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Blu-ray movie releases for the week of Sept. 16th

It looks like Sony and the rest of the Blu-ray crew are ensuring our feelings aren't still hurt from that fiasco a few weeks ago as we're getting 13 titles to choose from this week.
  • Troy: Director's Cut
  • Smallville: The Complete Sixth Season
  • Alexander Revisted: The Final Cut
  • A Few Good Men
  • The Condemned
  • We Are Marshall
  • Deliverance
  • House of 1000 Corpses
  • Viva Las Vegas
  • The Best of Blu-ray, Vol. 1
  • The Best of Blu-ray, Vol. 2
  • The Best of Blu-ray, Vol. 3
  • Jailhouse Rock
Not only does this week's releases feature a great assortment of movies any guy would love, it also includes three volumes of The Best of Blu-ray, which feature four classic movies in each set. What really makes these collections great, though, is the incredible savings you get. Each set is currently on sale at $58 at Amazon - that's like getting two movies free!

The results are in: You embrace Blu-ray! (Some of you)

We decided it was time to take the Blu-ray inquiry out of limbo and officially close the poll. As you can see, over 1,400 readers had something to say about it. So, what do you think about Blu-ray? More than half of you embrace the strategic move by Sony to include the next-generation format in the new console. This speaks a lot to the kind of people we have interested in the system: those who opted for the first choice are willing to take the price spike for the new medium.

On the other end, over 30% said they should have the right to decide for themselves. Two versions of the console would cut the cost considerably, but leave Sony more vulnerable to HD-DVD by not smuggling Blu-ray in with every PS3.

At any rate, thanks for voting! And if you harbor a burning desire to know what the community here thinks and have an interesting question to ask the audience, let us know.

With our powers combined... Blu-ray + HD-DVD [UPDATED]

Some want it, others don't. Either way, Sony is going to get Blu-ray into your home one way or another. That's their plan anyway, thanks to the PlayStation 3. Like we've said before, it's not just about the games this time and Sony is in it for the long haul.

That's what makes this little bit of information so intriguing. What would happen if a Blu-ray partner like Samsung, who is technically not supposed to mess with HD-DVD, decides to foster a partnership with Toshiba in an attempt to make a hybrid player? Everyone is talking format wars with HD-DVD and Blu-ray going head-to-head. But what happens when you have a machine that can play both?

Having a dual-player would essentially take the "war" out of the formats. And with Sony trying to smuggle their medium into homes via the next-gen PlayStation, how is this move going to affect their strategy? It gets even more interesting with talks about making an HD-DVD/Blu-ray hybrid disc to go along with it. The kicker is this: Sony knows the PS3 is a good deal, as a Blu-ray platform, as they're trying to appeal to non-gamers with it as well. But would non-gamers still want to invest if they can have their cake and eat it too with a hybrid machine that can play both formats?

[UPDATE: Well, looks like you can cut through this rumor like a knife through warm butter. Check this out for the skinny on the mess. So all of the above is more of a hypothetical scenario. Yeah, that's it-]

Reminder: Vote on Blu-ray and the PS3!

Here's a friendly reminder to check out the poll asking "What do you think about the PlayStation 3 and Blu-ray?" We have had over a thousand people cast their thoughts. Can you guess what the popular choice is?

The results may surprise you (or at least a certain audience). Visit the link to see the results up to this point and vote if you haven't already done so. We'll be closing the poll at the end of this week, so hop to it. Another reminder: it's not quite scientifically indicative yet... but we're working on it.

And Sony's two biggest mistakes are...

It's not hard to discredit a large company that is having such a hard time in bridging the gap for something like the next-gen console race. Think of it like kicking a dog when it's down. Many people have stepped up to proclaim what they believe Sony's biggest mistakes are.

This particular instance comes from Guardian Unlimited and the writer catches two potentially crippling moves that will make or break the console. For starters, it's the design. Sony is wanting to move a console that dwarfs anything we've seen up to this point (and that includes the original Xbox). Size aside, the author says that by marketing a console that includes technology which is expensive to reproduce and ahead of cost-effective PC technology, they are driving away their customers.

Of course that's the idea here isn't it? Sony is trying to out-pace the technology to get it into people's homes at an early rate. This will work for some people, mind you, and that's what they're hoping for. However, the article continues with the claim that by smuggling Blu-ray in with the console, they could be acting too soon. It's not an established format, after all, so why try to force it on people? When it all comes down to it, the PS3 will sink or swim based on what the people want. It won't be long until we find out which one the people choose.

