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Mysterious countdown timer appers on PlayStation Japan

350°
345w ago - A mysterious countdown timer page has appeared on PlayStation Japan with about 59 hours left to go.

The flash page shows what looks like rain or blood drops falling.

The page also has a sound clip in which you can hear people talking, rain/thunder and also screams heard in the distance.

Any guesses? :P
 

PlayStation Store down most of tomorrow for PS Store update

200°
345w ago - The PLAYSTATION Network will be taken offline for a scheduled maintenance to the network on April 14th between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

As a result there will be no access to the PLAYSTATION Store.

To quote: The PLAYSTATION®Network will be taken offline for a scheduled maintenance to our network during the following times:

Start: April 14, 2008, beginning at 8:00 a.m., Pacific Time
End: April 14, 2008, ending at 11:00 p.m., Pacific Time

During this time, the new PLAYSTATION®Store upgrade will be taking place. As a result access to the PLAYSTATION Network will be restricted, including:

* No access to the PLAYSTATION®Store

For information regarding the changes to the PLAYSTATION Store, please visit the PlayStation.Blog.

It is not anticipated that this will affect other PLAYSTATION Network services

Once the new PLAYSTATION Store upgrade is complete, a new system software version will be available for download. This new system software must be installed before you may access the PLAYSTATION Network.
 

Sony: Microsoft right about downloadable media predictions

50°
346w ago - Well here's one that is sure to cause quite a debate. While speaking at an ELSPA press conference recently, Sony Computer Entertainment UK's Ray Maguire offered his insight on where he sees the direction of gaming media going, saying that within the next 10 years 90% of game sales will be online.

Maguire elaborated on his beliefs, saying: "We have a situation that if you're a retailer you're currently responsible for the goods that come through your chain," he continues "But that's not true with ISPs in the future.

This isn't merely a games industry issue. It's an issue for every industry with companies that have a website, and when we look at user generated content it's a people issue."

Hmm... Well considering Microsoft has said all along they feel they "backed the right horse" and claimed that Sony knows downloadable media is the next big thing, which is why they are implementing it into their plans, do we look at Microsoft trailblazing and say that they are indeed on the right path?

In a recent interview ex Microsoft exec Sandy Duncan told us that "dedicated games devices i.e. consoles (and handhelds) will die [out] in the next 5 to 10 years," he has since gone on to launch his own blog devoted to the discussion.
 

More Moves at Microsoft: 3 Top Executives Step Down!

50°
347w ago - The revolving door in Redmond is spinning again.

This time, two top executives have left the company and a third will do so in a few months. They are:

--G. Michael Sievert, formerly corporate VP for Windows Product Marketing

--Steven Berkowitz, senior VP in the Online Services group

--Pieter Knook, formerly senior VP in the Mobile Communications Business

Sievert, previously executive vice president and chief marketing officer at AT&T Wireless Services Inc., had been with Microsoft since 2005. As the executive responsible for promoting Windows Vista, he undoubtedly took some heat over public perceptions of Microsoft's latest operating system as slow, bug-plagued and incompatible with other applications (although Microsoft also says it sold more than 100 million Vista licenses in the product's first year). In early February, about 10 days before Microsoft announced Sievert's exit, CEO Steve Ballmer told analysts that the company needs to improve its Vista marketing efforts.

In announcing Sievert's departure, Microsoft said only that he left "to pursue new endeavors"; the technology-news site CNET.com quoted Sievert as saying he plans to start his own company. Microsoft promoted Brad Brooks, previously general manager for Windows...
 

Microsoft Owns Patent for In-Game Custom Soundtracks

650°
347w ago - One of the most coveted features missing from the PlayStation 3 is the ability to use a custom soundtrack during gameplay. Movement has been made in this area with some games beginning to offer support, notably Super Stardust HD and High Velocity Bowling, but it's yet to be offered for all games.

Though many expect the inclusion to come when Sony supports an in-game version of PlayStation 3's cross media bar, the implementation of this feature might just stay with the developers, since Microsoft owns a patent for this very functionality.

Microsoft implemented the ability to play your own music during gameplay in their first gaming system, the Xbox. The functionality naturally moved over to the Xbox 360, where Microsoft was patiently waiting for a patent to go through.

The custom soundtrack patent was submitted well before the release of the 360, presumably with the intention to lock down the feature for the next generation. It wasn't issued until mid-2006, luckily just before the US/Japan release of the PlayStation 3.

The US patent named "Method and Apparatus for Creating and Playing Soundtracks in a Gaming System" appears to cover any application that allows users to create soundtracks using...
 
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