Monday, July 9, 2007

In The News (7/1-7/7)

    Sorry for the delay. Combined with all my real life distractions, sifting through the extra load of E3 stuff made it harder to pick out the stuff I thought was worthy. Hopefully the new format for E3 will allow for some more organized news reporting, but probably not.

Red Rings of Death Nearly Kills Microsoft
    So it's not exactly a secret to anyone that the Xbox 360 isn't the most reliable of systems. Problems seemed isolated at first, but as the months went on, they kept stacking up, and Microsoft kept shrugging them off. 1UP even reported on a man who was on his 12th system.
    Well, it finally caught up to them, and so they've decided to own up and finally do something about it. They've extended every Xbox 360's warranties to three years and promised to reimburse those who have already paid to get their consoles fixed. It's going to cost them about a billion dollars.
    This is a bold move by Microsoft, and one that should have occurred a lot sooner. However, I don't want to focus on any negatives that this story has, because ultimately, it is good for everyone involved.
    Kudos to Microsoft, for (finally) owning up.

Sony Slashes PS3 Price, New SKU Added
    Well, that link leads to the story where Sony denies that there is a price cut, and this is the story from Sunday where Sony confirms it. Now, since this In The News is coming late, I'm just going to go ahead and talk about the price cut even though it technically happened the day after that week ended, just so I don't have to talk about it later.
    This is great news for anyone looking to buy a PS3- the current 60GB version dropped to $500 and a new 80GB version with Motorstorm packed in took the 60GB's previous price of $600. So, would I recommend you get the new SKU? Not really. You can buy Motorstorm for $60 and you probably won't need the 20GB of space.
    What's the benefit of adding this new SKU then? Well, it's because Sony didn't want to drop the price, but they were under too much pressure from retailers and developers. They simply had no choice but to drop the price. However, they also need to satisfy their stockholders right? So they introduce another SKU where they don't lose quite as much money per console as the 60GB version.
    Overall, it's a smart business decision. People get the price drop they wanted, and Sony doesn't lose quite as much money as they probably would've without the extra SKU.

PSN and XBL to Offer Free E3 DLC
    Aren't abbreviations fun? What that all means is that the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live are both going to offer free downloadable content to gamers who own a PS3 or 360. So while you're sitting at home during E3, you can download game demos, trailers, documentaries, press conference footage, and more.
    Honestly, it's stuff like this that makes me love where the this newest generation of gaming has taken us. Rather, it's taken the content straight to us in our homes. It gives us an inside look at things we probably wouldn't have gotten to see before. It allows Microsoft and Sony to deliver their messages directly to us.
    I guess my only gripe with it is that I've only got a Wii and a PS2, and neither of those offer those kinds of services. Obviously the PS2 wouldn't, but I'm really disappointed (though not surprised) that Nintendo failed to deliver that kind of service.

WEEKLY SAMPLER: Nintendo: 6, Sony: 1 / Hail to the ESA Chief / Capcom's New Fight / T. Hawk!

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