Tag - HD DVD
The third-generation Xbox could mark a symbolic switch in storage but also a step back for game ownership. Kotaku understood from a rumor source that it would keep an optical drive but jump to Blu-ray, allowing it to hold larger games and play offline HD movies. For Microsoft, it would be the footnote to the HD disc debate of the mid-2000s, where the company officially backed HD DVD but was forced to drop plans after Toshiba axed the format and eventually supported Blu-ray.
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer may have inadvertently tipped off his firm's plans for an external Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360 in a talk in advance of today's Windows 7 launch. The executive is doubtful that it will ever be built-in but does tell Gizmodo that an external Blu-ray drive will be an option. He doesn't provide details but is unexpectedly confident that the hardware is enroute.
Toshiba picked IFA to make its first real entrance into Blu-ray following last year's exit from HD DVD with both its first dedicated movie player and a notebook to match. The BDX2000 catches up with full BD-Live support for movies with Internet features on an Ethernet connection and an SD card slot for playing the user's own content, including H.264 (AVCHD) videos. A flip-down front door is rare in the breed and keeps the design uncluttered either mid-movie or when it's not in use.
Toshiba started the week by revealing that it hopes to join the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). The company explained the move as a reaction to "recent growth" in the amount of hardware supporting Blu-ray along with high-enough demand from the public itself. If accepted, the Japanese firm plans to make both Blu-ray movie players, drives for computers and notebooks themselves using the large-capacity format.
Toshiba, which once vehemently defended the HD DVD high-definition format that eventually lost to Sony's prevailing Blu-ray, will soon release a Blu-ray player of its own, according to the Japanese paper Yomiuri. Toshiba should bring out its first Blu-ray player, likely in its home market of Japan initially, before 2010 rolls around. A Blu-ray recorder is also being considered for Japan, though there are no other details on this device.
Warner Bros. has launched a new trade-in program that allows owners of high-definition movies on the now-defunct HD DVD format to trade them in for the same title on the surviving Blu-ray format. Known as Red2blu, the promo lets owners trade up to 25 HD DVD titles produced by Warner for the same title on Blu-ray. A $4.95 charge applies to each movie, as well as the associated shipping and handling costs of $6.95 for each Blu-ray title.
CyberPower on Friday launched a duo of game PCs that all center on bundled GeForce 3D Vision glasses and Samsung's 120Hz, 22-inch 2233RZ LCD display needed to see the extra visual depth. They also both come with a GeForce GTS 250 video card that produces mid-range 3D capable of driving a stereoscopic 3D image.
Okoro Media Systems today signaled itself as one of the first home theater PC builders to use Intel's Core i7 platform for its systems. The TH550 as well as the GX100 and GX300 all use the new quad-core processors combined with faster video cards to produce systems that can both share content across multiple zones, including HD, and also play games on the same level as larger desktop PCs. Every model has dual analog and dual QAM digital tuners that let it pick up as many as four separate wired TV feeds; a separate over-the-air TV tuner catches free broadcasts.
Netflix recently informed its subscribers that, starting on December 15th, it would stop shipping movies on the HD DVD high-definition format. This is the final move in the company's backing of the winning HD format, Blu-ray, after Netflix announced back in February that it would stop purchasing movies recorded on the HD DVD format. In the letter to its subscribers, Netflix told them any current HD DVD title will be substituted with the same movie on standard DVD as of December 15th, making the transition seamless and not requiring them to take any actions.
Sony today reported that its profit had dropped approximately 47 percent in the spring quarter versus the same quarter a year ago, representing one of the company's steeper drops in recent history. The Japanese company chiefly attributes the company-controlled aspects of the shortfall to poor Sony Ericsson results, which saw the company's cellphone sales virtually flatten as customers turned away from its mid-range and high-end phones, which target the same camera and music fields as devices like Apple's iPhone, LG's Viewty, and Nokia's Nseries.
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Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX