Paramount and DreamWorks Animation Each Declare Exclusive Support for HD DVD

Paramount and DreamWorks Animation Each Declare Exclusive Support for HD DVD

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20 — Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) and DreamWorks Animation SKG (NYSE: DWA), each announced today that they will exclusively support the next-generation HD DVD format on a worldwide basis. The exclusive HD DVD commitment will include all movies distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films, as well as movies from DreamWorks Animation, which are distributed exclusively by Paramount Home Entertainment.

The companies each said that the decision to distribute exclusively in the HD DVD format resulted from an extensive evaluation of current market offerings, which confirmed the clear benefits of HD DVD, particularly its market-ready technology and lower manufacturing costs. Paramount Home Entertainment will launch its exclusive HD DVD program with the release of the blockbuster comedy hit “Blades of Glory” on August 28th and follow with two of the biggest grossing movies of the year “Transformers” and “Shrek the Third”. These three titles alone represent more than $1.5 billion in box office ticket sales worldwide.

“The combination of Paramount and DreamWorks Animation brings a critical mass of current box office hits to consumers with a line-up of live action and animated films that are perfect for HD DVD,” stated Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, which is currently the leading studio in domestic box office. “Part of our vision is to aggressively extend our movies beyond the theater, and deliver the quality and features that appeal to our audience. I believe HD DVD is not only the affordable high quality choice for consumers, but also the smart choice for Paramount.”

“We decided to release “Shrek the Third” and other DreamWorks Animation titles exclusively on HD DVD because we believe it is the best format to bring high quality home entertainment to a key segment of our audience — families,” stated DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We believe the combination of this year’s low-priced HD DVD players and the commitment to release a significant number of hit titles in the fall makes HD DVD the best way to view movies at home.”

With the rapid increase of HD TV screens in households, and audiences wanting to enjoy the total entertainment experience, HD DVD has emerged as the most affordable way for consumers to watch their movies in high definition. In addition to pristine quality, HD DVD also offers consumers the chance to personalize the movie-watching experience, to interact with their movies and even to connect with a community of other fans.

Paramount Home Entertainment will issue new releases day and date as well as catalog titles exclusively on HD DVD. Today’s announcement does not include films directed by Steven Spielberg as his films are not exclusive to either format.

To Paramount and DreamWorks SKG – Regarding the decision by Paramount Pictures and co. to release movies exclusively on HD DVD: You have made a terrible mistake. The only possible reason to do this would be money. The $150 Million that you all profited from this will eventually come to nothing.

Target is only selling Blu-Ray players, Blockbuster will only rent Blu-Ray movies and current market sales indicate that Blu-Ray outsells HD DVD 2:1. Myself and many hundreds of thousands of others will never invest in HD-DVD, and many have stopped buying normal DVDs altogether. Therefore, their $1.5 billion in ticket sales will be released on a format that 2 out of every 3 Hi-Def consumers will never purchase.

Thank you Paramount and DreamsWorks for taking away many movies that I would have otherwise enjoyed watching on Blu-Ray, such as “Transformers”, “Iron-Man”, and many more. I will not be buying or renting these on DVD. All they have done is to prolong a dispute that should have ended by now between the competing formats. Had they gone Blu-Ray exclusive, they would have made much more money not only in the short term, but also in the long run.

There are rumors of a $150 million payout by the HD-DVD consortium to nab the Viacom exclusivity, which sure would help explain the move more than the officially given reasons despite all market data showing Blu-Ray gaining market share over the HD video market.

Everyone needs to band together and send as much mail to them as possible regarding their poor decision. They do not supply an email address, they only accept snail mail. I’ve written to Paramount in the past and this is the address I have:

Paramount Home Entertainment
5555 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA

I received a response from them when I wrote about another matter. If anyone has a different address then add it to the comment box.



Translation: Playstation 3’s management is retarded.

Below is an article that sheds light on their recent retardation:

Sony to Discontinue 60GB Playstation 3

By Philip Silva

Fans of the Playstation 3 that wants to get the game console after the price drop should probably do so now. Only days after announcing a price drop on its 60 GB Playstation 3 console, an interview with the head of Sony Computer Entertainment International, Kaz Hirai, by a Norwegian game news outlet VGTV, revealed that Sony will be discontinuing the 60 GB Playstation 3.

