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736 results for drive
New 60GB Xbox 360 announced, cheaper 20GB version in Gaming
Microsoft has announced that it willbe producing a new $349 60GB Xbox 360, and the 20 GB version that itwill slowly replace will be cut in price in the US to $299.
AlthoughUK price changes have not been published, the arrival of a new 60GBversion – giving users much more memory for things like movies,trailers and Xbox Live Arcade games – is in keeping with Microsoft'spush into downloadable content.
"We know consumers need moreand more space to store the amazing digital content Xbox 360 offers,and we're giving it to them at no extra charge," said Albert Penello,Xbox director of product management at Microsoft.
"No onedevice offers the depth and breadth of entertainment that Xbox 360 candeliver, and now you'll have three times the storage to manage all thatgreat content."
What does it mean for UK?
The20GB version of the Xbox 360 – normally known as the Pro – currentsells for £199.99, and it seems likely that the news 60GB version willretail for the same price when it hits UK shelves.
This meansthat the older 20GB version will be given a price reduction, althoughit remains to be seen how close that will be to the Arcade version(with a much smaller storage capacity) which is currently priced at£159.99.
Microsoft's support of the now-failed HD DVD drive has meant a shift of focus onto downloadable HD (and SD) content.
Thesuccess of Xbox Live Marketplace has buoyed the console, and the offerof extra storage to boost these services makes a good deal of sense.

Prices for all other models remain unchanged, so that’s $279(£141/€176) for the Arcade (that’s the one with a 256MB memory card)and $449 (£226/€283) for the Elite – the flagship model with anintegrated 120GB HDD.
Although the leaked email said the new machine would be called thePro, Microsoft’s official announcement of the 60GB model didn’t use anysuch uplifting title.
The bad news is that – at least for the time being – the 60GB Xbox360 will only appear in the US and Canada when it goes on sale nextmonth.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:08 pm
1.8GHz SSD MacBook Air Drops $500 in Apple
Apple has quietly dropped the price of the high end MacBook Air by $500.

The high end MacBook Air comes equipped with a 1.8GHz upgrade (from1.6GHz) and a 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD). The total price for thehigh end laptop is $2598. Compare this to the original price of the1.8GHz/SSD MacBook Air at $3098 just last week (Google Cache).

The base price for the 1.6GHz 80GB Hard Drive MacBook Air remains at$1799. The difference in price appears to be a combination of pricedrops in both the processor upgrade ($200 vs $300) and SSD ($599 vs$999).

Apple has emailed customers who have outstanding orders that are affected by the price drop:
To Our Valued Apple Customer:

Apple has announced a price drop for a component(s) of the MacBookAir that you recently ordered. We have automatically adjusted yourorder to reflect the new lower price.

For up-to-date information on your order, please visit our Order Status website at <http:"" orderstatus="">. After your order is shipped, you can also obtain tracking information on this site.

Thank you for your shopping at the Apple Store.

Apple Online Store Support</http:>
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:11 pm
2010: the 5TB 3.5in HDD cometh in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Good for Hitachi, maybe some day they'll do better than Seagate or WD.  I've never used a hitachi drive before but if they accomplish this I hope they get at least in 3rd place of best disk maker.  This will be such a convenience for file hosts.
Posted by schmidtbag Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:37 pm
2010: the 5TB 3.5in HDD cometh in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Hitachi has pledged to release a 5TB 3.5in hard drive within twoyears, and it claims two of the drives will boast enough capacity tostore everything in your brain.
According to a report by Nikkei Net, Hitachi Global StorageTechnologies will use Current-Perpendicular-to-Plane GiantMagnetoresistance (CPP-GMR) magnetc read heads to achieve the aim.This, the firm claims, will allow its drives to store 1TB of data inevery square inch of the recording surface.
Hitachi’s announcement is a step on from a claim it made back inOctober 2007 that 4TB of storage could become a reality by 2011.
It’s worth noting though that Hitachi’s not the first storagecompany to promise super-capacity HDDs. Back in August 2007, rival Fujitsu announcedthat 2.5in disks were its proposed ‘patterned medium’ for such compactstorage. It too plans to have commercial models available by 2010.

Fujitsu's approach uses anodised aluminium to create a pattern of"nanoholes", each holding a portion of magnetic material used to storea single bit of data. The aluminium-oxide surrounding these so-called'nanoholes' helps magnetically insulate each bit from all the others,preventing one from affecting another, which might lead to datacorruption.
Nonetheless, Dr Yoshihiro Shiroishi from Hitachi has claimed thattwo of its 5TB will together “provide the same storage capacity as thehuman brain”.
So, if your memory’s not great, then just buy a couple of 5TB drivesfrom Hitachi and download all your thoughts and memories onto them,before wiping the slate clean and staring afresh with another 10TB ofbrain capacity.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:48 am
Rethinking Traditional Advertising Methods in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
You see, for all the talk of monthly periodicals' demise, SEO'simpending reign, the downfall of FM stations and television'sinevitable implosion, we, err, sort of forgot to mention one thing:essentially that, despite posting up ratings far from the halcyon daysof the era, mass media outlets such as ABC, CBS, CNN andNBC; Time, Newsweek and USA Today;and even regional Cineplex chains still generate the kind of audiencenumbers most interactive entertainment execs would give their last USBcable to connect with. Tactics may be changing, with custom tradeshows,advertorials, movie-type trailers and cover wraps replacing simple pageads and product giveaways. But as an industry, we're far from preparedto divorce ourselves completely from traditional advertisingplacements, or shift marketing dollars exclusively onto the Internet.

