Yesterday, I briefly heaped praise on the "new" Electronic Arts for its recent push towards creativity and employee practices that are actually legal. However, I know that many people chuck verbal darts at EA's target simply because they don't like big, "soulless" corporations. After all, each of us is the punchy underdog in our own lives, so rooting for the little guy only seems natural -- especially when the Man seems to be breathing down his neck.
But, as I'm sure you've all noticed, we're kind of running out of little guys to root for. "Consolidation" is one of those mean words we're not supposed to like, but in an industry that's expanding rapidly -- one where development costs regularly zip past $10 million -- consolidation is natural.
So, are you ready for our little hobby to become more like the big, bad movie industry, or are you of the opinion that we don't need "E" and "A" to spell BioWare?
This edition of the Roundup is gaming's "The Empire Strikes Back." Large independent devs are dropping like flies, and stalwart supporters are turning to the dark side. No Ewoks, though, so the Roundup isn't jumping the shark just yet. Jumping past the break, however, is highly encouraged.
Last year a company called Anascape brought a lawsuit against Nintendo and Microsoft, claiming the companies violated several of its patents on game controllers. Microsoft’s deep pockets settled the case for an undisclosed amount. Nintendo decided to continue the fight, but lost. A jury awarded Anascape $21 million in damages.. The judge has refused to give Nintendo a new trial and threatens to halt sales of GameCube controllers, Wavebirds, and Wii Classic controllers until Nintendo puts up the money or posts a bond so it can continue fighting.
With Sony losing a similar suit to Immersion and Microsoft caving in, it doesn’t look good for Nintendo to win its case.
ArsTechnica looked deeper into Anascape and its patents. They found that Anascape doesn't have a web site. All of its patents belong to Brad Armstrong of Carson City, Nevada. Searches for Anascape’s offices haven't turned up anything. Anascape's lawyer Doug Cawley claims that the company wants to enter the game controller business, but Nintendo has "clogged the market”.
What else did ArsTechnica find? Make the jump to see.
Using the WHDI standard it is possible to transmit 1080p uncompressed content using two 20MHz channels and 1080i and 720p on a lone 20MHz channel. It can send high definition content ripping through walls up to 30 m, with a latency of only 1 millisecond. However, the members of the newly formed consortium are not bound to integrate the technology in their products.
It was more a question of when than if: Wii sales leaping past Xbox 360’s in the U.S. The Wii has formally breached Xbox 360’s bastion by going past its US sales tally, according to the latest data from NPD. Wii is now the best-selling console in the U.S also. The month of June proved to be quite fecund for the Wii, as the headcount of US Wii owners rose by 666,000 in this month. Nintendo has sold 10.9 million units of its popular 7th generation console in the States. The month of June was great for the US videogame industry as a whole. The PS3 saw a massive increase of 94% in sales compared to the preceding month and also trounced the Xbox 360 to finish second.
If Sony Ericsson were capable of self-fulfilling prophecies, it would wish it could take back its ominous profit warning issued in late June. The company said it would break even in the second quarter due to disappointing European sales of its mid and high-end mobile phones, but even that turned out to be wishful thinking as Sony Ericsson on Friday posted a staggering 97 percent drop in Q2 profits. To help weather the financial storm and reduce operational costs, the mobile phone maker plans to cut 2,000 jobs "within the next 12 months."
Sony Ericsson only shipped 24.4 million units in Q2, compared to Nokia's 122 million handsets in the same period, who on Thursday announced better-than-expected earnings. Relief doesn't appear to be in sight either, as SE indicated "challenging market conditions" would remain through the rest of the year.
Xbox Live is a major money-spinner for Microsoft's gaming division, one which both Sony and Nintendo envy. Sony is currently trying to replicate Live's success with its very own PSN service and the wide array of new additions to PSN might help Sony in its endeavor. One of the new additions happens to be the Playstation video downloading service, which is now live.
Users can rent or purchase SD or HD content from various leading TV and movie stables including Fox, MGM, Warner and Disney etc. TV videos begin at $1.99, while movie rentals and purchases begin at $2.99 and $9.99 respectively.
Several reports frequenting the internet seem to suggest that the service is not available in all regions/countries. But there is no word on this issue from Sony. Limited launch or not, Wedbush Morgan’s videogame analyst Michael Pachter believes that availability of videos on PSN can lure potential Apple TV owners towards the PS3.
Sorry about yesterday. E3 is a harsh mistress, and when I returned to my hotel at 4 AM, I decided you guys wouldn't really care about a Roundup whose time had long passed. So anyway, let's jump right in. Read more to find out all about E3, Flagship Studios' death knells, and much, much more.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft will lower the price of its 20GB Pro Xbox 360 from $349 to $299 as early as July 13th. It might be announced as part of Microsoft's presentation at the E3 on July 14th.
Microsoft has lost ground to the Playstation 3 in the past year, possible because of the defeat of Microsoft backed HD-DVD which the Xbox came with versus Sony’s Blu-Ray and the 40Gigs of space versus the Xbox 360’s 20Gigs at a roughly $50 price difference. Best guess is that this might lead to Sony cutting prices on the Playstation 3 as well.
So if you absolutely must get a console, hold off for the coming price adjustment. We’ll miss you in Team Fortress 2.
When Blu-ray won the high-definition format war, Sony's Playstation 3 transformed from a high priced console into a viable living room entertainment console, but it lacked the video download infrastructure that Microsoft could boast with its Xbox Live Marketplace. Not anymore. Sony CEO Howard Stringer spoke out on the company's goal to rollout its new video service across a varity of products through 2010, and it all starts with the PS3 this summer.
Find out why PS3 owners should be excited, and Microsoft worried, after the jump.
The 9th version of sony's multi-track Vegas video editing programs includes Vegas Movie Studio 9 ($69.95), Platinum Edition ($99.95) and the Platinum Pro Pack ($129.95) which also includes Sound Forge Audio Studio (Sony's waveform editor), extra soundtrack and visual effects and a bonus 2 gb Sony USB flash drive to boot! The Platinum Edition can even burn Blu-ray discs from your HD videocam source. Vegas is the video end of the Sony Creative Software suite (which also includes Sound Forge and Acid).