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Sony PlayStation Network Online Gaming Fixed, Other Features to be restored

psnThe maker of the popular PlayStation gaming console, Sony Entertainment, has announced the company has begun restoring PlayStation Network features after the network was brought down by a sophisticated attack from a group of unidentified hackers.

Sony President, and Group Chief Executive Officer, Kazuo Hirai, made the announcement in a carefully crafted video message published earlier today.

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Microsoft Unveils New Windows Phone Features, Includes Fast App Switching, New APIs, More

The world’s largest software vendor, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), today showcased various new web technologies at the MIX11 tech conference in Las Vegas, but most notably, the company announced the newest forthcoming features of Windows Phone.

Microsoft largely focused on the developer side by showcasing a comprehensive look at the newest development platform codenamed Mango of Windows Phone. The upcoming version will include many new features, including both under-the-hood enhancements and improvements to the user interface of the platform.

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Sony Seeks Personal Information from Twitter, YouTube Users In PlayStation 3 Hack Case

The notorious 21-year old computer programmer from New Jersey, George Hotz, best known for being the first to crack Apple’s iOS iPhone to run homebrewed applications, is facing legal troubles after releasing a hack variation for Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming system.

At first believed to be un-crackable, programmers were finally able to crack the firmware of the four-year-old gaming console, allowing gamers to play pirated games, and to run homebrewed third party applications.

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Microsoft Bringing Silverlight to Xbox 360 in 2011

Microsoft Corporation will bring its popular web platform, Silverlight, to its Xbox 360 gaming console, according to a high-level positioned person at the company who is familiar with the matter that spoke on condition of anonymity because the details were not made public.

The company is building a team of developers who could develop a Silverlight version for the Xbox 360, which could be released some time around the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the source.

Our source says the reasoning behind the move is to better strategically position the gaming console from a possibly significant threat from Google’s Android powered TV set-top-box which will include various applications, including streaming movies, e-mail, the Google Chrome web browser, among other applications developed for Android.

The Silverlight platform, which could already be used by developers to create applications for the company’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system, would bring familiar applications already found on other platforms that use Silverlight, including your regular PC browser, to the Xbox 360 platform.

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Best Buy to expand video game trade-in program across North America

North America’s biggest consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy, today confirmed the company will allow consumers to trade in their video game titles for in-store credit in the form of gift cards, across all stores, starting sometime by the end of this summer.

We firstly reported on August 10 that Best Buy started this program as part of a pilot project in Salt Lake City in the United States that included kiosks in select stores in the area.

The company today confirmed it has plans to push the project across all Best Buy locations in the United States by the end of this summer, following with Canadian locations later on, likely by the end of the year.

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Microsoft Natal gaming system to launch this October

microsoft-natal-systemMicrosoft today confirmed the company would launch its Natal gaming platform that will bring Wii like games to the Xbox 360.

The Microsoft Natal system works as an USB add-on to the Xbox 360 and simply sits below your television set with the sensors pointing at the player.

The games would be played without any controller, but rather with player movement.

Additionally, the system is capable of scanning objects for use in actual games. For example, the design of an actual skateboard could be scanned by the system and used in a skateboarding game.

The system also offers new social networking features previously unavailable on the Xbox.

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Nintendo posts fair earnings as Wii demand slumps

nintendo-logoThe Japanese-based video game giant, Nintendo, published [PDF] fiscal earnings today, posting a decline in total profits and slumping sales of its hugely popular Nintendo Wii gaming platform.

Nintendo reported sales net of all charges of 1,434.3-billion yen, compared to $1,838,622 YoY. Operating profit in the period were 356.5-billion yen, with the company earning net income of 228.6-billion yen, compared to 279,089 YoY.

Total assets in the period as at March 31, 2010 were 1,760,986 yen, down 2.75-percent from the same period in 2009.

ROE for the year ended March 31, 2010 was 17.7-percent, down from 22.5-percent in the same period last year, while income per share dropped to 1,787-billion in 2010, down from 2,182-billion yen.

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Blockbuster says it could enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Blockbuster says it could enter bankruptcy protection, warns of declining sales and revenues

The video game and movie rental giant Blockbuster made interesting comments found in the latest 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today.

The company warned, “Over the next 12 to 18 months, we expect to continue facing the challenges of the macroeconomic environment, increased industry competition and fragmentation,”

Blockbuster recently has experienced a significant decline in total revenue as consumers shift to different more efficient and cost effective channels from competitors to get their movies.

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Electronic Arts reports massive Q3 loss

The top game-maker Electronic Arts posts Q3 loss, lowers future expected earnings

ea-sports-game-titlesNorth America’s largest game-maker, Electronic Arts, announced today Q3 2010 financial earnings, posting a significant $82-million ($0.25 per share) loss. The loss compares to a $641-million loss in the same period last year.

The company missed Wall Street expectations by reporting total revenue for the quarter at $1.243-billion, compared to $1.654-billion in Q3 2009, a year ago.

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Apple iPad: why you should/shouldn’t buy one

The long awaited Apple iPad finally debuts, but we’ll be waiting for the next-generation model

After speaking with a lot of people, I find there is still much ambiguity over the features of Apple’s latest creation, the iPad, and what the device is and is not capable of doing.

The iPad is also missing a camera, multi-tasking support, Flash support in Safari, and unfortunately, it’s limitations don’t stop there.

People that have used the iPad to demo a movies (with the 4:3 viewing ratio) argue the iPad would have been better in widescreen, making watching movies more enjoyable. But Apple wants you to use the device in any orientation as you choose, so making it widescreen might have been prohibitive in that regard.

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