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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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).
Steam content distribution platform just became THE
800-pound gorilla in the world of digital distribution. Valve just
announced that Epic Games signed with Steam, making this three out of
three for founders of FPS gaming.
A weekend spent in Hollywood can greatly help to learn about trends in
the Consumer Electronics industry. Of course, Blu-ray was one of the
main discussion topics and if you are currently frustrated about the
high prices for players and movies, you may see much lower price tags