At the recently concluded E3 Media and Business Summit, there was an initial confusion surrounding the price drop of the 60GB Playstation 3. Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced last Monday that it would be dropping the price of the 60 GB Playstation 3 then in an interview with gamespot, David Reeves, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe said that the price drop was merely a markdown of a model which has been discontinued. Hours later, a Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesperson said that what the press quoted from Reeves was not accurate.

The issue finally became clear in Hirai’s interview with the Norwegian game site. In the interview, he was quoted as saying, “From a hardware perspective, the $499 price adjustment we did for the 60GB version for the American market, we’re no longer in production for that product. Once that product is gone from the retailer shelves, then we’re back to a $599 SKU only, so it’s not like we have a two-price strategy in the US market. We found out very early on how consumers react to having just one SKU as opposed to two.”

The Sony Playstation 3 was at first available in the US in two models, the 20 GB model and the 60 GB model. The 20 GB Playstation 3 was then discontinued last April 2007 because there was no demand for it.

In the interview, Hirai said that Sony has still no plans to adjust the price of the Playstation 3 in other territories.

In the follow-up interview of gamespot, Dave Karraker, Sony Computer Entertainment America Senior Director of corporate communications has then confirmed the discontinuance but said that the 60 GB Playstation 3 will be available in North America for $499 until supplies last. He said that the company still has enough inventory in North America to last for several months to come.

Critics had said that the promotion of the $499 price drop and then not announcing the discontinuance amounted to bait. Karraker responded by saying that this was not “bait and switch” but they are offering the Playstation 3 at a lower price for months to come to allow consumers the opportunity to acquire the model at an adjusted price.


Kaz Hirai Interview, URL: (
GameSpot Rumor Control. URL: (;story;4)

Goddammit, the idiots selling the “PSTriple” have done it this time.  They first denied there was a price drop for the 60GB model like the Rape of Nanking when retailers such as Target, Sears and even Circuit City confirmed there was a price cut based on their leaked in-store marketing and print ads.

Next thing we know, Sony’s stock is taking a hit on the financial markets as a result of the news, which analysts predicted months before Sony made the move and it was also interpreted as a severe weakness on Sony’s inability to move their PS3 consoles to end users.

While many kids were rushing to their local Best Buys or Sears to buy the discounted PSTriple (including my friend), journalists covering E3 learned that it was not really a price drop but just a move to clear out a discontinued model to make way for the new 80GB PS3 containing software-based backward compatibility, which will now be the one and only Playstation 3 available on the world market.  Way to go on the “bait and switch” Sony!

Well, it’s always great to know that my 60GB PS3 with an emotion engine is now an obsolete piece of hardware.  Maybe it’s time I treat it more as a cheap blu-ray player with wireless Internet access.  Good thing I pre-ordered 300 for blu-ray and downloaded all the upscaling firmware updates so I can watch my DVDs in sharper resolutions.

The supposed price drop didn’t go too well with most of Sony’s major developers either.  SquareEnix was quoted as being unimpressed with the price drop while the head of Konami said it was not enough and implied MGS4 may no longer be a PSTriple-exclusive because of the console’s piss-poor sales.

On  the other hand, Nintendo had a strong E3 showing with the introduction of WiiFit, and Super Mario Galaxy, which seems to indicate that the company is positioning their modified GameCube as both a lifestyle machine to appeal to non-gamers and as a second console to supplement existing Microsoft Xbox360 users (sorry Sony).  It’s just times like these that I wished I had invested in Nintendo stock during the summer of 2006 and pre-ordered a Wii on instead of saving up for a PSTriple that was riddled with problems.

Sony’s E3, on the other hand, was lacking compared to Nintendo.  Although this year’s conference did not have any embarrassing soundbytes involving “Giant enemy crabs”, “$599”, or even “massive damage”, it really didn’t impress me at all.  Sure, they announced a revised PSP, which looked basically the same as the original that’s being crushed by the DS; some games that are also available on the 360; continued support for the PS2 (since it’s their only strong point right now); and the 80GB PSTriple but none of this was really impressive since it was predictable.  Besides, Microsoft managed to steal Sony’s thunder by nabbing exclusives while Nintendo kept it fun and simple through their innovations.  It was also noticeable to see Hirai Kazuo lose much of his American mannerisms and accent from last year after returning to Japan to replace Kutaragi Ken.

