Unlike the East Coast vs. West Coast rap wars, the competition between Video Games Live and Play! probably won’t result in gunfire, but the two shows are definitely competing. They’re each working the same side of the musical street: Performing orchestral versions of well-known videogame music before appreciative audiences of gamers. Both shows have managed to merge the beauty of classical music with the pop culture phenomenon of videogame music, but each takes a different stylistic approach toward its presentation. The question is, is there room enough for both, or can there be only one?

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Got a press release from Sony and it is quite hoighty on the numbers for February. Total hardware unit sales reached 875,000 as the PS3 outsold the Xbox for the second straight month with 280,841 units sold in February alone. And with big-time titles coming up for 2008 (GTA IV, GT 5 Prologue, MGS4) it looks to be a banner year for PS3, especially considering the recent victory for Blu-Ray.

But maybe the most surprising of all is that the PS2 is still doing really well and in fact, more software was sold in February for the PlayStation 2 than any other console on the market.

Year to date (Jan-Feb), the PlayStation brand generated nearly $1 billion in the U.S. market, 56% and 15% higher than Microsoft and Nintendo, respectively. Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America said on February's numbers, “Consumers are recognizing the tremendous value of PS3 and we believe that Blu-ray becoming the high-def format of choice was the tipping point for many consumers.”

He went on to add, "$$$$$$$$!!!!"

Toshiba, which has recently bailed on their HD DVD nest-egg, putting an end to the recent format war, is reportedly still going to close their fiscal year with a profit. Abandoning the format will mean a substantial restructuring and inventory cost for their assembly lines and storage and its said that they were able to save around $450 million on marketing and infrastructure by conceding defeat early in the process.

But for all that savings, it's important to note they'll lose almost a billion dollars ($986 million) by losing the overall war. Toshiba is also not looking forward to turmoil in their flash memory and LCD display holdings, as prices for the raw materials used to make them have dropped.

news.com: Nikkei: Toshiba faces $986 million loss on HD DVDs

Tags: Movies, Products, Tech

You've got cash.

Bebo, a social-networking site that is doing very well in Europe and New Zealand with around 40 million members, was just purchased for $850 million by America Online.

The two companies had recently partnered up to ease the operations of friend inviting, but it's largely a surprise that AOL would make such a move. The AOL brass chalk it up to expansion and an effort to buy up properties that show potential for monetization and are open (Bebo supports Facebook and OpenSocial apps.) But anyone who's been around the internet for a while knows that AOL is not classically about openness.

Joanna Shields, President of Bebo, will remain at the company's helm at their offices in San Francisco.

As a point of reference, Facebook has around 67 million members, MySpace is around 100 million, although some say that's bunk. This acquisition puts the AOL social-networking reach at around 80 million. Meanwhile, Friendster is cruising at a cool 3 total members.

UPDATE: Friendster contacted us and helpfully pointed out that the social networking site has over 62 million users, had over 34 million unique visitors in January and is the 11th most visited site on the entire interwebs. Our original report of three total users was grossly inaccurate (and just a joke.).

news.com: AOL buys social network Bebo for $850 million

It's Official. Sort of. We'll be getting a next-gen Mortal Kombat later in the year according to what Midway CEO told to investors in a conference call earlier this week.

It will be the first MK game for the so-called next-gen systems and it can be said that a certain amount of work needs to be done to win back fans of the first couple Mortal Kombats, as the last few have stunk mightily.

No word yet on if it will be classic 2-D or in 360 degrees. Looks like we might have another Street Fighter - Mortal Kombat showdown, just like in the old days.

mcvuk.com: Next-gen Mortal Kombat game coming this year
Also, in case you missed it back in the day, here's Proxicide's flash movie where Raiden steals Chun-Li from Ken and spanks her around a little.


Colbert Will be President


Posted March 12, 2008 - By jrmylmb

Despite the comedy of the Stewart/Colbert '08 posters and bumper stickers that have made the rounds, there is no truth that either of them will be running for office any time soon. It is true, however, that Colbert will be voicing the President of the United States in the upcoming Monsters vs. Aliens flick.

Also voicing characters in this DreamWorks animated throwback are Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Rainn Wilson, Kiefer Sutherland and Paul Rudd.

Did you know Hugh Laurie is British? That blows my mind.

darkhorizons.com: Monsters Vs. Aliens Cast Announced

Wolfgang Peterson is set to direct an adaptation of Uprising and we can be sure it will be handled with the same intense melodrama and spectacle we've come to know from this venerated legend of Hollywood. But judging from the other people included on the project, it may go sour.

Just follow the link below for an hilarious list of bad movies that the people involved in Uprising have created, Das Boot being the sole exception (and that was made in 1981.)

variety.com: Petersen Lead Columbia's 'Uprising'

Tags: Movies

Analysts are saying that Grand Theft Auto IV's April 29 release could interfere with the May 2 release of the Iron Man film as the demographics overlap.

Film industry folks blamed the Halo 3 release last fall for a slump in ticket sales. Halo 3 raked in $300 million in it's first week and due to the fact that GTA IV is multi-platform and more people now own a next-gen console, some are saying the new trek back to Liberty City will be even more lucrative.

