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GameSpot is reporting that analysts at Merril Lynch Japan are estimating that it will cost Sony $494 (54,000 Yen) for every PlayStation 3 console built for launch.  If Sony launches the console at the same price that they have launched their previous consoles at ($399 in the US, 44,800 Yen in Japan), Sony will lose roughly $1.2 Billion at launch.

Losing money on game console hardware is nothing new, and has been considered to be status quo for many years.  Typically, the console manufacturer will take a loss on the hardware in order to get a compelling feature set into homes, and then make up the difference on the royalties from the manufacture of the game software, which can be significant.

The only significant spoiler in this business is Nintendo, who rarely loses much (if any) money on their console hardware.  It is estimated that Nintendo only lost $3 per unit sold at the launch of GameCube, and through manufacturing modifications and optimizations, had eliminated that loss in under six months.  Sony was still losing significant money on the PlayStation 2 hardware (as was Microsoft on its Xbox console) up until last year.

If you’re looking for a hot deal on a game console and want to really get more than your money’s worth, you can’t do better than buying a console at launch, when the cost is being largely subsidized by the manufacturer.

Read More | GameSpot


Xbox 360

AnandTech has a thorough analysis of the CPU performance of both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, including some choice information from confidential developer sources.  The verdict?  Looks like the CPUs in these two upcoming game consoles are severely hamstringed by a deeply pipelined CPU architecture and poor branch prediction.

Xbox 360’s CPU uses three custom-designed IBM PowerPC cores.  While the PlayStation 3’s “Cell” processor only uses one of these same cores, the rest of the chip is dedicated to an array of SPE units that end up being fairly useless in practice.  Of the two, apparently the developers are finding the Xbox 360’s Xenon CPU the more useful of the two.  The real killer comes on page four of the analysis, when the revelation comes that if either console maker had used an Athlon X2 or Pentium D CPU, they’d have far better performance.

The saving grace in both cases are the rocket-fast GPUs, which will allow the games to look fantastic, and that’s all most gamers will end up caring about once the console is hooked up to their computer monitor or high-def TV.  But it appears that any advances in physics or AI will be delayed for another console generation.

Read More | AnandTech*

*AnandTech has pulled the article sourced here from their website due to concerns that it may have compromised one of their confidential sources.

Powerbook W/ iPod MiniBeing a student gets some awesome perks, and one of them is getting a nice discount at the Apple store. Now if saving a few bucks when buying new hardware from Apple wasn’t enough, students will get a free iPod mini when purchasing a new Mac now through September 24, 2005. Of course, if an iPod mini isn’t quite what you want, you can also opt in for a larger capacity model and receive a check for $179 in the mail. All this so you can relax with some tunes while being studious.

Read More | The Apple Store for Education

Latest Gear Live Videos

Apples iPod mini Notebook

According to Patent Application 20040224638, Apple may be on the path to bringing out its most unique portable computer to date. The notebook would allow for an iPod mini to double as the touch pad. The patent also talks about integrating higher RF signals into the notebook from within the cell phone range. I must say, while it looks interesting - it seems a bit “toy-ish” to me to have a pink iPod mini sitting in my silver PowerBook. Then again, who are we to judge? Nowadays everything that Apple touches turns to gold.

Read More | Macsimum News

David Hasselhoff Paper AirplaneIf you want to be the opitome of cool while sitting in the back of the class, you need this. What better insult is there than beaning the teacher in the back of the head with an airplane bearing the visage of Michael Knight himself, David Hasselhoff? The answer is simple: None.

Read More | David Hasselhoff Site of Worship

Robotic Breast ExamMichigan State University researchers are working on a remote breast exam machine, allowing women to have exams without having to physically be at the doctors office. This is great for those in remote locations. The doctor would use a glove on their end, which would control the robot in the remote location. The apparatus would send information visually back to the doctor so that they could diagnose, and would also allow for audible communication between both parties.

Read More | FutureWire via WMMNA

Sendo Motorola Motorola has come to terms, agreeing to buy parts of Sendo. Motorola will end up with Sendo’s research and development team, including the equipment the team uses. We do not know the specifics of exactly how much Moto is forking out, but it looks like the Sendo brand may be done. A shame, we thought the Sendo X was pretty cool. Last year Sendo brought in $420 million - I guess the days of that being a nice income are gone.

Read More | MobileTracker

DVD Jon Google Video DVD Jon, the Norwegian who created software to unlock copy-protection codes on DVD movies about 6 years ago, said he only needed one day to crack the Google video viewer that launched Monday.  Keeping true to his word, Jon Lech Johansen posted the software on his “So Sue Me” website that he claims will modify the viewer, allowing it to play videos stored on any server.  Google has not yet responded to any emails/messages left early Wednesday morning at its California headquaters, but I’m sure we’ll have their take on this by days’ end.

Read More | So Sue Me

iPod Updater Amongst yesterday’s iTunes 4.9 excitement, we failed to mention that Apple also released a new iPod update as well:

iPod Updater 2005-06-26 includes new iPod Software 1.2 for iPod with color display, new iPod software 3.1 for iPod with Click Wheel and new iPod software 1.4 for iPod mini. iPod Updater 2005-06-26 contains the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-03-23 for all other iPod models. Download and install the iPod Updater then connect your iPod shuffle, iPod or iPod mini to your computer. The iPod Updater will automatically determine if an update is required. What’s New in iPod Updater 2005-06-26. Integration with iTunes 4.9 for downloading and listening to podcasts.

Read More | iPod Downloads

AMD Sues Intel Computer chip maker AMD filed an antitrust complaint against rival Intel on Monday. The charges, filed in Federal Court, have AMD(Advanced Micro Devices) claiming that Intel used its size to “coerce” customers into deliberately avoiding AMD’s chips.  Intel holds approximately 80% of the chip market, with AMD left with the remaining 20%.  This is just the latest in a string of smaller tech. companies suing larger ones, but lawsuits like this don’t always have a negative effect on the parties involved. The case is likely to shed light on the world of chip sales, tech analysts say. The case isn’t expected to take down Intel, but will likely end up as a positive for both companies. Lawsuits often generate valuable publicity.

Read More | USA Today