"Something most gamemarketers miss about the broadcast space is the need to keep messagingpointed and simple" - Steven Roberts, DIRECTV

To wit, column after news brief after investigative report may continueto bemoan the death of old-world media. However, as any marketingdirector can attest, its core vehicles still remain one of the bestways to rapidly generate mass awareness amongst PC- or console-owningaudiences. Hence, although blogs and video aggregators deliver greatbang for the buck and generate tremendous street-level buzz, theycontinue to be promotional outlets that most core publishers have yetto wholly embrace, let alone fully commit to. Thus the reign ofhigh-profile primetime spots for titles like Grand Theft Auto, Madden and Halo rolls on.
And so, just as I humble myself before my new daughter, who hasn't meta pair of slacks she hasn't enjoyed redecorating yet, I willinglyprostrate myself before the industry-at-large and beg forgiveness. Asthe following executives – representing the television, motion pictureand direct marketing industries, respectively – are quick to remind, weshould all think twice before acting so rashly and completely writingthese businesses off.
Suffice it to say that they may not generate the same kind of headlinesin 2008 as rich media providers, online networks or widget creators,but thanks to new technology, changing tastes and increasing audiencefragmentation, let's just say they're far from out of the game.
Steven Roberts
Vice President & General Manager, Games and StrategicInitiatives for DIRECTV, overseeing broadcast ventures like 24/7interactive games channel Game Lounge and the internationally televisedChampionship Gaming Series professional league.
"Broadcast TV is absolutely not dead – just changing. Popular as gamingis, you can't look at entertainment in a vacuum... you have to considerthe overall mass-market. There are 120 million television homes outthere, with millions of people who just want to be entertained in thesame way they have for the last 50 years. NFL football still puts uphuge ratings every Sunday, and millions still tune in to watch livemusic and sports – you don't see that on an Xbox 360 console.
"True, television has to evolve, and will become more interactive toengage subscribers... if that's what users want. But what we're reallylooking at here in the immediate is developers/publishers grapplingwith a question of increasing audience segmentation. Something mostgame marketers miss about the broadcast space is the need to keepmessaging pointed and simple. That doesn't mean downplaying keyelements or features that you want understood: Just presenting them ina straightforward, easily comprehensible way that speaks to a specificaudience. Implementing better virtual cameras into games would be awelcome start... For broadcasters, it's very difficult to showdifferent elements of a title in ways instantly conducive to helpingpeople understand what it's all about.
"It's also important to look beyond the 30-second spot. There's plentyof room for advertisers to tap into broadcast vehicles, whether throughtelevised competitions, interactive online program extensions orproduct integration. Placing games front and center by showing ahalf-hour of screens, video footage and people playing these titlesmakes sense. But what you really need for effective campaigns here isto build elements of user interaction into your advertising and pair itwith programming that's consistent with the demographics of the gameitself.
"It all comes back to basics. People won't skip an ad on a DVR or turnaway to get a glass of milk if it's compelling, the message is clearand it's telling you something that you want to hear. Creative doesn'tjust have to wow either: It also has to make sense for the audiencesegment. While marketing can be fun and have an edge to it, ultimately,for on-air placements, it's vital to make sure the message is verytargeted, specific and simple."
"For all the uproar surrounding the movie business lately, gamemarketers shouldn't underestimate in-cinema advertising's power. Mostmedia features a device (remote control, mouse click, radio dial, etc.)that lets audiences tune unwanted messaging out. But at the theater,you've paid to be there, are a captive audience and want to beentertained. This receptivity begets results if the creative is good:Recall scores average around 60%, with categories like gaming actuallysoaring into the 80-90% range.
"Definitely, the big screen's sexy. Via streaming media, you canliterally send ads for M-rated games to all R-rated movie screenings inany given city; appear alongside only specific types of films; ordeliver different messages to different geographic markets on-demand.But publishers need to look beyond the most obvious opportunities –lobbies can also be a marketing wonderland. Standees, banners,concession items... From 20-minute pre-shows packed with original,exclusive and entertaining content to game posters disguised to looklike cinematic counterparts, options for building brand equity areendless.
"Hollywood is far from dead. Are gamers going to see Shrek, The Matrix and Pirates of the Caribbean?Of course... it's common sense. Research also shows emotions aremagnified at the theater – and the same holds for audience reactions tocommercials as well as films. It's hard to argue with a dark room, agiant screen and a group of people who've willingly paid to be thereand want to see what's in store.
"Also note – 80% of tickets are sold on weekends, a time when peoplewant to go shopping, and theaters are generally located in shoppingdistricts. Stick a retail discount on a box office handout, and youdon't just achieve grassroots interaction, or present a clear call toaction. It's also conceivably the last message a consumer sees beforehaving to drive home past a Best Buy or Wal-Mart where your game'sconveniently stocked."

