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Xbox cops another loss

Third quarter results for software giant Microsoft have shown that revenues from the division responsible for the Xbox console rose significantly, but the business still made a $209m loss in the three month period. Revenue from the Xbox operations was up by some $81m for the three months ended 31 March, with the bulk of that …
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Ilkka Raiskinen on N-Gage, and more

As Finnish mobile communications giant Nokia unveils the second generation of N-Gage hardware, GI.biz's Rob Fahey speaks to Nokia's head of games, Ilkka Raiskinen, about the company's plans for the future - and lessons from the past year. You might reasonably expect Raiskinen to be somewhat guarded around the games press. It's …
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Grey stage set for UK PS2 price war

A significant unofficial drop in PlayStation 2 hardware and software prices has kicked off in the UK fuelled by the Caldwell Group-backed distributor 20:20, which is causing consternation within Sony after it recently began offering "grey" PS2 imports to retailers, along with the option of several software bundles. 20:20 …
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Coming soon: the Wi-Fi PSP and PS2

Wireless networking is set to form a key part of Sony's grand plan for its next-generation hardware, gi.biz has learned, with the company's vision of the future banking heavily on the proliferation of high-speed wireless hotspots in the home and in public places. It's already well known that the PlayStation Portable will …
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Sony talks up PS3

Sony is planning to diversify its PlayStation product family significantly in the coming years, with the company set to show a remodelled PS2 at E3 next month and multiple versions of the PS3 on the horizon. Speaking in an interview on an official Sony website - which has now been pulled, and was apparently made public in error …
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UK Xbox price cut? Wait and see

Although a price cut in Australia has followed yesterday's cuts in North America for the Xbox console, Microsoft UK has no imminent plans to change its pricing here - with the company adopting a "wait and see approach" on future cuts. That’s the word from a senior industry source close to Microsoft, who told GamesIndustry.biz …
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US Xbox price cut to $149

Microsoft has slashed the price of the Xbox in America to $149 in a move which will take effect as of tomorrow, while certain evidence suggests that the cut may also be extended to other territories. The price of the Xbox will drop to CA$199.99 in Canada, marking a similar reduction to the US price cut, while a steeper drop …
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Infinium Labs countersues HardOCP

Florida-based broadband console proponent Infinium Labs has finally instigated a lawsuit against technology news website HardOCP in response to the latter's pre-emptive suit filed in Texas recently. The escalating legal battle is over a HardOCP article last September which profiled Infinium's CEO Tim Roberts and delved - in a …
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No mobile console for Microsoft

Microsoft's global head of game content Peter Moore has ruled out the possibility of the company launching a mobile games console to compete with PSP or GBA. Speaking the Game Developers Conference, Moore confirmed that although the company will continue to support game developers working on its mobile operating systems - which …
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MS unwraps XNA for games developers

Microsoft yesterday used the GDC conference to launch a development platform called XNA. This will roll out across all future game platforms - including Xbox consoles and Windows PCs. The initiative is aimed at providing a common environment for game development on all of the platforms with which Microsoft is involved, ranging …
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Nintendo UK launches £10m voucher promo

Nintendo is planning an Easter promotion which will see purchasers of a new GameCube or Game Boy Advance console during April getting a free £250 book of vouchers redeemable against a variety of Nintendo and third-party products. Included in the vouchers is a £20 discount against another Nintendo console, along with individual …
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Sony ‘confirms’ 2004 PSX European launch

Sony confirmed today that it is pushing to release PSX in Europe this year, just as the console prepares to make its European debut at CeBIT. "We can confirm that SCEE will be handling the sales and marketing for PSX," a Sony spokesperson told gi.biz this morning. "We are looking to launch it before the end of this year and …
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Leaked Nintendo DS specs reveal touch screen, Wi-Fi, 3D graphics

A document leaked onto the Internet purporting to be a full specification for Nintendo's forthcoming DS handheld includes a touch panel input device, 802.11 wireless LAN support and a 3D graphics system. The one-page specification summary, written entirely in Japanese, also provides further confirmation of many things we …
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No Xbox 2 revelations at GDC

Reports suggest that Xbox Next's hardware will not be unveiled at the forthcoming Game Developers' Conference. Microsoft's chief Xbox officer, Robbie Bach, will take to the stage at the GDC on 24 March to discuss the new console - but may limit himself to games and some technical aspects of its format. The suggestion comes …
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HardOCP takes big stick to Infinium

News website HardOCP has filed a legal action against broadband console proponent Infinium Labs, in a move which it says is aimed at "clearing the air" following a number of demands and threats made by Infinium in the past weeks. Lawyers acting for KB Networks, the company which owns HardOCP, have based a legal action on the …
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Sony confirms PSP to PS2 game portability

The PlayStation Portable will allow developers to create games that can be played both on the move and on a home PS2 or PSX console, Sony has confirmed - but the emphasis will be on new titles, not on ports of existing games. Speaking with Mainichi Shimbun in Japan, Sony's CEO in charge of marketing, Fumiya Takeno, said that …
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EA president piles into N-Gage

