Toshiba: HD-DVD sells more than Blu-ray, more laughing at Sony

Toshiba HD-DVD

One of technology’s more heated battles is between the HD-DVD and Blu-ray storage formats, a rivalry comparable to Windows/Linux/Mac, UT/Quake 3 and Sony/Microsoft. The latest strike has been made, and Toshiba reports that HD-DVD is in the lead!

HD-DVD players began to outsell Blu-ray ones since about mid-September, according to NPD sales figures. Jodi Sally, Toshiba VP for marketing of digital A/V products said that year to date, according to NPD figures, HD DVD players command 53% of sales; Blu-ray players, 44%; dual format players, 3%. The lead may sound marginal, but it may just herald a dark future for Blu-ray.

Sony managed to woo many customers to their camp of evil when they released a cheaper version of Blu-ray players, and attained a status of absolute win. Sally says that the victory was short-lived and that HD-DVD still dominates the scene. Sony can be seen crying in that corner again, like last week (or the week before).

And as for the PC, Toshiba expects 5 million HD-DVD drives to be sold in the fiscal year 2008.  With this, they seek to compete further against the atrocities of Sony’s Blu-ray. What is Toshiba’s master plan?

Toshiba believes more people are buying PC HD DVD drives with the pure intention to watch high-def movies than people who are buying the PS3. Sources have estimated that just 20% of PS3 owners have played movies on the machine.

Where will war turn next? Will Blu-ray strike back? Will Toshiba merge with Sony to form the Imperial Japanese Electronics corporations and attack American shores? We can only hope wait.

[Via Video Business]

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Rumor: New PS3 Model to Be Priced at $400

The PS3

Rumors are running a muck over the supposed release of a newer, cheaper, and slimmer PS3 model. Apparently, the new model will contain a 40 gig hard drive and will only cost $400. This is all according to Ars Technica’s mole who seems to be a very reliable source, previously reporting the addition of HDMI ports to the 360 and the the wireless/wired controllers for 360/PS3 versions of Rock Band (respectively). According to the mole, the 80 gig model will be dropped to $500, the new 40 gig model will be priced at $400, and the good ol’ PS2 will be priced at $99. In addition, a Blu-ray version of Spider-Man 3 will come with the purchase of any PS3, or at least with one of the models.

To fuel the flames of this rumor, Sony has filed information about a new PS3 model – CECHG01 – with the FCC and (as you can see in the post below) has announced that there will be a big announcement on October 12th. Could this be the new 40 gig PS3?

A $400 PS3 is exactly what Sony needs to get back on it’s feet. It would put the PS3 within a competitive pricing range of the 360. If they can manage to release some more good games for their console, this could be Sony’s saving grace.

Ah, but take this all with a grain of salt. In fact, take it with an ounce of salt. These are just rumors at this time. Hopefully, for any PS3 fans, they are true. Sony’s big announcement is in only 12 days so that’s all you have to wait to find out.
Well, see you then.

-Burbank

HD-DVD Wins!

In a surprising turn of events Paramount Pictures has come out and said they will release titles on HD-DVD exclusively! This is huge considering the mega Transformers movie will be arriving on the HD format very soon. Kelley Avery, president of Paramount Home Entertainment, said that the reason why Paramount decided to exclusively release movies onto HD-DVD instead of Blu-Ray is because of HD-DVDs better quality and lower cost. Blades of Glory and Transformers will arrive on HD-DVD this Fall as the first batch of titles.

Dreamworks will also be using HD-DVD as their exclusive format and will be releasing Shrek the Third this Fall as well. Other related studios to use HD-DVD in this announcement are Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films. However Steven Spielberg’s movies will not be exclusive to HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. Considering how anti-HD Spielberg is to begin with it’s not that surprising.

Xbox 360 HD-DVD

So far Blu-Ray discs have been outselling HD-DVD because Blu-Ray has the higher install base as PS3’s are also Blu-Ray players. On the other hand the cheapest HD-DVD player is the add-on for the Xbox 360 which hasn’t sold spectacularly yet.

Looking at Fall’s HD disc lineup for Blu-Ray the major two titles are Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean 3.

If HD-DVD does not meet or surpass Blu-Ray sales this Holiday season, studios could begin to question the future of the format. For consumers waiting to adopt a HD format things have just gotten a little crazier.

I own the HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360, but I haven’t bought a HD movie since I purchased the unit. I can’t tell a huge difference between HD titles and regular DVDs so why pay the extra money per disc? The huge advantage to this next-gen formats is with box sets. Now you’ll be able to fit more hours of content onto a single disc which makes viewing extra features better for everyone.

Blu-Ray is here to stay because Sony is using it on the PS3. As long as the PS3 is bought by consumers, Blu-Ray will always have a stake in this war. If Microsoft truly wants HD-DVD to win they will have to integrate it with the system. I think Microsoft will release this combo system next year if HD-DVD can survive this Holiday season.

[Via Reuters]

Metal Slug Anthology (+)

A compilation of the Megal Slug arcade series.

One of the great things that the Wii offers is its retro gaming with the Virtual Console. If you love the games on the Virtual Console or just in general like old-school arcade games, pick up Metal Slug Anthology! Not only does this game offer you six different ways to control your character, but it also packages in seven Metal Slug games! Even if you’ve played Metal Slug in the arcades you’ve never experienced it quite like this.

The objective in all Metal Slug games is simple: go from beginning side of the level to the end of it. Fight variety of enemies such as soldiers, mummies, undead, and terrorists. Throughout this game you’ll be dieing over and over. Unlike in the arcade, the Wii version allows you to respawn over and over again. You don’t have to insert more coins, simply press continue and let the mayhem keep on rolling.

It’s amazing to see what the Wii controller allows developers to do and Metal Slug Anthology is a prime example of how the Wii-mote can be used in different ways to simulate similar gameplay. While none of the control schemes work perfectly, it is fun to try them all out. The most difficult of all of these controls  Wii-mote and nunchuk, nunchuck only, tilt Wii-mote, Wii-mote, arcade, and Gamecube controller – is the arcade mode. It’s hard to emulate the feel of a joystick by holding the Wii-mote vertical. After a while it hurts your hands.

The 2D graphics aren’t comparable by today’s standards. When they are blown up on any big screen TV they just look nasty. Thankfully though it is still easy to see all of the action on screen. The blood that spews from enemies as you shot them or cut them with your knife is graphically speaking the best part.

There is co-op which allows for at least some replay value. The unlockables, music tracks and concept artwork, aren’t worthwhile though. For seven games Metal Slug Anthology is worth at least a rent. Since all the games were built for the arcades, the gameplay offered in them doesn’t last that long. But again if you like old-school games Metal Slug Anthology is a must buy.