"People are more distracted than ever – advertisers need to cut throughthe clutter. You have to find ways to surprise and entertainaudiences... It's important to design options that let you really spendtime with consumers in a meaningful way.
"Consider core gamers. You can look at where they're hanging out – atfraternity houses, sports bars, military bases, wherever – thendiscover ways to be there. It's even possible to reach players atschool and weave gaming properties into an educational message. Theseinstitutions appreciate it when game companies can provide them withbranded book covers, locker calendars or workshops that incorporatethese titles to teach lessons, just to name a few possible choices.
"Basically, you have to create options that make sense for the contentand target demographic, then craft a vehicle that fits. This could be abranded video game tournament, for example, or involve catching fans ata sporting event and giving them things they can wear to the game.There are alternative ways to reach virtually any shopper.
"It's crucial for publishers to connect with fans on a one-on-onelevel, because as excited as TV/film imagery can make them, people wantto go hands-on and try your games. To do so, you have to interface withthem on the street. Demos at malls, movie theaters, health clubs, etc.are essential to building buzz: There's a direct link between samplersconverting into purchasers. Experience is everything, and consumers aregoing to be the strongest ambassadors for your brand – word-of-mouth isincredibly powerful in the enthusiast gaming community.
"A holistic strategy is important, though: Alternative marketing shouldjust be one part of a diversified tactical plan. If I can see an ad foryour game during Lost or American Idol, then it happens to be at a barwhere I can try it, it'll pique my interest... Suddenly, brand andbuyer are making a meaningful connection. Remember though, that theseplacements have to be unobtrusive. You can't invade someone's space –you have to make kiosks, stands, booths, etc. – something that adds to,not takes away from, the entertainment value of any activity or event."
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:40 am
Laptop pricing continues to fall in the UK in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Costs of PCs in the UK are set to continue to fall, according to the latest market reports from analysts at IDC.
Thenew IDC report states: "The UK PC market demonstrated solid performancein 1Q08, as overall PC shipments for the quarter reached more than 3.25million units, an increase of 14.3 per cent year-on-year."
Thenotebook market continues to grow at a healthy rate, growing "by a veryhealthy 41.8 per cent, thanks to renewals, further expansion of theinstalled base to new buyers, and multiple-equipment purchases."
The end of the Desktop?
Many users are now choosing to replace their old desktop PCs with new, affordable laptops.
"Demandfor notebooks, stimulated by fierce vendor competition and aggressivepricing, will remain a key engine for growth throughout the year," saidLucie Jichova, research analyst for IDC's EMEA PC research group.
"Economicpressure will continue to drive cautious spending behavior, but thearrival of low-cost ultraportables, increasing traction of telcobundles, and mobile solutions in the business space, will maintainstrong momentum in the notebook market in the second half of the year."
Cheap laptops for all
Thereallly promising news for UK consumers is that the price of laptops isgoing to continue heading in the right direction – downwards.
"Consumersare going to benefit from attractive notebook offers as competitionamong vendors in the retail channel intensifies," states the IDC report.
"Recently,we have seen an introduction of affordable ultraportable PCs, whichhave been very well received by consumers. IDC expects that these basicsurfing devices will continue to sell extremely well throughout 2008."
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:04 am
The development of tennis games 1958 to 2006 and the Wii in Gaming
"Important? Tennis games?!" I hear some of you scoff. And sure,while few of us really look forward to the next iteration of Top Spinor even Virtua Tennis, the genre has played a major role in the birthand development of the videogame industry. Even now, it's often tennisgames that are pushing the frontiers of analogue sensitivity andcomplexity against the need for intuitive user-friendliness in consolecontrols.
So, while Wimbledon hots up, here's a quick run through of the keytitles, together with nostalgic YouTube footage. Grab a bowl ofstrawberries, some clotted cream and a cheeky glass of Pinot (I don't care if you're at work - get into the spirit of things) and join me on a brief amble down tennis memory lane.
Tennis for Two (1958, Oscilloscope)
Running on the oscilloscope at the Brookhaven National Laboratory andprogrammed by physicist William Higinbotham, Tea for Two was arguablythe first computer game ever made (though some point to the evenearlier project, OXO). Check out the YouTube footage!
Pong (arcade, 1972)
Al Alcorn's take on the Magnavox Odyssey Tennis game essentiallykickstarted the games industry, both in the arcades and later, on homeconsoles. The title symbolises the odd, apologist relationship gamershave with software - many claimed to be able to produce spin on theball, although this functionality was never part of the program (thedirection of the ball was affected by the area on which it struck thebat, but that was about it).
Match Point (1984, Spectrum)
Psion Software's early effort pitched featureless stickmen against eachother in a rough approximation of the Wimbledon finals. The visualswere sparse but the simulation was pretty advanced for the time -players could control the speed and direction of the ball with defttiming and after-touch. Looking back, the ball boys bear an unfortunateresemblance to Starvin Marvin from South Park. YouTube video here.
Super Tennis (1991, SNES)
Perhaps the first modern day tennis sim, featuring an array of courtsurfaces, lots of differently-skilled players and several two-playermodes. It is, however, mostly remembered for its fast, intuitive action- a sort of Tennis equivalent of Sensible World of Soccer. Thescrolling court visuals and crisp sound samples impressed gamers at thetime, too. YouTube it up!
Pete Sampras Tennis (1994, Mega Drive)
Codemasters' sleek Mega Drive effort matched Super Tennis for sheerplayability, adding some of its own eccentric features, including aCrazy Tennis mode where you could play against portly platform hero,Dizzy. Codies also introduced its J-Cart technology allowing up tofour-players to take part in doubles matches.
Virtua Tennis (1999, arcade and Dreamcast)
The defining tennis sim of the modern era. The Dreamcast original mixedintuitive controls with lovely animation to produce a simulation ofincredible depth. The World Tour mode was an inspired addition,providing a range of surreal mini-games to test different aspects ofyour game. Subsequent iterations have tweaked the formula and improvedthe visuals, but the essence of this Sega NAOMI/Dreamcast classicremains unmolested. Here's a trailer.
Wii Sports Tennis (2006, Wii)
A popular element of the revolutionary Wii Sports compilation, drawingimpressively accurate motion-sensing performance from the Wiimote.Okay, so your lack of control over the onscreen player could getannoying at times, but the fun of acting out physically extravagantshots - often at the risk of the odd patio door or Ming dynasty vase -is what this game was all about. Here is a silly Wii Tennis 'accident' movie.
Okay, so what vital tennis titles have I missed? The first person tosuggest Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis will be sent to thenaughty step.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:50 am
Games Industry Movers: Trion, 38 Studios, Kongregate & M in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
