued to those who previously had paid for the emulator in full.
 

PS3 in-game communications like X-Box Live, but free

400°
351w ago - Sony's UK boss Ray Maguire recently mentioned that in-game communication would be introduced to the PS3 this summer.

Daniel Dawkins, editor of PSM3 Magazine, has since said that this will bring the PS3 up to parity with X-Xox Live but that the key difference is that it's free.

To quote: TechRadar spoke with Daniel Dawkins, editor of PSM3 Magazine, this morning who told us: "This brings the PS3 up to parity with Xbox Live, the key difference being that it's free".

Dawkins added: "Sony is working its best to respond to what gamers want. The amount of evolution in terms of the firmware updates over the last year has been phenomenal."

TechRadar also spoke with Sony Computer Entertainment reps this morning. They informed us that they were currently not making any official announcements or issuing any further information on exactly how in-game comms on PS3 are set to be improved.
 

Free gift from SONY for PSN users

550°
351w 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°
352w 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°
356w 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,...
 
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