Start backing up your music: Wal-Mart shuts down DRM servers

Wal-Mart informed its customers that it will be shutting down its DRM servers on October, which should be perceived as good news by customers. But some users may be left with somewhat useless music files that were purchased before February of this year: DRM-packed songs that will not be backed up until October 9 cannot be transferred to another PC thereafter and cannot be recovered in the case of a system crash of a new installation of the PC.

SonyEricsson to fire up unlimited music downloads

SonyEricsson is getting into the unlimited music downloads arena with the pending launch of its new PlayNow plus service. You'll have to wait for it though in most markets, as it will initially be kicking off only in Sweden with mobile operator Telenor by the end of the year.

SlotMusic: Can microSD cards replace audio CDs?

There is little doubt that music downloads will take over most of the audio CD sales volume sooner or later. The music industry seems to have accepted that trend and while it may give up on the audio CD, it isn’t ready to give up on physical media sales yet. Four major publishers announced a new media format that will be compatible with PCs, cellphones and other portable devices: Flash memory cards will soon be sold with preloaded, DRM free music.

Next Crysis franchise title about to retail

Electronic Arts and Crytek are set to deliver the next Crysis game to PC owners September 18. The new title is Crysis Warhead and will be available for around $30 in North America and Europe. Crysis Warhead, according to EA, occurs alongside the events of last year's franchise title.

WoW to unleash Lich King on November 13

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is a highly anticipated expansion pack for the most popular MMORPG of all time. The big question on gamers' minds has been: when will it come out? Blizzard Entertainment finally answered that question, saying today the pack will be available November 13 in North America and other global markets, followed by more world releases in the days immediately following.

Warhammer finally has its Age of Reckoning on September 18

Mythic Entertainment, a division of Electronics Arts acquired back in 2006, continued to say today all is set to roll with the upcoming MMORPG Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. This title is now shipping to retail and will see a September 18 kickoff.

Mac sales may hit record highs despite decline in consumer spending

Rising energy and food prices may finally show their ugly face in the retail space, as consumers are adjusting their spending, ChangeWave suggests. It’s once again the time for discount retailers, which will grab market share from established chains, the market research firm said. Consumer electronics spending will be weak over the next 90 days, according to the forecast, but it seems that Apple might see little impact – and some of its products may actually see record sales. 

EA withdraws Take-Two bid, stock tanks

Electronic Arts has dropped its hostile takeover bid of Take-Two Interactive.  The two companies have been going back and forth on bids for nearly seven months with Take-Two saying that it was being undervalued by EA.  As you can expect, Take-Two’s stock price has dropped nearly five dollars and is currently trading at just under $17 a share.

A new try of buy once, play anywhere – without Apple

The effort of making legal digital media available to consumers in convenient ways across many devices has been an industry disaster defined by piracy paranoia, lawsuits, exaggerated copy protection policies, locked down technology platforms and corporate interests that mostly ignored consumer interests. Now there is a new industry organization that aims to come up with industry standards to enable consumers to acquire and play content across a wide range of services and devices. 16 key players from Hollywood and Silicon Valley are part of this initiative. Notably absent is Apple, which obviously has not much interest in creating an open media download spec.

UC Irvine given $100,000 to study WoW players

The National Science Foundation has given $100,000 to the University of California at Irvine for a study on World of Warcraft players.  Bonnie Nardi, a UCI informatics professor, will examine the differences in play habits and culture between WoW players in the United States and China.  She already has some interesting observations.

Sony, Amazon kick off VOD service to Sony TVs

Sony and Amazon, which a few months back announced plans to carry Amazon's Video on Demand service on Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video Link module, said today this service is now live. It promises to bring "immediate access to premium, commercial-free movies and television shows purchased or rented by users."

Get Ready For F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

We first took a very brief look at the chilling video game F.E.A.R. For the Xbox 360 back at E3 in 2006. The popular title's sequel, now in development, has just spawned a name from developer Monolith Productions – it will be called F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.

Tom Cruise says his web site now iPhone friendly – huh?

Normally we'd ignore something like this but it feels too strange to pass up on a brief mention of. Tom Cruise, that Scientology loving actor who, despite some weirdness, is still a pretty major Hollywood presence, has announced his official Web site is going iPhone friendly.

Microsoft Christmas games: Xbox 360 for $199

Following a previously announced price cut for the Xbox 360 in Japan, Microsoft today said that it will reduce the price of the console for U.S. customers as well. For the very first time, you will be able to buy an Xbox 360 for less money than a Nintendo Wii and for half the price of a PS3.

Refreshed PSP to launch in Japan for $180

Sony’s Playstation Portable (PSP) will see its first major feature update next month: Scheduled for an October 16 launch in Japan, the new PSP-3000 is positioned to challenge Nintendo’s DS console, which currently outsells the PSP by almost 3:1 and has a substantial lead in total units sold.

Babes of NVISION gallery

Ok so NVISION was mostly about computers and games, but as is common to most trade shows companies bring out their best booth babes to lure in the crowd.  Following in the great TG Daily tradition of providing great booth babe coverage, here’s our gallery of the finest girls at NVISION.  We’ve also included a few shots of Tricia Helfer, star of Battlestar Galactica, when she appeared at Jen-Hsun Huang’s keynote.

Behold the five radiators, six graphics cards and 50+ fans “DayWalker” system

While many of the case mods we saw at the NVISION conference and LAN party were extraordinary, the “DayWalker” Blade-themed case - or more accurately towering, human-sized, case – impressed us the most.  Created by Richard “DarthBeavis” Surroz, a computer maniac and noted case modder, the DayWalker contains several radiators, dozens of fans and six graphics cards.

NVISION LAN party sets world record

Hundreds of very tired attendees at the GeForce LAN party pumped their fists and gave a weary cheer when they broke a Guinness World Record for the longest continuous LAN party.  The event was part of the NVISION conference hosted by NVIDIA and had hundreds of people playing video games for 36 straight hours.  For their efforts, the “winners” – if you can call them that – received “gold medals”, had their LAN party entrance fees refunded and their pictures taken for posterity.

Cases from hell at the NVISION GeForce LAN party

Regular folks are just happy to own a working computer, but the attendees at the NVISION GeForce LAN party aren’t regular folks.  From glowing LEDs, water cooling blocks to a Team Fortress 2 Sentry Gun case, these guys and gals love showing off their computers while they blast each other in the latest first person shooter games.  Several hundred attendees are also trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people at a lan party in a 36 hour period.  However it really doesn’t look good so far as many of the seats in the world record section are empty.

Palit shows off upcoming video cards and artillery at NVISION

Palit is showing off some serious graphic firepower at the Nvidia NVISION conference and LAN party over the next couple days.  An upcoming Nvidia GTX 280 card will feature an integrated water block so you don’t have to mess with those pesky cooling kits.  Another card, that’s available now, is a 9800 GTX+ with 512 MB of DDR3 RAM.  While the cards are certainly cool, Palit had some other toys that attracted much more attention.