Sony announced in a Leipzig press conference a new digital tuner to be released in early 2008 for the PlayStation 3 that will allow it to display and record TV, effectively turning the console into a PVR. In addition to the PS3 recording and playback functionality, the tuner will also be able to transmit the signal locally or via WiFi to a PSP adding Slingbox-like capabilities to the accessory.
So far there has been no announcement of pricing of the unit, dubbed the PlayTV.
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Announced at Comic-Con, the new price drop on the HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 will lower the unit’s price to $179 (down from $199.99) starting August 1. As an added incentive, Toshiba’s Perfect Offer has been extended to the 360 HD-DVD Player – anyone who purchases the HD-DVD add-on will be able to select five free HD-DVDs from a list of 15 through a mail-in offer. Don’t expect the greatest selection of movies, though, as is the case with the five free Blu-ray movies that come with the purchase of a PlayStation 3. But free is free.
Microsoft also teased the HD-DVD release of Heroes: Season 1 and 300; Xbox Live will be home to some exclusive content. On August 14, 300 will be available for download in HD, and for a limited time, the pilot episode of Heroes will be free to download.
It certainly looks like Microsoft is pushing hard with HD-DVD, and understandably so – Blu-ray has been the more successful of the two next-gen DVD formats as of late. And the success of Blu-ray is of major support to Sony and the PlayStation 3 - and Microsoft isn’t looking to do them any favors.
It always seems a bit silly to declare a “winner” of E3. It’s just so juvenile. This is a complex industry that can’t be distilled down to the simple question of “who beat whom.”
But we just can’t help it, can we?
Comparing the three keynotes this year, however, really is a grab-bag of possible outcomes. All three offered something interesting, and picking a single “winner” this year more than ever depends how you define “winning.”
My rundown is after the break.
Are you a frustrated “air drummer”, tired of all the air guitarists getting all the love, including their own documentary? Well, to cheer you up, we’ve found a device made especially for you: iPod Digital Drumsticks. They’re motion-activated, with a control module that connects to both your iPod (or any MP3 player) and to a stereo system or headphones. You can then hear yourself play to your favorite tune, and the drumsticks have buttons that allow you to play different types of drum or cymbal effects. You also have the option to play along with your choice of six background songs instead of your iPod. Unfortunately, Hammacher Schlemmer has already been inundated with aspiring Ringos, as the $30 USD device is currently sold out. Stay tuned…