his past week, 38 Studios (the developer founded by Red Sox pitcherCurt Schilling) announced that Thom Ang was appointed Director of Art.He will oversee the direction and management of 38 Studios' artisticdevelopment, including the MMOG codenamed Copernicus, whileworking closely with Todd McFarlane and R. A. Salvatore. Ang willreport to Vice President of Creative Development, Scott Cuthbertson.
"38 Studios' creative teams have been meticulously crafting thesignature look and feel for our upcoming MMOG over the past 18 months,"said Brett Close, CEO and president. "Thom's extraordinary talent andexperience will be key in driving the vision and quality of our OnlineEntertainment Experience."
Ang has been working as a director for notable franchises and brandsfor over 15 years. He's worked as a senior artist at DisneyInteractive, working on titles like Toy Story II and Tarzan. Ang also created illustrations for TV shows, including The X-Files and was a storyboard artist for Sony/Columbia/Tri-Star TV Animation programs, which include Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles and Max Steel.He then moved on to be art director at EA LA, where he headed up artproduction, team management and visual concept development for the Medal of Honor franchise. In his last position, Ang was art director at THQ, managing more than 25 titles.
"38 Studios is absolutely committed to the next evolution of MMOGs, andevery team member has great pride in the value of what they do,"remarked Ang. "I am excited to contribute to this vision and become apart of an extraordinary team."
Lisa Jablonsky - Kongregate
Kongregate announced this past Friday that Lisa Jablonsky will open thecompany's New York ad sales office. She will work with Kongregate'sChief Revenue Officer Lee Uniacke to secure high-profile advertisingpartnerships based on the site's reach and appeal to young men, ages 13- 34.
"With high user engagement and a growth rate of over 25 percent monthover month, Kongregate provides the ideal medium for advertisers tryingto reach this hard-to-pin-down demographic," stated Uniacke. "As webuild our sales force to address these opportunities, Lisa's proventrack record in developing successful partnerships across a range ofyouth-driven digital consumer brands will add tremendously to theexpertise of our team."
Jablonsky has worked in the New York advertising scene for 21 years andshe was as an early proponent of the digital advertising arena. Amongher projects, she has conceptualized and implemented ground-breakingfilm contests for Intel and Kohl's, and created one of the first mobilecontests for Alltel. Jablonsky helped create games for McAfee Softwareand the National Guard, as well as construct an editorial integrationprogram for Coke's NBA March Madness Flash game. She was most recentlyan account executive with MTV Networks, where she successfully droveadvertising and integrated sponsorships for Comedy Central,,, and AtomFilms.
"Kongregate is an advertiser's dream as it attracts young men betterthan virtually any other site on the Web and puts them in a cool, edgyenvironment where our audience can really interact with their brand,"commented Jablonsky. "At over 3 million unique users today, a highgrowth rate, and just being named one of Time Magazine's Top 50 sitesfor 2008, we're on track to give advertisers the big reach that theyneed to effectively target the young male demographic this fall."
Trion World Network - Glen Van Datta
Trion World Network announced recently that Glen Van Datta has beenhired as Vice President of Engineering and General Manager of TrionWorld Network Austin. He will oversee day to day operations at Trion'sAustin studio and supervise all customer service, quality assurance,operations and other support activities with relation to the Trionplatform.
"Glen is a tremendous hire for Trion and an excellent addition to ourworld class technical organization", said Nicholas Beliaeff, VicePresident of Product Development & Head of Trion World Network SanDiego. "Glen's vision, leadership, and deep history maturing andproductizing compelling online game technology will help Trion take ourserver based game technology to the highest levels while helping us andour partners get to market more quickly."
Notably, Van Datta has worked for over 22 years in softwaredevelopment, including the past dozen in game development. He wasco-founder and Vice President of Engineering at RTIME, where he oversawthe development, design and testing of the RTIME SDK online, in-gameand player matching platform. Van Datta most recently worked at SCEA asDirector of Online Technology, where he oversaw a team of more than 80employees that developed SCE-RT SDK to enable online games for PS2, PS3and PSP games, including Singstar, Warhawk, Resistance, Home and GT5 Prologue.
"For more than 12 years I've believed that online games, online socialnetworks and online media distribution were the future ofentertainment," said Van Datta. "Trion's innovative, dynamic platformand content are the next generation in the online entertainment space."
IGN Entertainment – Jamie Berger
IGN Entertainment announced recently that senior vice president ofconsumer products and technology Jamie Berger will start overseeingbusiness development for the company. He will continue managing IGN'ssubscriptions, digital distribution, and e-commerce portfolio includingIGN's Direct2Drive and GameSpy Technologies.
Berger has over 16 years of professional brand management and marketingexperience from within the online gaming industry. He began hisprofessional career as an Account Manager with the NCR Corporation.Berger spent six years in the consumer products division of The WaltDisney Company before joining IGN Entertainment. He currently helpsextend the IGN brand by creating and leading partnerships thatdistribute content and drive revenue.
AMD - Emilio Ghilardi
AMD, which runs the ATI graphics card business, announced this pastweek that Emilio Ghilardi has been appointed senior vice president andgeneral manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He will beresponsible for all sales and marketing operations within EMEA,starting in mid-August 2008. Ghilardi will report to AMD chief salesofficer Gustavo Arenas.
"Emilio adds tremendous global sales and marketing leadership to AMD inEMEA which we expect to help strengthen and grow relationships with ourend-user customers, OEMs and distribution partners," said Arenas.
Ghilardi comes to AMD from HP, where he started as vice president ofConsumer PC Clients in EMEA. He then moved on to be vice president andgeneral manager of Commercial Hardware within the Imaging and PrintingGroup. Ghilardi was most recently vice president and general manager ofHP's EMEA Consumer Business Unit, managing the business for consumerPCs and Imaging and Printing products.
AMD added that Alberto Macchi, corporate vice president of Sales andMarketing for EMEA, is departing the company "to pursue newopportunities."
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution - Jacqueline Jourdain Hayes
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) recently announced thatJacqueline Jourdain Hayes has been named Senior Vice President Businessand Legal Affairs. She will manage legal issues around new digitalbusiness models (such as distribution of Warner properties on Xbox Liveand elsewhere) globally, oversee the negotiation of Warner and electronic sell-through licenses across multipledigital platforms, and provide legal counsel to the Company's seniormanagement on the acquisition, distribution and protection of contentfor digital platforms and other digital initiatives.
"Jackie has been working on our digital business for quite some time,her expertise in this area is unparalleled," said Clarissa Weirick,General Counsel, WBDD. "The digital business is still one of thoseareas where you are often making the rules as you go along, whichrequires someone like Jackie who is confident and creative innegotiating this new terrain. We are extremely fortunate to have hercontinued expertise as our digital business moves ahead."
