Weekly News Roundup (18 November 2007)
“Roundup time, I say, it’s roundup time.”
I tried really hard to come up with a smart intro for this week, but the above was all I could come up with. I know it doesn’t even make any sense, but I haven’t been getting much sleep lately and so my brain is kind of fried. And who says this entry needs an intro at all? Almost 50% of the 4 people that read this blog say intros are not important at all, so there!
It’s been a pretty quiet week in any case.
In copyright news, the MPAA is at it again by lobbying Washington to introduce tougher anti-piracy measures. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced legislation that would help the MPAA’s cause. There’s only a couple of good guys left in the US Congress that will actually defend their constituent’s basic fair use rights. It’s a shame that US politics is so influenced by money, and this will never change as long as Hollywood as money to throw at the “problem”.
In HD news, you can now take your expensive PS3, destroy it, and turn it into a cheap toy. That’s right, take out the Blu-ray laser in the PS3 and make your own Blu-ray phaser. People who earlier purchased the Star Trek TOS HD DVD and a Toshiba HD DVD player got their own Star Trek style phaser, and even though it wasn’t self-made. I would say that if you have plans to destroy your PS3, you might as well give it to me since I’m sure I can find some uses for it. Meanwhile, in the battle of the top-of-the-line Blu-ray and HD DVD players, the result is … a draw! Reviews of the Pioneer’s DBP-94HD and Toshiba’s HD-XA2 have earned a high 91% for both players. I would really like to have the XA2 due to it’s fantastic DVD upscaling, which instantly extends the life of my DVD collection. If it drops to half of it’s current price, I’ll get one for sure.
DivX Inc has acquired MainConcept, no doubt for their H.264 technology related products – H.264 really is taking over the world, it seems. DivX HD using H.264 coming soon? Speaking of DivX, guess which video format is coming to the PS3? That’s right, DivX on the PS3 means the PS3 might just become the world’s most popular pirated movie viewer. Xbox 360’s DivX support might not be too far behind either.
In gaming news, analysts have predicted game developer THQ will now shift focus towards 360 and Nintendo development, with less focus on the PS3. Another case of money talks (in this case, the number of Nintendo/360 consoles sold – see October’s US NPD figures), and something-something walks. Does having excessive dust void your PS3 warranty? Apparently, somebody was told that this was the case by Sony tech support. How would you define excessive anyway? PS3s are finally starting to sell, as the cheaper 40 GB model becomes available. Will it finally overtake the 360 in the monthly US NPD figures? We’ll find out in another month. The 360 is celebrating the five year birthday of its Live service. Those that were lucky (or at least read this blog), would have scored themselves a free Live Arcade game (Carcassonne) on the 15th or 16th. The Fall Update, most likely coming on the 4th of December, will add downloadable Xbox 1 games (no achievement points though). Hopefully it will add some other goodies such as DivX playback to make the media extender functionalities of the 360 something of a must-have for Windows Media Center users.
Christmas is nearly here, and regardless of your religion, it’s a time to celebrate due to all the sales that will be doing the rounds. Black Friday sales in the US should see some top bargains pop up for both HD and gaming, and I’ll try to highlight some of the good ones right here on this blog.
See you all next week.