If you've been paying attention, you should know that Rockstar is saying the game will take 100 hours to finish. So, if you buy it at 12:01am on April 29 and play it through without stopping, you could make the 4:15am screening of Iron Man on Saturday, May 3. So, we're not expecting the opening weekend to be effected at all here at TheFeed.

next-gen.biz: GTA IV May Carjack Iron Man Ticket Sales

Hulu Launches Wednesday


Posted March 11, 2008 - By jrmylmb

Hulu is going live on Wednesday and TheFeed is very excited. We've been poking around in their Beta for a few months now, just watching Family Guy and Heroes episodes, as well as a ton of cheesy gameshows. There's lots of content from NBC, FOX, and other providers like your own G4 with more on the way. There's coverage from the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show for cryin out loud.

A supposed drawback is that you can't download anything, but those who know how to use bit torrents for private transfer of non-copyrighted material don't need this feature anyway.

Also, if you haven't seen the live action Tick shows, they're up there. Check them out tomorrow.

The Loop: Hulu-Baloo »

MP3 Player Turns 10


Posted March 11, 2008 - By jrmylmb

Happy Birthmonth to the MP3 player! This month, the MP3 player is 10 years old. It doesn't seem like it's been ten years since we first plugged our iPod into the… wait, iPod wasn't first? Released on October 23, 2001, the iPod was actually over 3 years behind the Saehan MPMan F10, which had 32 MB of Flash storage, enough for about 8 songs at a crummy sample rate.

It was the second player, the Diamond Rio PMP300, that garnered the most attention from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) who sued it for giving people the option to store and listen to music files portably. It was really a reaction to things like Napster that were catching tons of fire for their peer2peer sharing systems.

But eventually they were both left in the dust by the juggernaut success of the iPod, which once it was opened up to PC users in 2003, made it impossible for small players like Saehan and Diamond to keep pace. So, Happy B-Month, Saehan.

Sorry you couldn't be here to celebrate it… I guess.

reghardware.co.uk: Ten years old: the world's first MP3 player

Tags: Apple, Products, Tech

Microsoft to Support Blu-Ray


Posted March 10, 2008 - By jrmylmb

MS CEO Steve Ballmer says they'll work with Blu-ray "in ways that make sense." This is a complete 180 from 2007 as Microsoft had quite obviously supported HD DVD with their Xbox peripheral, which by the way has dropped significantly in price if you're looking to build up your dead format museum.

Ballmer went on to say that they've "already been working on, for example, in Windows, device driver support for Blu-ray drives and the like…" Microsoft continues to tout that their console is primarily for gaming and that people aren't buying similar devices for their HD movie capabilities. Try telling that to Sony, who has seen a steady rise in sales recently and seems poised to surpass the 360 in overall sales very soon.

gamespot.com: Microsoft Talks Blu-Ray Support

Tags: Movies, Xbox 360

SXSW Web Awards


Posted March 10, 2008 - By jrmylmb

The South by Southwest Web Awards happened over the weekend in Austin and the ceremony, by most reports, was mirthful for all involved thanks to emcee Eugene Mirman. Also, friend to G4, enemy to all else, Marc Cohn of Ask a Ninja fame was there to accept awards for people who could not attend.

Amusement: Elf Yourself
Games: Kongregate
Classic: Wired
Film/TV: Animoto Productions
Best G4-Related News Feed: TheFeed

We are honored to accept our fake award that does not exist, on behalf of all imaginary things. You'll find the full list at the wired link below. It does not include our imaginary award because SXSW refuses to recognize it.

wired.com: SXSW: It's the Web Awards

Remember how amazing Pole Position was? Pac-Man? Joust? Have you played them recently? Have you had the disquieting sensation that the games you loved when you were younger kind of, well, suck really bad? Do you like questions that appear to be rhetorical but turn out to be sort of important?
After a semi-exhaustive survey of many classic games offered via download, we must conclude that old games suck more than we remember. But the problem isn't the games. It's us.

We're concerned about this seemingly incomprehensible phenomenon, so we did a little research.
A study on nostalgia from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  revealed that, "people are motivated to protect and enhance the positivity of the self-concept" and that, "nostalgia constitutes a benign mechanism through which people affirm valued aspects of the self."

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Tags: Videogames

A Korean gentleman known merely as Jeong left LG back in 2005 with over a thousand top secret files on plasma display technology on a personal drive. A few months later he was handed a cush job at Chinese competitor Changhong in China. Well, for some stupid reason, he went back to Korea (maybe he forgot his favorite pair of socks) and was promptly arrested by Korean officials.

Changhong is now on track to release their new line of plasmas using the "borrowed" LG technology. Whoa. This is big time international corporate espionage type stuff. In my neighborhood you get killed over some strap like this. Could get really interesting.

engadget.com: Former LG employee leaks $1b in top secret plasma info to Chinese manufacturer


Hollywood studios brought in a record $9.6 billion in the US and Canada for the 2007 calendar year, thanks mostly to boosted ticket prices. Its unclear how much the writer's strike affected that total, in a town that reportedly lost $2.9 billion because of it. It's possible that the rippling effects of the strike will not be felt in films as immediately as they were in TV.

Ticket sales for movies have leveled off at around 1.4 billion a year and that trend stretches back a few years even as the average cost that Hollywood spends per movie is increasing from around $100 million in 2006 to around $106.6 million last year.

usatoday.com: Movies reel in record $9.6 billion in 2007

Tags: Movies
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