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Disney Prez Blasts HD DVD Backers

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378w ago - Bob Chapek, president of Disney Studios Home Entertainment, said yesterday that Blu-ray's victory in the high-def disc format war is "inevitable."

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Chapek blames supporters of Blu-ray's rival, HD DVD, for prolonging the format war. Disney is an exclusive backer of Blu-ray.

"Blu-ray's competition's attempts to sell less than the best will inevitably be trumped by what we stated from the very beginning: That the Blu-ray technology is not a half-step format that will sell consumers short, but rather it is a revolutionary technology that will change the way we view movies for the long term," Chapek said at a Blu-ray promotional event.

Chapek's remarks reflect the growing tension between the two sides as they enter what could be a critical holiday shopping season.

While Blu-ray discs have outsold HD DVD by a 2-1 margin this year, neither format has yet to generate significant sales of discs or players. Consumers have been turned off by the format war and high player prices.

However, several retailers, including Circuit City, recently began selling a sub-$200 Toshiba HD DVD player and it's likely that Blu-ray prices will come down soon as well, setting the stage for a holiday showdown.

Chapek yesterday seemed to take a "bring...
 

New Alone in the Dark 5 trailer

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378w ago - This is the new Alone in the Dark 5 trailer showing Central Park, where "nothing is as it used to".

Video can be seen below:



 

Anticipated PS3 2.0 firmware any day now

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378w ago - The much-talked about PS3 2.0 firmware could be with us within days, following new 2.0-compatible features being added to PSP.

Newly-released PSP 3.72 firmware contains new Remote Play features which require the associated PS3 to be running on firmware version 2.0 - which has been hyped to high heaven within PS3 internet communities.

Among a whole slew of new features, PS3 version 2.0 is widely expected to add the ability to browse the Cross Media Bar menu while running a game, drastically improving the console's overall functionality.

Although there has still been no official confirmation as to what PS3 firmware 2.0 will actually add, or when it will arrive, Sony has today confirmed that it will allow you to boot up the PS3 using the Remote Play option on PSP consoles running the new 3.72 update. Are you getting all these numbers?
 

Midway Fights Next-Gen Snags

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378w ago - As Midway aims to return to profitability, snags with Unreal Engine 3, PlayStation 3 and stiff competition haven't been making things easy.
Midway hasn't made an annual profit since 1999, but analysts have noted that the Chicago-based game publisher does have potential to make money, with games like Stranglehold, Unreal Tournament 3 and Blacksite Area 51 (and of course, iterations of the undying Mortal Kombat franchise).

But there have been hurdles in front of that comeback, some of which are related to delays of PS3 versions of next-gen games and some that are related to Midway's company-wide adoption of a modified version of Epic's Unreal Engine 3, not to mention stiff competition in the action genre.

Most recently, there's the Blacksite: Area 51 delay. While the release date of the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the alien first person shooter have slipped by just a week to November 12, the PS3 version of the Unreal Engine 3 powered title has seemingly run into some more serious issues.

While not offering an explanation for the delay, a Midway spokesman confirmed to Next-Gen that the title would see a release after the other versions of the game, at some point "during the holiday season."

Whether the delay is specifically related to the UE3 engine or not is currently unclear,...
 

Jeep Seen Driven by a Yellow Dog!

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378w ago - In early October, Terra Soft Solutions was engaged by Axion Racing to assist with the integration of a Sony PlayStation3 running Yellow Dog Linux into "Spirit", Axion's fully autonomous Jeep Grand Cherokee which is this week competing in the qualifying rounds for the DARPA autonomous vehicle challenge in Victorville, California.

Integral to the on-board, realtime image processing system, the YDL PS3 rides atop a set of 1U rackmount servers inside Spirit which drives itself through simulated city traffic and obstacles during the qualifying rounds, currently underway.

In just ten days, Terra Soft's Bill Mueller ported, wrote, and optimized code for Yellow Dog Linux on a PS3 which is connected to an RGB camera. This realtime image processing system enables the autonomous vehicle to "see" the street terrain and avoid obstacles. The RGB camera is tied into the Axion arbitrator and other computerized sensors to help determine the best path for the 3/4 ton Jeep. All sensors vote and then send commands to actuators that control steering, gas, and brakes for the vehicle. For safety, the brakes are always on, unless released by software commands that then motivate the gas pedal.

Axion "Spirit" is the only autonomous vehicle to participate in all three DARPA Challenges: was one of only 7 teams to qualify...
 
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