The End of the Playstation Era Over for Father Of The PlayStation
Evelyn M. Rusli, 04.26.07, 4:34 PM ET

Ken Kutaragi, the father of the PlayStation, stepped down as head of Sony Computer Entertainment on Thursday, falling victim to the disappointing sales of the PlayStation 3 and rising tensions between the executive and Sony Corp.’s top brass.

In an upbeat statement, the company announced that Kutaragi would stay on as an honorary chairman and senior technology adviser, while Kazuo Hirai, the current president of the key unit, would take his place as CEO and chairman.

“I am happy to graduate from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.” said Kutaragi. “It has been an exciting experience to change the world of computer entertainment by marrying cutting-edge technologies with creative minds from all over the world. I’m looking forward to building on this vision in my next endeavors.”

Sony Corp.’s CEO, Howard Stringer, called Kutaragi a “rare combination of a powerful visionary and entrepreneur in one figure.”

But behind the bright harmony of the press release, there was reportedly a protracted tug-of-war between the high-profile executives.

Many believe that Kutaragi is another casualty in Stringer’s campaign to transform Sony into a leaner, more profitable and software-centric company.

The clash between Kutaragi and Stringer, which is said to have simmered since Stringer became CEO in June 2005, was typical of the collision between the old style of business at Sony and the new ethos Stringer is trying to foster.

In one corner stood Kutaragi, a 32-year Sony veteran who epitomized the independent and innovative spirit that was key to the company’s rise. As the father of three generations of the PlayStation console and the handheld version, he also represented the company’s longtime hardware and engineering focus.

In the other corner was Stringer, the new CEO eager to reduce each business line’s independence and bring about integration. Since his arrival, Stringer has “made it clear that software — and inter-unit cooperation — is a priority for his historically siloed and hardware-centric company,” Prudential Equity Group said in a March research note.

The ideological chasm that separated Kutaragi and Stringer may have been immaterial, if it wasn’t for Sony’s major financial setbacks, which likely pressured Stringer to act.

The PS3, with its high overhead costs, production shortage problems and low penetration rate, has stumbled against the attractively priced Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360, falling to No. 3 in sales. While Sony sold 1.8 million consoles through the end of 2006, Nintendo sold almost double that: 3.2 million units.

The dissapointing console is expected to drag on Sony’s earnings for the remainder of the year: “it will be difficult for the Games division to achieve break-even status in fiscal 2007, as our analysis indicates that Sony is currently losing close to $300 per PlayStation 3 unit sold,” John McPeake, a Prudential Equity Group analyst, said in a research note last month.

In a harbinger of things to come, Stringer removed Kutaragi from the post of president of Sony Computer Entertainment last November, effectively cutting him off from day-to-day operations. (See: “Sony Shuffles Gaming Team”)

Kutaragi, known for his outspoken and independent management style, (See: “Exec Slams Sony Mangement for Failure to Exploit Content”) may have been perceived as a hurdle in reining in the embattled games division.

The lack of communication between the computer entertainment arm and the rest of Sony made Kutaragi a volatile element. According to an interview with Stringer in the Wall Street Journal, Kutaragi surprised his boss by exceeding production budgets. In one particularly illustrative moment, Kutaragi startled management with an impromptu 20% price cut for the Japanese 20GB PlayStation 3 model. “It wasn’t financially one of my best moments,” Stringer told the paper. “The budget implications were self evident. I agreed because I wanted the launch to be successful.”

Wrangles aside, Prudential analyst John McPeake said Kutaragi’s departure and Hirai’s ascension is a logical and positive step for the beleaguered company. “This management change is expected,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “Kutaragi was almost 60 years old and Kazuo Hirai has a good relationship with the game industry and game publishers.”

At the end of trading Thursday, Sony shares were down 1.9%, or $1.02, to $54.20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Playstation Generation is coming to an end as Nintendo uses a modified Gamecube and a touchpad-based handheld to regain their place in the videogame industry. It’s quite ironic since it was Nintendo’s stupidity that provoked Sony into entering the videogame business with an overhauled CD-ROM based console. Now it looks like Ken Kutaragi is being banished from the division he helped build and replaced with Kazuo “Ridge Racer!!!!!!!!” Hirai, which seems to reaffirm that the Peter Principle is in play.