Electronic Arts president and COO John Riccitiello has described Nokia's N-Gage system as a "dog" and further stated that software shipments on it have been "non-meaningful". "When I picked that thing up I knew it was a dog - it just feels stupid," Riccitiello told news agency Reuters in an interview last week, before …
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Sony delays US, Euro PlayStation Portable launch

The Japanese launch is still on track for the end of this year, but the PSP will not appear in North America or European before the end of the Sony's 2005 fiscal year, which ends 31 March, 2005. At SCEA's Destination PlayStation conference, the following statement emerged from the company: "We have received an overwhelming …
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Nokia 'fesses up to poor N-Gage sales

Nokia has given the first official indication that sales of the N-Gage game deck are not living up to expectations, but says that the platform must be given until November 2005 to prove itself. "The sales are in the lower quartile of the bracket we had as our goal," Nokia chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila, told the Financial Times …
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PS2 dominates January UK hardware sales

Post-Christmas sales helped demand for the main three consoles jump by over nine per cent, according to the latest figures released by ChartTrack, but sale pricing meant that the value of the market was down. An estimated total of 18,000 more consoles sold in the five weeks to 31 January, compared to the same period last year, …
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Infinium Labs gets litigious with HardOCP

The company behind the forthcoming Phantom game platform, Infinium Labs, has stated that it may file a lawsuit against news website HardOCP over an article in September 2003 which cast doubt on the firm's real intentions. The article revealed details of Infinium founder Tim Roberts' business background, including the bankruptcy …
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MS kills Mythica MMORPG

Microsoft Game Studios last week cancelled MMORPG Mythica, "based on a careful evaluation of the competitive MMORPG landscape". An MGS spokesperson said that the publisher had two multiplayer titles in development - Mythica and another, as-yet unannounced project - and didn't want the bother of eventually maintaining two in an …
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Infinium Labs names key executives

Following on from the recent appointment of Kevin Bachus as president, Infinium Labs has announced three new executive hires, along with the opening of an office in Seattle. A Los Angeles office is planned shortly. The three new faces on the senior management team are Rich Skoba, executive VP for sales and business development …
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Microsoft confirms ‘crystal’ Xbox

Plans to launch a new "crystal" limited edition version of the Xbox console in Europe in the next few months have been confirmed by Microsoft, which has also announced that a new Xbox Live bundle will be available later this month. As reported last week, the new limited edition pack - which is the second of its type to be …
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Key US retailer drops N-Gage from 450 stores

Major US retailer GameStop has announced that it is to stop selling Nokia's N-Gage game deck 450 of its stores, representing almost a third of its retail outlets, with the remaining inventory being moved to other stores. Although GameStop is relocating the inventory rather than ditching the product entirely, the news still …
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To Infinium and beyond: Kevin Bachus talks Phantom

Following his surprise appointment as the president of Infinium Labs, Kevin Bachus spoke candidly with GamesIndustry.biz in this exclusive interview about the controversial company and its plans for the Phantom game service. Launching a videogame console into the market for the first time is a fraught process for any company, …
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Sony preps PSX update as retailers criticise marketing

The first in a series of free software upgrades for the recently launched PSX media centre is set to arrive in Japan at the beginning of February - but retailers in Japan are reported to be highly critical of the system's performance so far. This first update, which restores much of the functionality that was removed from the …
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Italian court rules mod chips legal

A court in Italy has dealt a major blow to the efforts of the platform holders to crack down on mod chips, ruling that PS2 mod chip devices are designed to "avoid monopolistic positions." The case was brought over a seizure of modded PlayStation 2s by the Italian authorities some days previously, with the court deciding that …
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December bonanza for Game Cube sales

Nintendo came out on top in the crucial December sales period last year, according to the Japanese company, with a massive 70 per cent year on year increase in worldwide sales of the GameCube console. The company believes that price cuts in all three major territories were a major factor in the turnaround of the console's …
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New PSP spec to feature 32Mb of RAM

Rumours circulating in the game development community suggest that Sony is set to upgrade the specification for the PlayStation portable to feature 32Mb of RAM - bringing the system closer in line with the PS2. It emerged last autumn that the Japanese giant was considering increasing the main memory capacity of the device, …
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Microsoft pushes for a million Xbox Live users

Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach has announced that Microsoft hopes to have one million Xbox Live users by June this year - but new plans from Sony may give the PS2 an innovative edge in the online gaming arena. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, Bach stated that Xbox Live is the "largest paid content service in the world …
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So how much will the Sony games handheld cost?

