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To Infinium and beyond: Kevin Bachus talks Phantom

Interview 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 …