This is living indeed as Sir Howard Stringer may have brought massive damage to Sony with a real-time management change in the face of giant enemy Wiis. It also gives both Microsoft and Nintendo many chances to attack Sony’s weakpoint to cause massive damage to gain even more market share in the console war. As of this writing, Microsoft appears to have dominated much of the market share with their 360 in North America, while sharing some of the market with Nintendo in Europe. However, Nintendo is able to secure their home market in Japan and crushing the once invincible Sony with just a modified Gamecube.


“Fl0w is the killer-app for the PS3!!!”

“Yo yo yo! It’s da PSTriple!”

It’s quotes like these that give you an idea of the Playstation 3’s sad state.

Despite these problems, I agree with Stringer that Sony needs to do more to flex their corporate synergies and to develop their software division in the face of direct competition from Microsoft. Sony’s lack of software know-how clearly shows in their lack of content in their cross-media bar interface that is on the PS3 and other high-end Sony products, the lack of content in their Playstation Network, and their Playstation Home, which looks like an enhanced Second Life just for PS3 users.

On another note, it seems that any electronic product with the Sony brand has been crapping out as of late. My Japanese penpal informed me that his first generation PS2 had problems due to a “disc-read error” and he heard rumours that Sony products were built with limited lifespans, which would force consumers to buy the next version about 3-5 years after using the original version. It’s funny because that’s how my Sony Discman (1993) died around 1998, my dad’s Sony Home Theatre 5.1 Sound Encoder (2000) died last weekend (2007) and my first PS2 (2002) died in 2005.

From what I have seen so far in Sony’s management and from my Playstation 3, it’s safe to say that I will opt out of the Playstation 4 and get Nintendo’s modified Wii instead for the next system.

Its business as usual…

These past four days have been interesting in America, as White America continues to remain in shock over the killings and coming to terms with the Model Minority stereotype.  For those who are unfamiliar with race relations in America, the “Model Minority” stereotype is a stereotype applied to all ethnic Asians in America who are typically stereotyped as being hard-working, bearing ethnic idiosyncrasies, excellent in the areas of math/science, extremely passive, and willing to adapt to the White power structure more willingly than other ethnic minorities in America.

With that being said, Asians in America have been traditionally stigmatised as being “ethnic”, weak, sexless, a jack-of-all-trades in academics, and most of all subservient.  It is safe to say those perceptions of Asians came crashing down on many Americans when Cho Seung-Hui finally made his move to release all his pent up rage, insanity on a Monday morning.  It didn’t really sink in until NBC and other news outlets in the world decided to air key excepts of his “manifesto” which depicted him as an awkward Asian-American who had a great deal of anger and committed to killing those who wronged him (whoever they may be).

Soon, people started seeing these images started to realise that this man could be the kid that hangs out with their children, the guy they work with, the guy who helps them out or just a random acquaintance that happens to be an Asian male.  Now people will consider Asian males to not only be good in math or science, but also capable of extreme psychotic acts of violence.    So far, a few Asians have related on various forums that their co-workers have started to look at them weird and reluctant to socialise with them while others no longer feel safe when traveling around predominantly White neighbourhoods.

Then there are idiotic acts such as this:

i’m at michigan state at a frat house. just got word that 16 cars outside the international house on campus got vandalized… windshields smashed in. 14 of those cars were owned by koreans. this is almost certainly related to the virginia tech shooting. i’m really upset about this….. really upset. the kids are playing beer pong………

I would advise readers and Americans to refrain from revenge attacks against Asians because they are not like Cho Seung-Hui.  Remember that people are people and Cho’s act was no different from what happened in Columbine other than his ethnicity.  Despite what I just said, I am sure I will be profiled like many of my Asian peers in America save for Hawaii or California (where there is a sizable Asian population).

With that out of the way, it’s back to bashing the crap out of Sony and the Playstation 3.  From what have been circulating in videogame industry rags and enthusiast blogs, it appears that Sony’s European division will be “heavily restructured” meaning it will be downsized and it comes as no surprise that some top managers in Sony Computer Europe decided to call it quits.  The sales for the PS3 in Europe have already started to freefall after record sales in the initial weeks to the point where retailers in the United Kingdom are selling the systems as a loss just to liquidate their inventory.

