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After HD DVD Drop, Toshiba Spends $835M to Back PS3

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366w ago - Sony gives Toshiba something in return for its troubles -- Japanese Cell chip plants for $835M

A new twist has emerged with the death of HD DVD. After Warner, Best Buy, Walmart and Netflix jumped on the Blu bandwagon, the fate of HD DVD was already sealed.

Despite the grim news, the principle HD DVD developer, Toshiba Corporation, refused to initially comment on its plans for its HD DVD. However, as many analysts predicted, Toshiba came out last week and officially surrendered to Blu-ray.

Many saw Toshiba's willingness to give up on HD DVD as a logical business decision and perhaps an admission of Blu-ray's superiority. However, there might be a little more to the story. Reuters reports that on Wednesday Toshiba and Sony Corporation, one of Blu-ray's principle developers, agreed to a major business deal, reached just after Toshiba made its final HD DVD decision.

Sony agreed to sell it microchip processing facilities in western Japan for approximately $835M USD. These facilities currently produce Cell processors and RSX graphic chips. Toshiba will enter the joint venture with Sony on April 1, 2008.

Toshiba, IBM and Sony were the principle developers of the Cell microprocessor, but Toshiba previously showed little interest in using the chip for any of its own...
 

Army of Two Opening Cinema trailer out!

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366w ago - Check out this video courtesy of GameTrailers of the opening cinema of Army of Two.

This is how it all starts!

Video can be seen below:




 

Digital downloads will be Blu-ray's downfall

250°
366w ago - 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 development likened HD packaged media to a set of training wheels for digital downloads.

"We can use HD discs to train consumers to move into digital, but it's a transition," said Warner Bros.' Dan Silverberg. "Downloaded content will come, but the consumer will get quicker tutorial into video-on-demand, etc., by owning a Blu-ray player or HD DVD."

It'll happen sooner than they think. With a growing number of alternatives to packaged media, combined with the relatively high prices of Blu-ray players and discs vs. inexpensive, so-called upconverting DVD players, Blu-ray will likely be the last major disc format you'll ever buy.

Netflix, a purveyor of rental discs, obviously saw the writing on the...
 

GDC 2008: The Technology of Final Fantasy XIII

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366w ago - 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 scripts.

Even more ambitious is Final Fantasy XIII's proprietary White Engine, now called Crystal Tools. As Square Enix's first companywide technology platform, it's a full suite of authoring tools and runtime libraries for PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360.

There's even a bit of support for Wii in place, although the latter is still in development. Not only is Crystal Tools the power behind FFXIII, but also Final Fantasy Versus XIII and the company's as-yet unannounced next-generation MMO RPG as well.

Taku Murata, Square Enix's general manager of research and development, spoke today at GDC about the evolution of this new technology. According to Murata, Crystal Tools' evolution began with 1997's Final...
 

No 120GB PS3 or In-Game XMB Yet: Sony Talks PS3 Home

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366w ago - 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 once again that it's coming out this year.

We're still in the closed beta phase. And if you are a student of the game, you know closed beta will begat a more open beta, and we still haven't announced when that potentially would be, but the notion behind 2008 is that we come to the table with a kick-butt line-up software-wise and we show the full articulation of Home and the network... and maybe some special surprises within that context, he said.

And I think we end the year with incredible momentum with those two elements working in concert together and really adding an exclamation mark to the PS3 for the year.

Any marketing veep that uses the term 'begat' in a non-biblical form is okay in our book.
 
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