Bruce Willis Sees Red

One of the next movies from the DC/Wildstorm fold isn’t your usual comic book fare. With a great cast that includes Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, John C. Reilly and Mary Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Julian McMahon, Ernest Borgnine, Richard Dreyfuss and Brian Cox, this new movie Red looks like a great combo of comedy and action – sort of a Bourne over-the-hill.

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PS3 Gets In Black

It’s been a long haul for the PS3 towards profitability, with the system starting out at $599 and rumored to be losing over $200. Now, however, the $299 PS3 slim has slipped over into the black.

“This year is the first time that we are able to cover the cost of the PlayStation 3,” said SCE WWS President Shuhei Yoshida. “We aren’t making huge money from hardware, but we aren’t bleeding like we used to.”

“When we bring the cost of hardware down, we are looking at opportunities to adjust prices if we believe that will increase demand,” he explained. “At the moment, we are trying to catch up our production. We have lots of great games coming out and innovations with Move and 3DTV, so we don’t believe this is the time for us to think about a price drop.”

Rather than cutting the cost of the console, Sony is now looking towards bundles, like the one including Sports Champion, a PlayStation Move controller, and a PlayStation Eye for $399

Source: IGN

Next Consoles Predicted In Two-Three Years By David Reeves

Current Capcom COO and former SCEE head David Reeves always has interesting opinions on the industry. Kinect was one of the biggest items from E3, and Reeves thinks that Sony positioned themselves well.

“If you map it out the Xbox 360 is right up in the corner and it has certain types of games associated with it,” said Reeves. “And Microsoft knows that in ten years time they can’t be there, they have to be appealing to families. And I reckon that strategically it’s absolutely the right move. It’s almost like two steps back and one step forward. They are right to separate Kinect from everything else.”

One way or another, Reeves says that Capcom will be there for Kinect and PlayStation Move. “Capcom is embracing it, we’re working with Microsoft and with Sony on both sides and trying to match up the IPs we have with what the first-parties want. It’s not a forced fit. In some ways it’s quite a natural way of progressing. Capcom is definitely going to embrace it and just as the first-parties are doing, we see it as another blip before we come into the next cycle. 3D gaming is the same. Anything they can add to revive and pique interest in the games until we have another clash of the titans in two years time.”

Despite thoughts that Move and Kinect are looking to extend this generation by five years or more, he thinks that the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft are two or three years off. “I don’t have any inside information. All the first-parties have got to be working on something. The tricky thing is when do you put a stake in the ground on technology That’s the problem. You can be waiting a few extra months to implement something, but you’ve got to set a date to go with a certain chip at a certain point otherwise you’re going to miss the key milestones.”

Source: GamesIndustry.biz {link no longer active}

Infinity Ward’s Future Discussed

Infinity Ward has seen an implosion of no small scale since its co-founders were unceremoniously fired, leading to over 30 other employee departures. However, Activision EVP of studios Dave Stohl is optimistic about the studio going forward.

“On the IW side, what I feel good about it the way we’re able to. People ask me this all the time. It is still a huge recruiting drive,” said Stohl. “I’ve been a development guy for a long time, right? Recruiting at IW is not a problem. What we’re trying to do is say that IW is a culture, it s a way of doing things, there’s a lot of people there and there s still a lot of passion for doing it. We’re trying to rebuild, trying to help them and support them to rebuild. So people are stepping up, new people are coming in and we’re setting the bar so high. And we’re making sure it fits with the culture of what IW actually is. So far so good.”

When pressed about Infinity Ward’s future possibly being negatively affected by its recent history, Stohl said, “Look: it was a really unfortunate thing, for sure. We are a big company, you know what I mean Forget about a company; we’re a development organization and we have a lot of good people in it. We’ve got a lot of really, really hard-working people that are so focused on what they’re doing now. And, at the same time, we ve got a lot of good people that are helping to support them get back to hopefully where they’ll get to, and I think that they will.”

“You know, to me, rebuilding IW is about culture and talent, and we have the wherewithal to help them get there. I think there s a real desire. There s a real desire to do it. I think they’ll get there, and we’ve got a ton of hard-working super-talented people. People say ‘Activision,’ but it’s Neversoft and Treyarch and it’s VV in Albany and it’s Bizarre Creations; it s people all over. There s just a ton of talented development,” continued Stohl. “I’m not taking anything away from what Infinity Ward was or is, but all I can do it focus on supporting them and setting the bar so high that they keep what they have and what they had, and that s a focus on excellence and a culture that works the way it does.”