On the upside, Sony finally released firmware 1.70, which made improvements in backward compatibility with PSone and PS2 games, allowed for emulation of downloaded PSone games, and allowed for rumble in old Playstation peripherals.  However, the downloadable PSone games will not be available in May and its also good to point out that Sony had about 7 firmware updates in the past year compared to Microsoft’s 2 revisions for the 360.  These improvised updates just come to show that Sony’s Playstation division and OS programmers are indeed run by the legally retarded just like Virginia Tech’s security.

Then the hardware sales in Japan also tell a story:

Nintendo must have been gutted of DS Lite supply, as this week saw a noticeable drop off in sales from last week’s hardware chart. Is the honeymoon over? Has the nation of Japan turned against its handheld leader? Doubtful. But even Wii sales were down considerably, so maybe that Blue Ocean is experiencing a red shift.

Despite an approximate drop of 50,000 in weekly sales, the DS Lite still sits proudly atop this week’s Media Create sales figures.

  • Nintendo DS Lite – 79,897
  • Wii – 51,365
  • PSP – 39,077
  • PlayStation 2 – 17,787
  • PLAYSTATION 3 – 16,889
  • Xbox 360 – 3,889
  • Game Boy Advance SP – 609
  • Game Boy micro – 588

Did you notice that PS2 sales exceeded PS3 sales? That may be due to Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ and Musou Orochi selling so well. Still, ouch.

So the Playstation 3 is still being crushed by a modified Gamecube and being cannibalised by their own Playstation 2.  It’s interesting to see how the top two sellers in Japan last week were the Nintendo DS and Wii followed by a portable PS2 and the PS2 itself while the PS3 is barely close to the PS2′ sales.  One would think that Gundam Musou would have boosted the PS3’s sales, but it really did little in the long-run.

It has reached the point where some random people can cultivate an Internet following just by creating a running gag pretending to be an uneducated PS3 fanboy:

So despite all of the obscenity-laced rant about Wii games and Devil May Cry no longer being a PS3-exclusive, the video points out that the “PSTriple” doesn’t have any good games worth talking about and parodies the fanboys who go on bashing popular games on the Wii or 360.  This was supposed to be a one-time joke by the Chad Warden fellow, but many of the PSTriple fanboys were actually dumb enough to use this video in defending their $600-plus investment in what can now be considered more of a “cheap” blu-ray player (assuming Sony can win that format war).

Speaking of stupidity, Taiwan Province decided to make a prank call pretending to be attacked by a killer in a university just to test police response time about three days after Monday’s shootings:

Two MPs who faked a hostage-taking at Taiwan’s top university after the US school shootings have been condemned by the island’s governing party.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) made a public apology after two MPs reported that students had been taken hostage at National Taiwan University.

Armed police rushed to the campus, only to be told that the call was a hoax aimed at testing their response time.

The pair may face disciplinary action, but have defended their action.

Police who rushed to scene found Lee Chen-nan and another legislator, Lin Kuo-ching, on campus with a number of reporters.

The hoax drew sharp criticism from the DPP, which issued an apology, and from Taiwan’s cabinet, which said authorities would investigate whether the MPs broke any laws.

Why is Taiwan Province turning into a goddamn living joke to the point where Zhejiang Province looks more respectable?   Three days after the shooting and during examination week the two legislators from the “Democratic Progressive Party”, the party that wants total war with China, decide to make a crank call just to test police response time.  Both legislators justified their actions because it was supported by students who wanted to avoid the exams, without realising that they could encourage copycat pranks in the long-run.

The world turns and things will be back to business for the most part

Sony rejects the 20GB PS3 and uses it for bayonet practice

Sony, in response to the slow sales of the 20GB “core” version of the slow-selling Playstation 3, has discontinued that version to focus more on their 60GB flagship PS3. It appears that Sony created two versions of the PS3 in response to Microsoft’s decision to offer a “core” Xbox360, that can be upgraded with external accessories and a standard version at different price points. In response to the strong sales made from Microsoft’s business decision, Sony decided to also join the bandwagon with their two versions of the Playstation 3. However, while Microsoft made it easy to upgrade their 360 with external hard drive and wireless joypads, Sony decided to differentiate their PS3s by only providing Wi-Fi to their 60GB PS3, and did not offer any wireless upgrades for their core system.