New comments made by recently promoted Sony Europe president Chris Deering regarding the PlayStation Portable have hinted at a price point in the £250 range, while Japanese retail sources quote figures in a similar range. Deering stated that the system would diverge from Sony's traditional console business model by being sold …
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Sony pencils November for PSP global launch

Newly-promoted Sony Europe boss Chris Deering has revealed that the company is planning to roll out the PlayStation Portable worldwide by the end of the year, with a global launch aimed in November 2004. In an interview with official site PlayStation.com, Deering said that there was no official date for the unveiling of the …
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Haitians seek Vice City ban

The row between publisher Take Two Interactive and Haitian civil rights groups in the United States has escalated further, with a lawsuit being filed in Florida seeking an outright ban on the sale of GTA Vice City. The legal action comes despite a move by Take Two last month to placate the Haitian groups by removing …
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PSX rolls out in Japan, but analysts disappointed

PSX, Sony's integrated games console, DVD recorder and digital video recorder, has arrived in Japan, but analysts now seem unconvinced by the machine following the company's decision to scale back its specifications. Speaking to the Associated Press, analyst Kazumasa Kubota of Okasan Securities described the system as a " …
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Microsoft wants non-standard media for Xbox 2?

A job advertisement posted on Microsoft's careers website suggests that the company may be considering moving to a proprietary disc format for its next console, in an effort to make piracy on the device more difficult. According to the ad, Microsoft's Xbox team is seeking an engineer "to manage the design and development of the …
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Sony and Toshiba close to sampling Cell technology

Trial runs of the advanced semiconductor manufacturing process which will eventually create the much-vaunted Cell microprocessor are set to start at Toshiba's fabrication plant in March next year. According to a statement from Sony and Toshiba issued today, work on the 65nm chip production technology - which is more advanced …
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Sony ponders PlayStation Portable spec change

A presentation from the SCEE Technology Group has revealed further details of how the PlayStation Portable will work, but developers claim that Sony is considering changing the spec of the device to add more memory. The presentation gave developers an introduction to the PSP concept and hardware, explaining the specifications …
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Sony drops PSX features to meet Xmas launch date

A number of features have been dropped from the original specification of the PSX home media centre - a move which Sony claims is necessary in order to launch the system before Christmas. The PSX, which is set to launch in Japan on 13 December, features DVD playback and recording abilities, a hard drive video recorder, a …
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PlayStation 3 ‘concept image’ hits web

A picture purporting to be concept art of Sony's next-generation console, the PlayStation 3, has been circulated on the Internet, showing a sleek silver console with a slot-loading DVD drive. So, is this an early glimpse of the future of console entertainment? We have our doubts, since although we've been unable to confirm …
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Xbox makes gains as Japanese price cut bites

Microsoft's Xbox has had its most successful week to date this year in Japan, capturing almost seven per cent market share following a price cut to the hardware and the launch of a Project Gotham Racing 2 bundle deal. Although that market share still represents well under 8000 units sold in total, it's still a massive gain for …
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Nokia N-Gage tops mobile game download chart

Sales of downloadable mobile games to N-Gage users have outstripped sales to Nokia 3510i users by eight per cent despite a huge disparity in the installed base for the devices, according to UK mobile game retailer mProvision. The company, which operates mobile gaming portals ngagegames.co.uk and mynokiagames.co.uk, says that …
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Next-gen console unveilings in spring '04?

A number of Internet news sites have claimed that Microsoft and Sony will take the wraps off their next generation console offerings at events next spring - but what exactly might be shown is not discussed. Rumour reporting site C&VG was first out of the blocks with a story stating that Microsoft will show its next console, …
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Final iQue details emerge from China

Further information regarding Nintendo's latest console, the iQue, has emerged from China, including details of the software which will ship with the system and a revised price point. The device, which is due to launch before the end of the year in Shanghai, with other regions of China to follow later, is effectively a Nintendo …
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Revealed: US console installed base figures

The release of Activision's financial results yesterday brought with it a helpful breakdown of the installed bases of the various consoles in North America, including projections through to the end of financial year 2003/04. As you might expect, the PlayStation 2 dominates the proceedings, with a current installed base of 19.2 …
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Nintendo resumes production of GameCube

GameCube consoles are once again rolling off the production lines in Japan as global demand for the system finally outstrips the backlog of units which had built up at Nintendo's warehouses. Recent price-drops combined with the roll-out of key software titles for the machine in all three major markets have given the GameCube …
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Nokia pleased with N-Gage, but there's ‘a lot to do’

Almost exactly a month after Nokia's N-Gage launched worldwide, a senior company staffer has stated that it is "pretty pleased" with customer reaction to the device, but that there's much to be done if it's to meet expectations. Speaking at a conference in New York, Nokia's general manager for entertainment and media in North …
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Sony sued by US university over PS2 chip tech

The University of Wisconsin Madison has filed a suit against Sony and Toshiba, claiming that technology being used in the creation of the PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine processor infringes a patent which was filed by the university in 1986. Little information about the lawsuit or the patent it deals with is available at the …
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Nokia figures claim massive N-Gage sales

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia has released its first set of sales figures for the N-Gage since the device launched earlier this month, claiming that the device sold some 400,000 units worldwide during its first two weeks on sale. These figures paint a completely different picture to those published by independent market …
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Dismal first week for N-Gage, say games retailers

Figures from videogame retailers around the UK are showing an extremely low sell-through of Nokia's new N-Gage game deck in its launch week, with fewer than 500 units sold by the 6000 game stores polled by Chart-Track. Although these figures don't include sales from mobile phone stores, which might well be expected to shift a …