Hayes has worked as an Associate in the Corporate Departments of TroopMeisinger Steuber & Pasich in Los Angeles, of Goulston and Storrs,P.C. in Boston, and of Moses & Singer in New York City. She joinedWarner Home Video in 1998 as Counsel, and was promoted to VicePresident Business and Legal Affairs of WHV in 2000. Hayes joined theWarner Bros. Digital Distribution division in July 2006.
TC Digital Games – Andi Smithers
Recently, TC Digital Games announced that it appointed Andi Smithers tothe new position of Director of Technical Development. He will overseedevelopment of the company's digital services, including mediatechnology and format strategy as well as interoperability of digitalservices and devices.
"Andi joins our team at a pivotal moment in the evolution of Chaoticand TC Digital," said Bryan C. Gannon, President and CEO of TC DigitalGames. "He will become an integral part of our efforts to enhance theChaotic online experience and further develop our digital services.Andi's expertise in developing technology, his extensive background increating computer game software and his vision for emerging technologymake him a perfect fit to lead this innovative game play convergence."
Smithers has held several executive roles and technical positionsthroughout his 20-year career, having worked for Microsoft, Activision,Psygnosis, LucasArts, and Midway. He was most recently with Sony OnlineEntertainment where he served as Senior Engineer in the Research andDevelopment group. Smithers pushed advanced physics and graphicstechnologies forward to ensure their quality and was responsible foroverseeing the strategy and development for a cloth simulator.
Microsoft – Michael Delman
As we previously reported, Microsoft this past week appointed MichaelDelman to the position of corporate vice president of global marketingfor the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) in the Entertainmentand Devices Division. He takes over the role for Jeff Bell who left thecompany earlier this month. Read more about the move here.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:42 am
Revealed: Sony's future plans for PS3, PSP and TV in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
"This is not your father's Sony", sums up what Howard Stringer has done at Sony since taking over the reins in 2005.
TheWales-born CEO was underlining the challenge that the company now facesin the digital age, as he led the Japanese giant's corporate strategybriefing in Tokyo today.
In the absence of any attention-grabbingnew hardware announcements, most headlines are likely to go to Sony'spledge to increase revenues in the PC, Blu-ray-related and componentsbusinesses.
Game plan
Stringer said thatSony would build these into "trillion-yen businesses" by FY2010,putting them alongside the core business units of TVs, digital imaging,gaming and mobile phones. One trillion yen is currently worth around£4.7 billion.
Although gaming is a traditional Sony strength, thedivision is mired in red ink after the costly development and launch ofthe PlayStation 3. Addressing that, the CEO promised to bring it toprofit by March next year.
Stringer also outlined plans to investclose to £9 billion in new technology in a concerted drive to becomethe world leader in LCD televisions within three years. Beyond that,the assembled execs wouldn't be drawn on precise numbers or revenuetargets.
Mobile content
Although he didn't address recent speculation about the possibility of a PSP phone or the stability of the Sony Ericsson joint venturethat produces mobile phones, Stringer did emphasise that such handsetswould continue to be sold and that "Sony music and pictures content[would be] embedded in all key Sony Ericsson product lines."
As expected, there was no discussion on life after Blu-ray– the so-called 'death of disk'. However, a hint of how quickly onlinedistribution will move centre-stage came in the news that SonyPictures' summer blockbuster, Hancock, will be made available exclusively to all internet-connect Bravia televisions in the US before its DVD release.
Movie download service
The movie theme resurfaced in a presentation from Kaz Hirai, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment, with the news that the long-anticipated film download service would finally reach the online PlayStation Network this year.
Hiraiconfirmed that US users would get first crack at PS3 movie downloads inlate summer, with Europe and Japan to follow by year's end. He addedthat full details would be announced at E3 in LA next month and thatboth standard- and high-definition titles would be available.
Virtual world
Warmingto the theme, Hirai added, "Please expect more from our evolvingPlayStation business." That evolution will also include themuch-delayed PlayStation Home virtual world, which Hirai demonstrated,along with new dynamic in-game advertisements that change according tothe context.
The littlest PlayStation also featured prominently,with the PSP being positioned as an interactive extension of the PS3console, as well as a tool for accessing the PlayStation Store for gamedownloads and, possibly, feature films at some undisclosed point.
Hirai's presentation concluded with something of a surprise in a new network service called Life With PlayStation.The rough demo showed a view of the Earth from space, which rotated toreveal location-related news items, reminiscent of similar services onNintendo's Wii.
Innovator and creator
Returningto the podium to sum up, Stringer emphasised his firm's creative skillsand took aim at a company many see as having inherited the Sony mantleas innovator supreme.
"We have products to get excited about [including] OLED TVs, Rolly, CyberShot smile detection and the new Bravias.
"Appleis a boutique company, but we're a large conglomerate. We recently cameout number one in a poll by Incite on innovative companies, just aheadof Apple. I rest my case."
Whether or not that's overstating thecase, Stringer's confidence in the once-troubled company is almosttangible, leaving little room for doubt that Sony is back and that itmeans business.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:41 am
Samsung confirms Spinpoint drives in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Samsung has finally confirmed the rumours that it is putting their laptop HDDs Spinpoint M6 and M2 into mass production.
TheM2 – which Samsung call 'one of the world's fastest laptop hard drives'– is a 250GB 2.5in hard drive which operates at a 7200rpm rotationspeed, the MP2 which would appear to be well-suited to desktopreplacement laptops and gaming laptops.
The Spinpoint M6, a500GB drive, is built for the expanding data storage needs of modernlaptops and features a 5400rpm spindle speed, a 8MB cache, and 3.0GbpsSATA interface.
Stick it in your notebook
"TheSpinpoint M6 is ideal for notebook power users who require vast amountsof storage space for their data, video and music files," said HubbertSmith, Director of Storage, Samsung Semiconductor.
"The MP2 hasspeed, features and capacity similar to a 3.5in hard drive and isperfect for users who require a smaller form factor with advanced datastorage needs."
F1 racing
Meanwhile,Samsung has confirmed that its new Spinpoint F1 RAID Class SATA 1TBcapacity HD has gone into mass production and will be available soon.
Featuringa 334GB per-platter capacity, a 7200RPM spindle speed and a 32MB cache– Samsung has also included its rotational vibration controller and anoptimised system-on-chip (SOC) that lowers power consumption.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:44 pm
Nintendo DS centres open across UK - Download demos free in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
It's hard to believe but there are still people wandering the streets who don't own a Nintendo DS.The console manufacturer is obviously keen to stamp this sort ofbehaviour out so its opened 30 DS centres in shops around Britain. Fromthe press release:

These new centres will offer anyone the opportunity tolearn more about Nintendo DS and its exciting range of software througha number of new and exciting ways including videos, TV commercials,demo games to play on the DS. Centre itself and most exciting of all,current DS owners will be able to download demo software to play ontheir own Nintendo DS.

Brain Training, Sight Training, More Brain Training, Big BrainAcademy, Mario Kart DS and 42 All Time Classics are the titlescurrently available for free demo downloads - the code stays on yourmachine until you switch it off. Stores currently housing the DSshowcases include Asda, Argos, HMV, Game and Zavvi - there's a list ofparticipating outlets here.
Each site will also offer free Nintendo Wi-Fi connection so if youalready own one, not only do you get free demos you also get to hangaround playing online games. It's like Apple Store for the hoi polloi.

Downloadable titles DS owners can playinclude Brain Training, Sight Training, More Brain Training, Big BrainAcademy, Mario Kart DS and 42 All Time Classics.

You can alsoplay in-store demos for games such as Sight Training, Nintendogs, BigBrain Academy, New Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda; PhantomHourglass and Animal Crossing: Wild World.

The full list of DS centres is as follows:

  • Basingstoke - GAME, Unit 15 Festival Place
  • Birmingham - Argos, Priory Sq Centre, 33 Priory Queensway
  • Brighton - HMV, 48-50, Churchill Square Shopping Centre
  • Cardiff - Argos, Units E & F, Cardiff Bay Retail Park, Ferry Road
  • Chelmsford - Woolworths, 40 - 41 High Street
  • Chippenham - Woolworths, 24-25 High Street
  • Croydon - Woolworths, 60-68 North End
  • Exeter - Zavvi, SU 20/21 Princesshay Shopping Centre
  • Glasgow - GAME, 146 Sauchiehall Street
  • Glasgow - Zavvi, 235 Buchanan St
  • Leeds - Asda, Crown Point Retail Park
  • Liverpool - Woolworths, 74-75 St Johns Way, St Johns Centre
  • London - GAME-Hamleys, 188-1 96 Regent Street
  • London - HMV, 360 Oxford Street
  • London - HMV, 150 Oxford Street
  • London - Zavvi, 14 Oxford Street
  • London - Zavvi,Piccadilly Circus,
  • London - Woolworths, 168-176 Edgware Road
  • London - Toys R Us, Tilling Road, Brent Cross
  • London - Argos, 30-36 Market Place, Romford
  • Manchester - Argos, Unit E Central Retail Park Gt Ancoats St
  • Manchester - Zavvi, Unit M, Lower mall, Arndale Centre
  • Milton Keynes - Argos, 700 Grafton Gate West
  • Northampton - Argos, 4-7 St. Peter's Square
  • Norwich - GAME, 2-10 Back of the Inns
  • Oxford - Argos, Botley Road
  • Portsmouth - Argos, 207-211 Commercial Road
  • Reading - HMV, 13 Holy Brook Walk, The Oracle
  • Reading - Zavvi, 1-5 Oxford Road
  • Slough - Argos, 4 The Observatory Centre, High Street
  • Swindon - Asda, Orbital Shopping Park, Thamesdown Drive
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:33 pm
Why Xbox Live isn't free in Gaming
Until recently, Microsoft could brag about how Live was by far themost feature-complete online service on any platform, with a unifiedFriends list, the best online shop, voice and video chat as standardand a consistent and stable online experience. But in recent monthsthere’s been a shift in the market, and even bigger changes are coming.Microsoft is the only player to charge for online play, and theirpolicy has landed some of the best online games on the 360... but as PCand PlayStation developers offer comparable features at no extra cost,the Gold subscription starts to lose its shine. The launch of the PC’sSteam Community late last year and promises made by Sony at January’sConsumer Electronics Show have placed Microsoft on the back foot, andhas all of us asking: what does your annual subscription pay for?
The Punters
It’s very simple math - you take the features offered by Xbox Live,subtract the features offered by Live Silver, and then subtract thefeatures Microsoft’s nearest competitor - the Playstation Network -offers for free, and whatever’s left is what Gold users get for theirannual fee.