Most consumers, realising that Wi-Fi will become a household standard within the next 5-10 years opted to pay the extra $100USD premium to get a PS3 with Wi-Fi rather than settling with a lesser model that does not appear to have strong support from Sony. Even in the initial launch of the PS3, we can see that the leading sales in the eBay gray market were often generated by sellers flipping the 60GB PS3 rather than the 20GB core model. On an interesting note, one of my friends who tried selling a 20GB PS3 actually lost money on the venture and had to sell it at cost to minimise his losses.

Soon, there were reports coming in from retailers such as Target and Best Buy, were only restocking their videogame or electronics departments with only the 60GB PS3 instead of the 20GB version. Then, the PS3 launches for the PAL markets were only limited to the 60GB version with PR-lingo claiming that their PAL markets did no show strong interest for the core model. Ultimately, the signs of the demise of the 20GB version came when even Sony’s own online store decided to discontinue the model itself.

Dave Karraker of Sony America states, “At launch, we offered two separate models of PlayStation 3 to meet the diverse needs and interests of our PlayStation fan base. Initial retail demand in North America was upwards of ninety percent in favor of the 60GB SKU, so we manufactured and shipped-in accordingly. Due to the overwhelming demand for the 60GB model from both retailers and consumers, we have ceased offering the 20GB model here in North America. In addition to the larger internal hard drive, the 60GB PlayStation 3 features added storage media slots and built-in Wi-Fi not found in the 20GB system. Based on retailer and consumer feedback, we have decided to focus our current efforts on the more popular 60GB model.”

Additionally, there were claims that the 20GB was actually more expensive to mass produce compared to the 60GB counterpart. This decision is quite interesting seeing that Microsoft decided to offer a new variant of their 360 console in response to the Playstation 3 called the 360 Elite, which is $80USD more than the standard 360 but comes in black with HDMI and a 120GB hard drive. So like the Norwegian Blue Parrot, the 20GB Playstation 3 has ceased to be, leaving Sony with no core models to compete at varying price points, which puts it at a relative disadvantage compared to Microsoft and the competitively-priced Nintendo Wii.

Speaking of the Nintendo Wii, weekly sales data from Japan indicates that this piece of hardware is outselling the Playstation 3 at a 3-to-1 ratio. It’s interesting to note that the 60GB Playstation 3 is often being sold by Japanese retailers at the same price point as the Nintendo Wii itself. One of my friends currently working in Japan was able to successfully buy a Playstation 3 for the same price as the Wii even though he had an opportunity to purchase the Wii when it was available (Japan also has shortages of the Wii and DS Lite like the rest of the world). I still can’t believe that the Playstation 3, a console powered by a Cell processor capable of analysing simulations to cure cancer and render CGI in real-time, is being crushed in the market by a modified Nintendo Gamecube with a motion-sensing remote controller. These are indeed fictitious times we are living in.

It has been said that a foreign company must be able to secure their home market before they can achieve strong success in foreign markets. This has been true for corporations such as Toyota, and Coca-Cola, who were able to successfully gain significant market share in the home market before reaching out to international consumers. For consoles, SEGA was loosing market share in Japan but performed successfully in foreign markets in Europe and North American before their domestic losses caught up to them in the early part of the millennium. A rough idea of the success of the Wii can be seen in the numerous Japanese variety shows where the Wii is often featured and used by local celebrities.

While videos of these kind showing cute Japanese celebrities duking it out using the Wii or playing other Wii games are prevalent on youtube, I was only able to find some notable videos on youtube talking about the Playstation 3.

This video done by Playstation Magazine debunks the Sony’s spin that motion sensing is incompatible with vibration, despite Nintendo using it for the Wii. The video blogger notes that a motion sensing control with vibration was produced in 1999 by a third party for the PSone and it even works with the PS2, as seen in the video.

This clip talks about the Japanese launch and the problems associated with rioting, the media hype and the emerging gray market for the Playstation 3 consoles.

