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Blu-ray Movies Now Affordable. Players? Not So Much.

An Amazon promotion good through June 9 has over 100 Blu-ray movies in the $14 to $20 range (with many around $14-$15). I thought this would be a good time to revisit getting into Blu-ray. The last time I checked out Blu-ray pricing on Amazon (my quick and dirty benchmark), the Playstation 3 was still the best deal.

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Sony Thinks Blu-ray Will Sell Like DVD by End of 2008

Blu-raySony CEO Ryoji Chubachi knows something we don’t. At a press conference a few days ago, he pointed out Sony’s plan to increase Blu-ray market share to 50% by the end of the year. How is this possible you might ask? Well, apparently new Blu-ray devices to be offered by Sony will include a model integrated into an HD LCD TV with Blu-ray recording functionality.

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Dear Microsoft: Get Netflix on the Xbox 360 and I’ll Buy One

NetflixLast week plenty of rumors were floating around about a potential Microsoft / Netflix partnership. The announcement was supposedly going to happen during the keynote address (by Xbox Live exec John Schappert) at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco last Wednesday. The concept: make it so Netflix’s 7,000 available “Watch Instantly” movies would be viewed easily on your TV via the Xbox 360.

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PC Gaming Is Expensive and a Hassle, But I’m Lovin’ It

CrysisSo Paul’s latest comparison between PC and console gaming has created quite the firestorm. His financial analysis shows that console gaming is, in fact, cheaper even if plenty of commenters take issue with his assumptions.

But an important piece is missing from his analysis, which swings the vote even more so toward the console side: PC gaming is a huge hassle. This can’t easily be measured in dollars (hence the reason it’s left out of a financial analysis), but here’s my latest ridiculous example:

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Amazon Drops Price of HD DVD Player to $99, Upconvert DVD w/ Free Movies?

HD DVDFor anyone keeping score since Blu-ray won the next generation movie battle, HD DVD players are now $99. And that’s with 7 movies included. Considering these players also work well as upconvert DVD players (DVD players that convert and play regular DVDs at a slightly higher picture quality), in some ways, it’s actually the best deal on the market if you’re looking for a good DVD player.

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The New Format Wars: Forget About HD DVD & Blu-ray

HD DVD vs. Blu-rayOnce upon a time, earlier in the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray, supporters of each side loved to point out the major tech company backing each format to strengthen their positions. It made sense, after all, how could HD DVD fail if Microsoft was behind it? And, of course, Blu-ray would win if Apple was there beside it.

But then, neither company will be affected much if both formats eventually fail. And that’s because, in the end, both Microsoft and Apple minimized their involvement with either format. Continue Reading »

HD DVD’s New Feature: Watching Movies Together But Not In the Same Place

Harry Potter HD DVDPerhaps in an attempt to differentiate itself from Blu-ray, HD DVD tech wizards will launch the HD DVD version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with a new feature called “community screening.” The movie takes advantage of the fact that all HD DVD players are equipped with an Ethernet hookup (unlike Blu-ray, which has players that do not include network connectivity). “Community screening” is a way to watch a movie simultaneously with your friends while you’re each in the comfort of your own homes. Here’s how it works:

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PC Gaming Is For Fools, But I Still Love It

CrysisThis last week or so will likely be the most exciting this year for any avid PC gamer: both Crysis and Unreal Tournament III have been released (not to mention the latest in the Half-Life 2 saga). These are high adrenalin, action-packed first person shooters. Both are technical and artistic marvels (consisting of “next generation” graphics) all while being loads of fun to play.

Another game came out for the PC around the same time with slightly less elevated status (but still widely praised): Gears of War. It has been available on the Xbox 360 now for a year. But as I don’t own an Xbox 360, I picked up a copy for the PC last week. The only problem is, it didn’t (and still doesn’t) work at all. And I’m not alone. In one of the official forums for the game, there are 68 pages worth of gamers complaining about almost the same issue: the game locks up soon after first loading.

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