In Microsoft’s own words, the perks of being a Gold subscriber are as follows:
1) Play your Xbox 360 multiplayer games online with the premiere online gaming service.
2) Use the brand new TrueSkill Matchmaking system to play againstopponents with similar skills, personalities, and gaming tastes.
3) Give player feedback to rate your teammates and opponents on theirsportsmanship, abilities, and conduct to influence matchmaking.
4) Play select original Xbox games online (the Xbox 360 Hard Drive is required).
5) Get access to exclusive Gold Member content.
6) Engage in video chat.
7) Enjoy all the Xbox Live Silver features.
Freed from PR-speak, points one, two and three are essentiallystandard functions of modern online play: multiplayer gaming, onlineranking and feedback systems, so we’ll consider them one point. Pointfour is available to Silver members and even to people without abroadband connection by downloading the CD from Fivepresumably refers to the demos which are available earlier for Goldsubscribers, but that’s really more a way of gimping Silver types thanrewarding Gold subscribers. Point six, we can’t argue with - video chatis limited to Gold - but as point seven demonstrates, Live Marketplace,Arcade games, DLC and auto-updates are available at no cost to Silvermembers.

We’ll kindly add to Microsoft’s list an eighth and ninth point -mass messaging is only available to Gold users, and Microsoft should bea little more proud of their unified Friends list and messenger whichmakes online gaming with friends such a complete pleasure.
So, with our non-scientific method, we’ve stripped Microsoft’s nine points down to just four:
1) Online play with standard features offered elsewhere.
2) Video chat.
3) Mass messaging.
4) Unified Friends list and messenger.
And of those four, Sony’s PSN offers one, two and three for nocharge to players. In effect, your subscription pays for... er, nothingmore than a list of 100 names you can pull up in any game.
Still, what you don’t see is that, unlike PSN, Live’s hosting -leaderboards, Matchmaking, the lot - are all run by Microsoft ratherthan by third parties. It means devs are more keen to go online on Xboxwhere the online play is paid for by you, rather than them, so - inthat sense, at least - Live’s hosting model makes for a more cohesiveand better supported service, but a model where the cost will always bepicked up on the gamer’s end.

The Developers
So long as the expense of running servers and matchmaking systemshas to be picked up by somebody, no online gaming service will ever betruly ‘free’. The cost of PSN and PC online gaming is typically pickedup by developers and publishers. CoD4, for example, runs on similarsystems on both console platforms, but is maintained by Microsoft onLive and by a dedicated third party company at Activision’s expense onPSN. Both play the same at your end and both work on a peer-to-peersystem with a matchmaking layer to link players up, but on Live you payfor that layer, and on PSN they pay.

Live is a great deal for third parties then, but less so for gamers.On the plus side, it means Microsoft get the lion’s share ofonline-enabled games, with even the most low-rent of independentdevelopers able to support online matchmaking in their games. Meaning,overall, it makes online play in multi-format titles far more likely onthe 360.
But again, is it really $49.99/£39.99’s worth of bonus? The PC/PSNmodel - where publishers/developers run their own matchmaking systems -has worked for years and PC gamers have enjoyed cost-free gaming evenbefore the days of multiplayer Doom. Sega’s Dreamcast was arguably thefirst console to make a dent in the online space and managed to offeronline play in the majority of its titles at no cost. PlayStation isset to offer users everything Live does at no cost in the near future,Steam offers everything Live does in its supported games, and theWii... well, at least it’s free, eh?
Live’s best asset is that it allows even small developers to supportonline play - the value of which can’t possibly be denied. Without it,we’d never see online play in small-budget XBLA titles or evenmarginalised full-price games. The question to ask is whether or notthat’s worth the precious money from your pocket, on rotation, every 12months.
From the player’s end experience, Live is the leader, but it’shardly a full fifty bucks/forty-quid ahead of its competition. Themarket has changed since 2002 and so long as the PlayStation Networkand Steam Community threaten to match Live feature-for-feature, Liveneeds to be obviously better in some other way, especially in the UKwhere it costs a full fifteen quid more for a yearly subscription thanthe $50 (£25) cost over in the U.S.
At some point in the coming months, PSN will rob Live’s FriendsList, completing its mimicry of Microsoft’s system. It’s at that pointwhere questions must start to be asked of Live. It’s certainly easierfor developers, but as gamers, perhaps we should rightly expect just alittle more from our Gold subscription.
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:38 pm
82% react positively to contextual in-game ads in Gaming
A new research study conducted by Nielsen BASES andNielsen Games on behalf of IGA Worldwide finds that in-game ads providebrands a measured lift in overall consumer awareness and opinion.
Nielsentested multiple variables with multiple brands across multiple games -as opposed to just a single brand in a single game. The companysurveyed over 1,300 PC gaming participants in their homes by linkingIGA's proprietary measurement software with research trackers embeddedwithin sample game discs.
Participating brand advertisersincluded Taco Bell, Jeep and Wrigley, and game titles were provided byElectronic Arts and Activision.
The study found that 82per cent of consumers felt that games were just as enjoyable with adsas without. In addition, there was an average 61 per cent increase inconsumers' favorable opinions of products advertised in-game post-play.
Thestudy also found that there is an average 44 per cent increase inpost-game aided recall from pre-awareness and that the games increasedpositive brand attribute association 33 per cent across all brands.
Over70 per cent of consumers who were most opinionated about in-game adsfelt the ads made them feel better about the brand, feel more favorabletoward the brand, make them more interested in the brand, and believethe ads are for innovative/cutting edge brands.
Over 60 per centof that group felt the ads caught their attention, made games morerealistic, did not interrupt the game experience and were promotingrelevant products.
"With young adults now spending on average 6hours a week gaming, advertisers should be excited at how well theirmessages were embraced and the brands positively perceived," saidJustin Townsend, CEO of IGA Worldwide.
"The consumer insightswe've gleaned from this data will help drive the industry' firstresearch-based in-game advertising measurement standards as well asstrengthen IGA's position as an effective in-game ad network brands cantrust to efficiently deliver their message to target audiences."

