Sony To Post Huge $1.1Billion Loss

:ayokona:

Sony is set to post an operating loss of a whopping $1.1billion for 2007-2008, according to respected business media outlet Nikkei. The loss is the company's first in the past 14 years, and the second since Sony went public in 1958, reports Edge this week. The original forecast was for a profit of around $2.2billion for the same period. "The reasons behind this anticipated loss are typical of many markets in Japan," adds Edge. "A global recession continues to curb foreign demand for Sony's luxury items, while the strong yen continues to interrupt the company's trade." Shares in Sony plummeted down 8 per cent after the news broke. Sony is scheduled to announce its quarterly earnings results on 29 January. In other news, respected US games industry analysts Michael Pachter is predicting a PS3 price drop in the US this Easter, claiming that the PS3 will drop to an RRP of $299 to maximise sales over the busy Easter hols.

( www.techradar.com )


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CES 2009: Video Games 'More Popular' Than Film And Music, Says Studio Boss

:astig:

Mike Griffith, head of Activision studios, told delegates at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that consumers’ interest in video games was increasing all the time. “Movies, recorded music and television – these are all stagnating or contracting entertainment sectors,” he said. “Video games are poised to eclipse all other forms of entertainment in the year ahead.” Mr Griffith said that casual, fun games with a social element were one of the main reasons for this surge in interest. He said that interactive titles, such as Guitar Hero, which is published by Activision, epitomised this trend. “We all have an inner rock star waiting to be unleashed,” said Mr Griffith. “This is the 'Guitar Hero' secret: It’s both a whole new way to play a game, and a whole new way to experience music. The convergence of the action game with the passion of music is changing video games – and bringing games like 'Guitar Hero' to the forefront of entertainment.”

He added that sales of video games in the four years between 2003 to 2007 increased 40 per cent in the US, while over that same period, sales of cinema tickets had fallen six per cent, as did the number of hours of TV watched by the average American, while sales of recorded music dipped 12 per cent. "Games are no longer pre-set trips through linear mazes," he said. "They are becoming a legitimate story-telling medium that rivals feature films. "The moviegoer is passive whereas the gamer is active and part of the game itself." ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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CES 2009: The World’s Most Accurate Joystick?



:astig:

Thrustmaster says the device boasts surgical accuracy, powered by a patent-pending system called Hall Effect Accurate Technology (Heart). At its launch, the manufacturers said that the joystick’s built in Heart magnetic sensors deliver precision levels over 200 times greater than most current systems. Although the device is not the most expensive on the market, it is being touted as the most accurate. Thrustmaster claims the technology also removes all friction from the device along with any risk of mechanical wear and tear, thus guaranteeing consistent precision after repeated gaming sessions. The T. 16000M’s three sections – including 2 removable parts – can be tailored to suit individual requirements, and it is suitable for both left- and right-handed users. The 16 action buttons can also be configured individually, and the firm has taken advice on ergonomic design to try to allow the device to alleviate game fatigue. The company also claims that the technology’s accuracy is improved by the absence of ‘dead zones’, a feature that allows for smoother actions. The joystick also contains a helical spring, enhancing firm control and allowing for more fluid movements. Finally, the T. 16000M boasts a solid, weighted base to ensure the device remains stable. The Thrustmaster T. 16000M is scheduled for release in the UK in February for £49.99. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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Videogame Sales Hit Record High Thanks To Nintendo Wii

:astig:

According to research from Deloitte, the consultancy firm, a quarter of households owned the market-leading Nintendo Wii console. People spent an average 6.6 hours a week playing games on a computer, phone or a console. A further 24 per cent intended to buy a Wii in the next year. Jolyon Barker, head of technology at Deloitte said: "Gaming has been traditionally frowned upon by parents. However it is now considered "family time" for many people aged between 26 and 42. Although interest declines after the age of 40 this could change as a generation of gamers grows up." The research, which surveyed 2,023 people online, highlighted that 39 per cent of that age group had played on a games console in the past six months, compared with 51 per cent of 14-to-25-year-olds.

More than half said their preferred method of gaming was a console, over a computer or mobile device. Separate sales figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) said the fastest-growing sector in 2008 was computer games, which saw unit sales grow 17 per cent to 82.8m units spearheaded by the popularity of console games (up 28 per cent to 74.3m units) which the body attributed to the success of Nintendo's Wii platform. Elspa, the games publishers' association, says the UK gaming market, including hardware and accessories, is now worth £4.03bn. Michael Rawlinson, managing director of Elspa, said: "In the past people played board games and now you have families sitting around their console, creating a community feel. People with no previous experience are playing games like Wii Fit as if were the most natural thing.

