Why Does it Cost $300 to Buy Avatar on 3D Blu-ray?

via Gizmodo by Jason Chen on 12/21/10

Why Does it Cost 0 to Buy Avatar on 3D Blu-ray?

Who’s buying 3DTVs and 3D Blu-ray players? People who watched 3D movies in theaters, then want to re-live the experience at home. So why are the top movies, like Avatar and Coraline only available as bundles with hardware? What’s the deal?

It’s a matter of greed. Home theater 3D is still a crawling infant, meaning most of the population still needs to buy hardware. But what’s the differentiating factor between Samsung’s 3D set and Panasonic’s, or even Sony’s, if you’re a Costco shopper? How can normal people tell the difference between any Blu-ray player that’s not the PlayStation 3? It’s pretty much impossible, which is why companies’ ads don’t rely on specs or saying their version does 3D better.

But what they are relying on right now is taking movies hostage in order to force people’s hands. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

Avatar, the most wanted 3D movie of all time, is only available in a $300 “starter bundle” from Panasonic that includes two rechargeable 3D glasses. How to Train Your Dragon is in a “starter kit” from Samsung for $280, which includes two 3D active shutter glasses. What happens if you already have one type of TV and just want the other type of movie? Looks like you get two pair of glasses that you can’t use on your set.

There’s also Shrek and Monsters vs. Aliens, which your kids will ask you for, because they’re kids, and they want to see their movies in 3D. Because they’re kids. Kids who don’t know the value of $300.

Why Does it Cost 0 to Buy Avatar on 3D Blu-ray?

So what if you go on eBay and try to get some scalped Avatar action? Oh hello, I’m out $150 for a $30 movie. Thanks jerks!

It gets worse. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Coraline are only available if you buy a Panasonic 3DTV. A TeeVee! And Bolt, which I’m sure is a fine dog movie in the realm of dog movies, is only gettable with Sony TVs. Same with Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

Retailers are also getting in on the exclusivity. My Bloody Valentine and The Last Airbender are Best Buy exclusives, whereas Amazon has some IMAX movies locked down. This, of course, is much less of a big deal, because Best Buy’s movies work just fine on any player.

The good news is that some of these seem to be timed exclusives. Alice in Wonderland was the same $300ish dollars if you bought the pack, but is now available for separate purchase. And there are a number of less desirable (apparently?) titles like Resident Evil, The Polar Express, Step Up 3D and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs that the manufacturers didn’t think would entice anybody to spend $300 on.

Point being, manufacturers seem to have their heads up each other’s asses on this one. If you want people to get on board your 3D train, don’t make content for it so hard to get! Imagine the scenario where you could only watch NBC’s 3D channel if you had a Samsung TV, then had to get a separate set entirely for ABC’s 3D content. Who’s going to throw down a couple thousand dollars for that scheme?

Advertisements

Netflix details PS3 disc distribution for November, ‘confident’ it’ll have ample supply

via Joystiq [PlayStation] by Alexander Sliwinski on 10/28/09

Netflix is confident that it will have ample supply in November for every PS3 user who requests a disc for its recently announced streaming service. Speaking with Joystiq, Netflix Vice President of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey wouldn’t disclose the number of reservations the company has received for the free PS3 Netflix disc since the company announced the program on Monday, but did emphasize, “We’re confident we’ve produced enough discs.” Distribution centers apparently already have the units.

Swasey told us that the company is still hammering out the distribution details, but the plan is to send out a press release sometime in November announcing that the discs have shipped. Customers should receive the red envelope in about the same time it usually takes for a Netflix shipment to reach them. He expressed that “there’s no VIP list or special circumstance list,” so everyone should be receiving it around the same time.

Asked if there were any points he’d like to clarify about the recent announcement, Swasey told us that the disc was the best solution currently available in getting PS3 users the Netflix service, downplaying the need to always have disc in the tray. “They put the disc in whenever they play a game.” When pushed on why an integrated solution wasn’t implemented, he said, “We haven’t given any reason. The key thing here … it’s very easy and no different than playing a video game. We’ll have an update in time.” The integrated solution is expected in late 2010.

Netflix doesn’t like to discuss HD content in nitty gritty detail yet, but confirmed that the PS3 will have a similar offering to the Xbox 360, which outputs 720p and stereo sound.

Keep an eye out for an announcement in November for when the discs ship, then put that eye back in when the disc arrives. You’ll need both to appreciate those episodes of Dexter.

12 things you didn’t know about the PS3 Slim

The PS3 Slim has been at the eye of a massive rumor storm for months, but now that Sony has finally made it official it’s time to bring the facts. By now you probably know the general specs – it includes a 120GB HDD, it’s $300/€300, it’s out September 1st, and it’s, well, slimmer – but no self-respecting, hardware-obsessing, early-adopting gamer would stop there. Read on to snag twelve of the PS3 Slim’s most overlooked details and you’ll know more than the next guy when it’s released next month.

1. It’s not actually called the “PS3 Slim” – it’s just the PS3 or the PlayStation 3. It is a new PS3 for sure, but nowhere on the box or in the documentation will you see the words “PS3” and “Slim” next to each other. Nevertheless, we’ll keep calling it the “PS3 Slim” for the sake of convenience.