When asked about Infinity Ward’s focus on Call of Duty, Stohl was noncommital. “We’re not saying right now. There is definitely a strong shooter philosophy there, for sure. And I think that there s a short- and long-term view on the whole thing. But I think we re rebuilding a studio that can go off and build great new franchises in the future.”

Source: VG247

PS3 3.40 Update Includes PlayStation Plus Subscription

The details for the PS3 update 3.40 have been released. The firmware update is available now and offers PS3 owners the ability to sign up for the PlayStation Plus subscription service. Other features include a networked Photo Gallery, a Video Editor and Uploader, purchase ratings by users, and power save settings. More Facebook integration has been added as well.

“In addition to the latest features introduced in PS3 system software update (v3.40), a separate, new PlayStation Network application on Facebook.com will be made available,” writes Eric Lempel, VP or Network Operations Americas. “This builds upon what was previously launched with Trophies and the ability to publish purchases from the PlayStation Store. Now you can further integrate your PlayStation Network and Facebook accounts with this new application. The application allows you to display your PlayStation Network profile on your Facebook account, find out which of your Facebook friends have a PSN account and send them a PlayStation Network friend request, view your PSN friends online status and add the PlayStation Network application tab to your Facebook user profile.”

Source: PlayStation Blog

Xbox Live/Newspaper Comparison Disputed

Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw recently caused a major stir due to his questionable use of statistical analysis for his company. While no one disputes the 355 million PC sales this year compared to the 7.1 million in iPad sales (though some might take issue with the comparison) some of the other fast facts drew fire.

“I hate to join the embarrassing parade of tech reporters commenting on this item, but I was a little irked by the section comparing newspaper subscriptions to Xbox Live subscriptions,” writes Brier Dudley. “To show how big Xbox Live has become, Shaw compared its subscribers (23 million) with Netflix (14 million subscribers) and the top 25 U.S. daily newspapers (16 million). Xbox Live is a good success story for Microsoft, but it’s an apples to oranges comparison with newspapers.”

“By using the tally of the top 25 papers, he missed two-thirds of the newspaper subscribers in this country. The total is more like 46 million paying subscribers, and 100 million readers daily. That long tail is significant – it’s how a majority of people in the country still get their news. If you want to get even more specific, Xbox Live links subscriptions to individuals, while newspaper subscriptions are per household, so the 100 million readers is probably a better comparison. Xbox Live is an international service, so the comparison should be to global newspaper subscriptions, which for the time being are probably 20 times greater than Xbox Live.”

The newspaper business was a $164 billion industry globally last year, compared with $55 billion for the video game industry, and more than 500 million people buy a newspaper every day. Maybe newspapers should play up the fact that they’re delivering interactive games (think Sudoku and crosswords) and entertainment as well as news.

Source: Seattle Times

Hulu Expanding To PS3, Other Consoles

It seems the rumors about Hulu on consoles are coming true. According to a Hulu posting about the Hulu Plus subscription service, a PS3 service is promised soon, while Xbox 360 compatibility is expected in 2011. The service will be more immediately available on PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad, certain Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.

Wii compatibility is also on the table, if a recent survey is any indication. It would put Hulu in direct competition with Netflix, which already offers Netflix Watch Instantly on PS3, Wii and Xbox 360.

Source: Hulu Blog

Microsoft’s Mixed Messages On Milo

Milo was one of the more intriguing demonstrations to come out of Microsoft’ initial unveil of Project Natal at E3 a year ago, showing off a young boy interacting with a designer. The game made no public appearance at E3 this year, and Microsoft Product Management Director Aaron Greenberg has indicated he doesn’t expect it to release as a full game.

“Milo, he’s safe and sound back in England. No the Milo Project is something that Lionhead Studios in their labs had developed,” said Greenburg to Australia’s ABC TV. “Last year we unveiled the Project Natal technology, we showed a bunch of technology demos as part of that. And obviously [Milo] is a technology demo that continues to exist, but right now it s not a game that we re planning to bring to market.”

However, a Microsoft rep said later that 50 people are working on Milo and Greenberg then tweeted, “Project Milo absolutely continues in development at Lionhead Studios, it is just not a product we plan to bring to market this holiday,” indicating that it may be coming in some form, sooner or later.