"Playing video games is no longer a solitary thing. The percentage of games that you play on your own is in decline. Nintendo Wii, PS3, XBox360 all have interconnectivity with the internet so people have the opportunity of playing games with people all over the world," he added. Games sales for the Nintendo Wii sold 20.1m units in 2008, up 153 per cent on 2007. Wii software revenues increased 112 per cent to £481m, while Microsoft's Xbox 360 earned £443m, up 38 per cent. Sony's PlayStation 3 generated £334m in software sales, an increase of 115 per cent, in its first full year on the market, according to Elspa. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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Tetris Eases Your Stress Says Report

:inis:

A report from the BBC has suggested that playing puzzle games like Tetris is good for your mental health. A study discovered that the simple puzzle building block game aided people suffering from traumatic stress like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). "We wanted to find a way to dampen down flashbacks - the raw sensory images of trauma that are over-represented in the memories of those with PTSD," Dr Emily Holmes told the BBC. ( www.techradar.com )


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Microsoft Unconvinced By 3D Games

:siga:

UK games developer Blitz Games has admitted that it has an uphill struggle convincing platform holders such as Sony and Microsoft of the value of 'true' 3D gaming. Blitz were showing an Xbox 360 game demo running on 3D-enabled screens to selected developers, platform holders and games publishing execs at the recent 3D Entertainment Summit in Hollywood. In a recent interview with Develop magazine, Andrew Oliver, CTO of Blitz Games, admitted: "Those [platform holders] that have heard about it have been curious but not convinced.

( www.techradar.com )


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Warcraft Nut Threatens Suicide

:ayokona:17-year-old World of Warcraft player told a game moderator that if he didn't get his way he would kill himself. The Ohio teen told the customer services rep that he had nothing else to live for other than his marathon sessions in the fantasy role playing game and that his frustration with the game had become so all-encompassing that he had decided to top himself. The employee, no doubt keen to avoid the kind of headlines that would follow the untimely demise of a pimply social retard blamed on the ridiculously addictive game, called the cops who traced the miscreant through his IP address. They then kicked in his back door and slapped a charge of first degree misdemeanour on him. He, of course, insisted the whole thing was just a joke. ( www.theinquirer.net )

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PS3's Browser Use Is Higher Than Wii

:ahaha:

Sony's PS3 is more popular among gamers for accessing the internet than Nintendo's Wii, despite the Wii user base being almost double that of the PS3. However, to put this in proportion, the PS3's browser has a 0.04 share of the 'internet market' globally compared with the PC's 88.7 per cent majority, according to business research group Market Share. Nintendo Wii's Opera browser has a minuscule 0.01 per cent of the global internet market. Both Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii can access mainstream online entertainment services such as the BBC iPlayer and YouTube. Current estimates put the Wii's global user base at around 44 million, over twice the estimated 19 million PS3s that have been sold around the world to date.

( www.techradar.com )


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Mind Game here Players Use Brainwaves To Float Ball Through Hoops Unveiled W



:bringiton:

The Mind Flex comes with a brain-scanning headset which measures brainwaves and turns them into energy. The aim of the game is to concentrate hard enough to generate enough energy to power a fan which in turn causes a ball to levitate and move through a series of hoops. The toy made by Mattel, the world's largest toy manufacturer and makers of the Barbie doll , has been previewed in the US. The game is expected to cause much discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show 2009 which is currently taking place in Las Vegas. Mattel have remained tight lipped about how the product will work but say it will be released in America, later in the US year for $80. Games like Mind Flex are expected to be very successful in 2009 as the games industry becomes more on making gaming more intuitive. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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Nintendo To Launch 'Wii TV'

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The plan is to generate more of its revenues from content - and the advertising that goes with it. The service will be begin in Japan this spring but could be rolled out globally by the end of the year. Some 40 million households throughout the world have a Wii and almost half (18m) are connected to the internet. Broadcasts will be made exclusively for the Nintendo channel and will include cartoons, cookery programmes, brain-training quizzes and lifestyle shows. Most of the content will be free but Nintendo could make some programmes pay-per-view. Customers would be able to pay through the existing Wii Point payment system, that can already be used to pay for access to some games. Japanese television executives are thought to be worried about the possibility of the Wii becoming, as one called it, "the centre-piece of the living room".

( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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