2. The logo is beautifully etched into the machine (above), and not only that, the old branding is gone for good – no more tacky Spider-Man font! No more PLAYSTATION 3, either – Sony decided to stop yelling at us with every press release and just call it the “PlayStation 3.” Much better.

3. It has buttons! Those weird, touch-sensitive non-buttons are gone, and they’ve been replaced with that wonderful, tactile CLICK that only real buttons can deliver.

4. This is what the new ad campaign looks like:

5. It’s smaller, but not in every way. It’s thinner and lighter, but as you can see in the comparison below, it’s a bit longer from the rear to the front. They had to fit all those graphics in there somehow.

6. It’s quieter! With power consumption two-thirds what it was, there’s a lot less fan-blowing and a lot more sweet serenity.

7. It only comes with composite cables. Yes, composite. Not even component, and definitely no HDMI.

8. If you have a Bravia TV and you hook up your new PS3 with an HDMI cable (…not included), you can operate the PS3’s media bar with your TV’s remote – you can even set it to turn the system off when you turn the TV off.

9. The hard drive IS removable – though it doesn’t initially appear to be. There’s a little hole by the drive bay which contains a screw that holds the HDD in place. Pop that open, unscrew it, and you’re in business.

10. It’s not backwards compatible with the PS2, but it might work with some PSX games. That’s right, the PS3 Slim cannot play PlayStation 2 games, but some PlayStation games will work. The only appropriate response to this statement is “lol wut?”

11. It has a tiny stand-by light. Look how cute it is:

12. The games advertised on the back of the box are: inFAMOUS, Madden NFL 10, Tekken 6, MAG, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Does that tell us anything? Not really, but it is something you probably didn’t know.

C-c-c-combo breaker: Bonus facts!

We couldn’t possibly stop at just twelve things when there’s so much to say. What, you thought we could only make numbered lists of things? Well numbers can suck it – here are a few more things we noticed about Sony’s new product.

If you want to stand it vertically, you can buy a stand separately.

The big power switch on the back is gone – but that’s about the only thing different about the layout of the system’s rear.

Rumor: Co-op Clone Wars game coming to Xbox 360, PS3

via Joystiq by David Hinkle on 4/23/09

A rumor posted over at Destructoid points to a new Clone Wars game in the works for Xbox 360 and PS3. Titled Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes, the game is described as a third-person action title featuring two-player co-op, with separate “Jedi” and “Clone” storylines featuring Anakin Skywalker and Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano, respectively.

The game’s focus is supposedly on melee combat, with mention of some form of upgrades available throughout the game. Jedi characters will purportedly have some access to Force powers (gasp!), such as the ability to control droids (Dtoid’s post mentions rolling Droideka).

Krome Studios has had plenty of experience with the Star Wars franchise. The company handled porting Star Wars: The Force Unleashed to the Wii, PS2, and PSP, and was responsible for the Wii-exclusive Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels. Let’s hope the third time’s the charm here.

Joystiq interview: BioShock 2

via Joystiq by Randy Nelson on 4/23/09

As much as the developers of BioShock 2 at 2K Marin were eager to show us their game in action, they were (quite pleasantly) even more eager to talk about it. Following the conclusion of our demo walkthrough, lead designer Zak McClendon, lead environment artist Hogarth De La Plante and lead level designer JP LeBreton opened the floor to questions from the half-dozen game journos in attendance.

Read on after the break for the team’s take on revisiting the first game’s mysteries, the intricacies of plasmid mixing, the return of Vita-Chambers and more.

Continue reading Joystiq interview: BioShock 2

They’re back: Capcom announces Dead Rising 2 for PC, 360, and PS3

via Joystiq by JC Fletcher on 2/9/09

Filed under: , ,

That “Dead Rising 2” video from last week, that kinda looked like it could have been Dead Rising 2? It was totally Dead Rising 2. Capcom has officially announced the title not just for Xbox 360, but for PS3 and PC as well! The sequel occurs years after the events of the first game — with the zombie virus now spread throughout the United States. The action will take place in the “gambling paradise of Fortune City”. The main character is apparently no longer Frank West, but some guy in a jacket instead.

As rumored, the game is being developed by Canada’s Blue Castle Games. According to the press release, “A number of members from the original Dead Rising team will be working alongside Blue Castle Games throughout the development process,” including producer Keiji Inafune.

Gallery: Dead Rising 2

Researchers use PS3 cluster to reveal internet security flaw

via PS3 Fanboy by Andrew Yoon on 12/30/08

Stopping cancer, simulating black hole collisions, and now … breaking internet security? Is there anything the PS3 can’t do? Researchers have been using the PS3 in interng ways. Most recently, a team of researchers from the U.S., Switzerland and the Netherlands have found a way of bypassing the security of digital certificates provided by companies like Verisign. These digital certificates help transmit your credit card information on the internet in a secure manner.

By using 200 PS3 systems linked together, researchers were able to do the math that helped them decrypt the MD5 hash that’s used by Verisign. The researchers would be able to mimic online retail sites, potentially stealing tons of valuable information from consumers. It appears researchers want the hash to be replaced by a more potent one.

It’s unrealistic to expect hackers will be able to replicate the results of these researchers any time soon. Getting 200 PS3s linked to each other can be quite a pricey feat! Of course, when you’re stealing all of the internet’s credit card info, you might be able to afford buying a few hundred PS3s.

[Thanks, BPerry!]