Mysterious fatal PS3 error shows up online

A mysterious Playstation 3 error has reporedly caused problems for some users during faulty firmware installations, but Sony has said it isn't "aware of this issue."  The error could potentially cause fatal problems with the PS3 and corrupt the hard drive, according to media reports.

Mario to swing his way to Wii baseball game

Nintendo announced this week that it is working on a new Mario game for the Wii, this time pitting him in a baseball diamond with a whole slate of other Nintendo characters.  Mario Super Sluggers will be the latest in Mario's growing library of sports games, which includes Mario Kart, Mario Strikers and Mario Golf.

Next PS3 firmware to include DTS-HD Master Audio

The Playstation 3's firmware update slated for next week is anticipated because of its makeover to the online Playstation Store platform, but another big update will also be included with the ability to have high-end audio output for Blu-ray Discs.  With the new firmware, the PS3 will finally support DTS-HD Master Audio, which is considered just about the best audio technology available for video playback.

Ubisoft deal for exclusive Tom Clancy rights sealed

Ubisoft's exclusive acquisition of Tom Clancy material for video games for the forseeable future has been completed.  Marked as one of the publisher's biggest deals, it ensures that Ubisoft's line of Tom Clancy games will continue for years to come.  The contract was finalized by Los Angeles-based Greenberg Glusker, a law firm with specialized experience in dealing with large financial deals in the interactive entertainment industry.

Sony to put an end to legacy online PS2, PSP titles

Sony Computer Entertainment has announced the latest slate of Playstation 2 and PSP games that will no longer have support for online connectivity.  In total, 14 titles published by Sony will have their online operations shut down by the end of June, including a couple that were made exclusively for online play.

Microsoft releases Xbox 360 HD DVD firmware update

In a surprising move, Microsoft has released a new firmware update for the Xbox 360 HD DVD player, which will automatically download the next time users watch an HD DVD movie.  The new update includes "compatibility improvements" for specific HD DVD titles as well as "additional support for network features," according to a post by Xbox Live's Larry Hryb in his official blog.

Next PSP firmware to have added PS1, PS3 functionality

Sony has released details for the next firmware update to its handheld PSP system, bringing more functionality to the Playstation 3 "remote play" feature and also more customization for playback of Playstation 1 games.  According to a post on the official Playstation blog, PSP firmware 3.95 will include the ability to customize the button mapping for playing PSone games purchased from the digital download Playstation Store.

Flagship study says violent games make people relaxed

Turning the typical argument on its head, a new study has found that playing violent video games makes people more relaxed instead of increasing their aggression levels.  The study looked at 292 World of Warcraft players from the ages of 12 and 83, and concluded that they were more likely to feel calm after enduring some intense action with the online game than have increased anger or aggression.

PSP outsells all other consoles combined in Japan

Last week was a blockbuster week for the PSP in Japan, as it sold more units than the Nintendo DS, Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 combined.  During the week ending March 30, a total of 129,986 PSP units were sold, according to market researcher Media Create.  That was a huge jump from the previous week, when PSP sales were just under 60,000 units.

Wii Fit marketing budget set at $40 million

Nintendo has set aside $40 million for the marketing and launch campaign for Wii Fit, a unique video game that aims to bring physical fitness to Nintendo's home console.  In Japan, where Wii Fit was launched late last year, it has become one of the fastest-selling Wii titles to date.  It has gained worldwide attention and is one of the most anticipated US Wii titles of 2008.

Gates may be deposed in case of Xbox house fire

In 2006, a teenage girl was nearly killed when her home was set on fire, which was later blamed on faulty wiring in the family's Xbox.  Now the main lawyer in the case is offering Microsoft an ultimatum - agree to a settlement of $25 million or he will have Bill Gates testify on whether or not Microsoft was aware of the problems in advance.

PS3 and Xbox 360 "neck and neck" after successful Easter

Sales of the Playstaion 3 were up 73% during Easter week and the Xbox 360 shot up 78%.  It's been a close race between the two contenders all year, and according to industry tracking ChartTrack they're in a virtual deadlock for 2008.  During the same time, Wii sales went up 37%, the DS climbed 32% and Sony's handheld PSP system saw a 10% boost.

Rockstar to launch social networking site for GTA

Rockstar announced today that it plans to launch a new website called "Social Club" that will allow users to connect and share content in an environment centered around the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV.  Social Club will later be expanded to include communities for other Rockstar games, but the initial features will be things like a dynamic map that shows where all registered users are, online leaderboards, and a GTA IV hall of fame.

Playstation Network accounts hacked

Sony has issued a statement warning Playstation 3 users that a "small percentage" of online accounts may have been compromised due to an attack on the database that allowed a hacker to change user passwords.  Sony said it is directly contacting individual users who are believed to have been affected.  According to the statement, immediate measures were taken to fix the vulnerability manipulated by the hacker.

Take Two tells EA to wait until after GTA IV

The board of directors at Take Two Interactive has officially rejected the $2 billion takeover bid from Electronic Arts, saying it undervalued the company and is not the right time to consider such an acquisition.  EA offered Take Two $26 per share earlier this month, offering a premium of more than 10% of the stock price at the time.  That began a series of trepidations between the two companies. 

Best Buy stores clearing out HD DVD inventory

Best Buy is apparently aiming for a quick transition to Blu-ray, as a reader has informed us that select Best Buy stores have begun get rid of their HD DVD movies with massive price cuts. Other Best Buy stores apparently are not even trying to sell HD DVDs anymore and are sending the movies back to publishers.

Sony-BMG working towards a music flatrate

In an effort to turn around a declining music business, Sony-BMG is currently in discussions to offer a flatrate-based music download service. In an interview with a German newspaper, CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz mentioned that such a service could debut this year for a price between $9 and $12 per month.

Digital Playground: Consumers accepting Blu-ray faster than DVD

In the end, it was not the adult film industry that decided the high-definition format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD. However, this segment faces appears to be taking a lead role in the promotion of high definition as DVD sales are down dramatically and customers apparently are shifting to Blu-ray quickly. The new format opens new opportunities for large studios, but will bring massive challenges for smaller companies in the business, Digital Playground co-founder Joone told TG Daily.

Ubisoft buys Tom Clancy – forever

French video game company Ubisoft has bought all intellectual property rights to the Tom Clancy name.  Clancy was paid an undisclosed lump sum and will also receive annual payments over the next two years.

BD-Live coming to the PS3

The Playstation 3 is likely to retain its reputation as the most popular playback platform for Blu-ray content as Sony announced that owners of the console will “soon” be able to upgrade to firmware version 2.20 which will add Blu-ray Disc Profile 2.0 support as well as improved interoperability with the Playstation Portable (PSP).