Other than those notable clips, the rest of youtube results on “Playstation 3” were often fan-made trailers of games, clips of the PS3 presentations, videos bashing the Playstation 3, random videos exploring the hardware or talking about problems with the machine.

It seems like Sony is currently in a very sad state in terms of the console wars. Most of the promised features they trumpeted were nonexistant during launch and in the critical stages. Initial demand for the Playstation 3 gradually died down as consumers learned of the delays, hardware problems, gray market oversaturation and appealing alternatives such as the Wii. Then you have management at Sony making idiotic remarks such as praising the Wii or making statements that seem to piss all over the Playstation fanbase.

Rumors of manufacturing difficulties kept Playstation 3s out of stores for the first few months. Then, once the supply was met, the demand for the system dwindled. Despite early showings of great success for it’s European launch, the Playstation 3’s sales figures plummeted in the weeks following. Due to their continual mistakes, Sony has lost game exclusives, advertising rights (as backlash to their mind-numbing “This is Living” set of commercials”, and profits.

The worst evidence of Sony’s disregard for their customers is their lack of support. Since the launch of the PS3’s online service, users have urged Sony to upgrade the experience. Sony’s service only recently was updated to allow “background downloading”, yet problems remain. Fans have taken it upon themselves to sign petitions, yearning for features that they were promised by Sony.

At this point, I would like to see my $600USD investment count for something, but Sony has blown it as a videogame console. Currently, due to the lack of good games, I use the PS3 as a blu-ray player and currently rooting for Sony to win this format war, where it has a relatively better chance. So far, the markets and sales data suggest that Sony is gradually gaining a lead over HD-DVD in the next generation DVD format wars, but it needs to aggressively increase their product offerings and reduce the costs for blu-ray players and discs if they are to achieve a decisive victory over HD-DVD. It’s not exactly too late for Sony in the console wars, but they have blown their lead from mismanagement and from underestimating their competition.

My 4th Generation iPod: 2003 – 2007

My iPod was won from the “Free iPods” promotion that was all the rage in the summer of 2003. After getting the required referrals from acquaintances, I was able to secure my 4th Generation 20GB iPod, which just came out at that time. I remembered my roommate was jealous of my iPod for sometime that he was dumb enough to shell out some of his tuition refund money just to get a Photo iPod that came out a few months later just to outdo me.

The iPod served me well in storing all the music I had acquired from friends and random contacts on our former university direct connect networks. It was also a great tool to store video files and other items. At that time, there was much concern for the iPod’s battery life after two filmmakers exposed the poor quality and durability of the 4th Generation iPod. I didn’t really know what to make of my iPod when I first got it in the mail since I never really had a walkman or did I bother to use a Minidisc player that was given to me by an estranged relative.

The first thing that struck me about the iPod was the relative ease of porting music files over to the device without any problems that I experienced while syncing an MD player. The second thing that impressed me was the storage capacity to store at least 50 or so albums onto the iPod. Sometime later, the photo iPod came out and my roommate got one to flaunt it in my face. As time went on, I got used to having a free iPod and often used it when I was studying or working out at the gym. Despite the scratches and dents, it was still able to record and store music with no issues.

Around the 3rd month of 2007, my iPod started to have problems. First it would take at least 2 minutes for the player to transition to the next song, and later it would automatically delete stored songs that it could not properly play. Then, it had issues syncing with iTunes and kept prompting me to “Restore” the iPod to its factory settings. At every restore and every disc fragmentation, the iPod kept getting worse. When I could once hear the miniature disc drive spin to load the next song or data, the iPod simply locked up when the standalone tried to load a song or because it was unable to properly sync back to standalone mode after being ejected from iTunes. It was a sad realisation that my iPod has started to show its age from heavy use. I knew then it was about time that I backed up what remaining songs I could and save for a 5.5 Generation iPod that is the rage today.

After shopping around on google checkout, I was able to find a reasonably priced Black 30GB iPod that sold for $245 with free shipping. It may seem like a snap decision, but this latest incarnation of the iPod allows me to view my iTunes TV shows, downloaded clips, has more features, and offers slightly more storage capacity than my previous iPod.

To my 4th Generation iPod – Rest in Peace and hopefully it will ascend into Apple Heaven instead of Microsoft Hell.