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Super-speed Internet satellite blasts off in Japan 100°
February 23, 2008 // 5:28 pm - Japan launched a rocket Saturday carrying a satellite that will test new technology that promises to deliver "super high-speed Internet" service to homes and businesses around the world.

The rocket carrying the WINDS satellite -- a joint project of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries -- lifted off its pad at 5:55 p.m. (0855 GMT).

If the technology proves successful, subscribers with small dishes will connect to the Internet at speeds many times faster than what is now available over residential cable or DSL services.

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Digital downloads will be Blu-ray's downfall 250°
February 23, 2008 // 5:27 pm - With the fall of HD DVD, Blu-ray has assumed the throne as the next format of choice, but its reign will be short-lived.

Blu-ray won't enjoy the same decade-long dominance DVD did after it succeeded VHS. But that's not because there will be other challenger physical disc formats. Rather, instead of buying discs from Amazon, Best Buy or Wal-Mart, people will begin getting their entertainment in the form of digital downloads in larger volumes.

The studios backing Blu-ray already know this. At an HDTV confab last fall, Warner Bros.' vice president of high-definition media...

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MLB 2K8 details - Too Much Content to fit on 360 Disc! 50°
February 23, 2008 // 5:27 pm - The March issue of Game Informer has made its way out and it includes an article on MLB 2K8 that mentions a few previously unknown details about the game.

There is so much content included in the game that it couldn't all fit onto the 360 disc. Free downloadable content will be provided for what was left out

Apparently the 360 version of the game is lacking the unlockable stadiums and Cool Base alternate uniforms that the PS3 version has. Because of that they will be made available on release day as free downloadable content.

While this shouldn't bother...

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UN wants to tax video games to help the poor?! 50°
February 23, 2008 // 5:19 pm - This is one of the options the UN is taking into account in its attempt to find new ways of financing its fight against poverty.

Philippe Douste-Blazy, the newly-appointed Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for Development for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has recently declared that the branch he is leading (the UNITAID- the international drug purchase facility hosted by the UN World Health Organization) is behind schedule with implementing the measures required by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda:

We are halfway in the timetable with the deadline...

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GDC 2008: The Technology of Final Fantasy XIII 50°
February 23, 2008 // 5:18 pm - Like most Japanese developers, Square Enix has traditionally built the technology for each new game from scratch. While middleware solutions like the Unreal Engine have long been a favored solution for Western developers, the Square approach has been to tackle every new project from the ground up.

But this is changing as development costs skyrocket; the upcoming The Last Remnant will be built on Unreal 3, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King for WiiWare was deliberately conceived to test the feasibility of building a game almost entirely with middleware tools and...

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No 120GB PS3 or In-Game XMB Yet: Sony Talks PS3 Home 50°
February 23, 2008 // 5:11 pm - The Game Developers Conference was a bit of a letdown. Sony didn't use the GDC to make any announcements like the much anticipated in-game XMB addition or the official phasing out of the 80GB PS3 for a larger model.

Heck, there wasn't even a keynote. Sony gave PS3 News no PlayStation 3 news to talk about.

But that's all behind us now, so it's back to waiting for what's in store this year... most importantly Home.

SCEA's vice president of product marketing Scott Steinberg talked about the subject of Home in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz and confirmed...

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GDC 2008: White Engine renamed to Crystal 50°
February 23, 2008 // 5:09 pm - Taku Murata's session at the GDC had some very interesting information: The White Engine, which is being used in Square Enix's next generation PlayStation 3 title Final Fantasy XIII, has been renamed and is now called Crystal Tools.

The engine is designed to work with the PlayStation 3, Xbox360 and the PC. The interesting part was when Taku Murata said some of the engine's features will work on the Wii, although, "it's a secret".

Is Square Enix planning to release more titles on the Wii?

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Microsoft Cuts Indie Royalties in Half? 50°
February 22, 2008 // 10:34 pm - Update: Microsoft has responded, and you can see what they have said with this statement:

"Xbox LIVE Arcade has long been known as the premier destination for digitally distributed original and classic games - making it a very appealing platform for game developers.

We don't disclose details on our business contracts, but what we can tell you is that we work closely with all of our partners to provide the Xbox 360 community with the best entertainment possible while making publishing a title on XBLA an attractive prospect."

News of Microsoft's democratization...

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