In-gamead exposures with a duration over 2 seconds, as they are measured inIGA's in-game ad methodology, generate on average an almost 30 per centincrease in key ad metrics, including ad noticeability +100 per cent,recall +42 per cent, and fit +27 per cent versus ad exposures with aduration of less than 1 second.
"This study offers proof thatdynamic in-game advertising is an influential digital ad medium," saidDave Anderson, a senior director of business development for Activision.
"Justas important to us is how users react to the ads. From the research itis clear that the overwhelming majority of consumers enjoyed the gamingexperience just as much, if not more, with dynamic ads present.
"As game publishers, it is reassuring to know advertisers and consumers both stand to benefit from dynamic ads."

Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:18 am
14-24 year olds keep £750-worth of copied music on iPods in Entertainment, Film and Music, Mobile devices and media
A survey by the music lobby groupBritish Music Rights shows that 95 per cent of teenagers and youngpeople copy music in some way, with half the average 1770 tracks on anMP3 player being stolen.
The researchers found that 58 per centof those surveyed have copied music from a friend’s hard drive to theirown, 63 per cent download music using P2P file sharing networks, and 42per cent allow P2P users to upload from their own computers.
However,60 per cent of respondents said they would carry on buying CDs, and thesurvey states that 80 per cent of current P2P users would be interestedin a legal file-sharing service, and would even be willing to pay forit.
Teenage kicks
Feargal Sharkey, BMR’schief executive and ex-lead singer of punk band The Undertones, said:“The music industry should draw great optimism from this groundbreakingsurvey. First and foremost, it is quite clear that this young andtech-savvy demographic is as crazy about and engaged with music as anyprevious generation.
“Contrary to popular belief, they are also prepared to pay for it too. But only if offered the services they want,” he added.
TechRadar has contacted the British Phonographic Industry for comment, and is currently awaiting a response.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:14 am
Two UK gaming industry pioneers in Queen's Birthday Honours in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
Britain's video games industry received a tribute with the award ofCBEs to David and Richard Darling in the Queen's birthday honours list.The two brothers built Codemasters - responsible for such hits as ColinMcRae Rally and Sensible Soccer - into a global force. Although theysold out last year, their company is one of the reasons Britain's videogames industry is among the strongest in the world, despite most of ithaving being taken over by foreign firms. News of the honours coincidedwith Grand Theft Auto, also developed in the UK, retaining its No 1slot in the US charts for the second month running. This helped the USgames market, including consoles, to a 37% sales increase over a yearago, a potent symbol of resilience. The Darling brothers will begrateful for their CBEs, but would have been even more delighted ifrecognition had taken a tangible form. The UK games sector is facing anexodus of talent to other countries offering tax incentives,particularly Canada. If companies relocating to Quebec can claim taxcredits of up to 30% of payroll costs, small wonder they are migratingin swarms. The industry is lobbying the government to invest in a UKsuccess story to prevent the exodus and secure it for the future. Butsubsidising industry is too "old Labour" for this government. Insteadit is planning to complain to the World Trade Organisation, a procedurethat could take years. By then, if no action is taken, it could lookmore like a case of Grand Theft Industry.

Two of the pioneers of the UK video games industry have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

David and Richard Darling, co-founders of game developers Codemasters,were both made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
They built up their company from a bedroom enterprise into one of the best known games developers in the world.
The firm is behind well established titles including the Colin McRae Rally series and Sensible Soccer.<!-- E SF -->
More recently the firm has ventured into online games, releasing Lord of the Rings Online.
"For over 20 years David and Richard led Codemasters as itbecame one of the video game industry's great British success stories,"said Rod Cousens, present head of Codemasters.
"Their drive and passion for creating the best in interactiveentertainment will always be part of the industry's heritage and thisrecognition is well deserved."
The brothers sold their stake in the company in 2007 after 21 years at the firm.


The two brothers started their first company - Galactic Software- in 1982, followed by a stint writing for Mastertronic, a publisher oflow-cost computer software.<!-- S IIMA -->               
<!-- E IIMA -->
In 1986 they set up Codemasters, along with their father Jim. Theirfirst title was BMX simulator, released in the company's founding year.
There followed a series of simulator titles including jet ski, flight and even fruit machine games.
Many of these were written for the computer of the moment - the ZXspectrum - although they also produced titles for the BBC Micro, AcornElectron and Amstrad CPC.
The brothers were famous for putting ringing endorsements of their games on the packaging.
"Dizzy's Treasure Island is brilliant - it's like a real cartoon but with amazing gameplay," read one.
These were usually quotes from the creators of the game or the Darlingbrothers themselves. The Treasure Island quote was by David Darling,for example.
Practices like this drew equal measures of mirth and criticism from the games press of the time.
But the company gained even greater notoriety when it developed aseries of unlicensed games for Nintendo's Entertainment System.
The titles, published by controversial company Camerica, bypassed theconsole's so-called "lock-out chip", designed to prevent unofficialproducts being played.
Titles included the Quattro Series, Ultimate Stuntman and the best-selling Micro Machines.
The company has continued to grow and now produces games for all three major consoles, PCs, handheld devices and mobile phones.
In 2005 the company was crowned the world's leading independently owned video games developer by Develop Magazine.
The brothers left two years later to work on other projects.
They were honoured for their "services to the computer games industry".
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:10 am
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