Pressures to deliver Gran Turismo HD demo

Imagine you're in one of the most premier developing houses around, and you've suddenly been asked to ensure the showing of a historically impressive franchise at the biggest videogame gathering in the world. And you've got three weeks to do it.

This is what was going through Polyphony Digital's Kazunori Yamauchi when he was personally asked by Ken Kutaragi to have something ready for E3 concerning Gran Turismo. So with three weeks to go before the big event, the staff set to work. The magic happened thanks to hi-res car models from the Photo Mode in Gran Turismo 4.

Now if only every developer had that kind of work ethic (Duke Nukem Forever anyone?).

Should Blu-ray have been optional?

This is the question posed by the lengthy Ars editorial. The author opens it up with the angle on the current console race and how it differs from generations in the past. The big difference this time is, of course, the medium and formats.

But the big picture here is simple: should Sony have made their Blu-ray component an option for the PS3? Much in the same way Microsoft planned to make HD-DVD an add-on to the Xbox 360, Sony could have gotten away with doing the exact same with Blu-ray. Costs would have been lower and delays would have been shorter.

We all know how hard they're pushing for the adopting of the format though, so that would have essentially changed the console's very strategy. The article also suggests that by bundling the player with the system, Sony could have secured a spot in the future with stronger sales. But the issue rears its ugly head when faced with the reality that time will be the only way to tell if that move will pay off. Read on for more, including a hypothetical analysis of how much the PS3 would be without it.

Blu-ray is very important for gamers

This is what UK boss Ray Maguire has to say about it anyway. Many gamers may have been bemoaning the steep cost of the PS3 due to the Blu-ray component, but he comes at it from a different angle.

With the huge requirements of the Cell processor come bigger requirements in the media on which games will need to be stored. This is why, according to Maguire, the Blu-ray discs are a must-have for next-gen games. Thanks to the 50GB of storage, people won't be having to change discs in the middle of loading (which is apparently what we'd have to do he says). While this is spot-on for more content, it means that developers are going to need to deliver on that proclamation for quantity and quality.

By adopting this high definition medium, they hope to "legitimize" the HD era where it counts most: in your home.

Cheaper PS3 loses HDMI, slots, Wi-Fi, 40GB

As you can see above, there are a few things different between the two PS3 SKUs planned. (Hint: the obvious alterations concern high-def output and wireless connectivity -- though Bluetooth controllers should work just fine with both, with or without any chrome case highlighting.)

So what's HDMI, built-in multimedia card-reader slots, wireless internet connectivity, and an extra 40 gigabytes' hard disk space worth to you? $100? Now that Sony's gone with the 2-SKU approach with its next-gen hardware (a la the Xbox 360's premium and "Core" systems), we can expect some tough consumer choices after six months -- with console shortages possibly for another six months after that -- as $100 separates the base $499 and premium $599 versions of Sony's "Clear Black" hope.

HDMI is important to those who want to take full advantage of Blu-ray high def and have the new screens to use it; MemoryStick, SD, and CompactFlash slots would be nice for the PS3 memory-card users and those will run multimedia on the system; Wi-Fi's the only way to avoid stringing ethernet cables for online access; and 360 owners might appreciate the full 60GB available to potential buyers of the premium PS3 model. Neither model comes with a second HDMI port; thankfully, one should hopefully be all most users need. The details are laid out in a feature-comparison table at the end of Sony's official PS3 hardware press release, available in both Adobe Reader and Microsoft Word formats. Determine what's most important to your PS3 ambitions there.

[Image pieced together from the forums; thanks, Guru]

Virtua Fighter 5 only for PS3 next spring

There was a time when Virtua Fighter 5 was considered a strong candidate for an arcade port to the Xbox 360, but that multiplatform hope's been dashed with the official announcement that VF5 will appear only on PS3 in the spring of 2007. Sega's technical fighter is a Sony exclusive once more.

While home-console online play remains doubtful at this point, next-gen PlayStation owners can now securely look forward to facing off as El Blaze and Eileen (the new luchador and monkey kung-fu artist, respectively) along with the other 15 fighters, decked out in all sorts of items purchased in the in-game store with prize money earned through in-game matches.

VF5 will support up to 720p HD resolution and will be featured in game footage in the SEGA booth at E3 (South Hall, Booth #946) later this week.

[Thanks, Matt; also via Joystiq]


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