Weekly News Roundup (28 October 2007)

Woohoo! Another weekly roundup. More work on a Sunday when I didn’t get a good night’s sleep in my hot non air-conditioned office. I’m not bitter, really, I’m not.

Anyway, in copyright news the MPAA has apparently hired a hacker to find out confidential information about the bittorrent site, TorrentSpy. I’m pretty sure hacking is illegal in the US. It may in fact be considered an act of terrorism. All those MPAA “piracy equals terrorism” posters finally start to make some sense. The big news of the week was the closure of the popular music bittorrent site, OiNK. There is already news that The Pirate Bay may start something similar to replace it. It will probably end up being something better and harder to close down too. Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum, Amazon says its DRM free music sales has been a great success. No surprise really, considering DRM is completely useless in preventing piracy and its only purpose is to annoy consumers (and make healthy royalties for the company who invented the DRM engine). Now only if there were something similar for movies …

On to gaming news, US September sales figures have been released and it’s another bad month for the PS3 (read my in depth analysis of the figures here). I think I’ve posted enough about the problems with the PS3 over this last few days, that I don’t think I need go into it any further (although since my blog post, another developer has come out to say it’s a pain to work on the PS3). But at least Activision is standing by the PS3, saying that it is the most advanced console and that in 4 or 5 years time, people will see the difference. I’m not sure Sony can wait that long though, considering their gaming division losses taking the shine off their otherwise impressive profit figures. This week has all been about how bad the PS3 is, and I guess Microsoft is happy to just sit and enjoy the afterglow of the Halo 3 effect. But they are not resting on their laurels, and rumour is that IPTV might be coming to the Xbox 360 in the fall update (and since it’s fall already in the US, the update might not be that far away). It will probably be an U.S only affair though. Shame.

HD news now, the Transformers on HD DVD has sold well, although not as well as first claimed by Paramount. Blu-ray still held the week 51% to 49%, but how quickly that their 2-to-1 advantage shrank due to one single movie, and also the puny amount of HD discs sold compared to DVDs, means that these “figure wars” are really quite pointless. I’ve always maintained that consumers should adopt a format neutral stance and support both formats to ensure they don’t lose out, and Samsung is helping the cause by announcing more details on their updated dual-format player (which will be Blu-ray Profile 1.1 compatible, one of the first on the market to be). But if you don’t mind having two separate players, then HD DVD players have finally fallen below the magic $US 200 threshold. Wal-Mart, and now Circuit City, will be selling the superseded Toshiba A2 for under $200. That’s quite a decent price for a HD DVD player that also doubles as a fairly decent DVD upscaler (not as good as the more expensive XA2 though, but the Reon VX chip in that player puts it into the high-end class of DVD players). While $200 is tempting, I think prices will drop further. In the meantime, check out Amazon’s Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive deal (if you have an Xbox 360 that is) – you get Heroes Season 1 on HD DVD of $69.95 value, plus 5 other free HD DVD movies by redemption and all for under $180. Assuming each HD DVD is worth $20, that’s $170 worth of movies for $180, so the drive only costs $10 (and it doubles as a HD DVD-ROM drive for your PC too!).

That’s all folks from my hot non air-conditioned office. See you next week.


Comments are closed.

About Digital Digest | Help | Privacy | Submissions | Sitemap

© Copyright 1999-2012 Digital Digest. Duplication of links or content is strictly prohibited.