WHILE REPORTS of cost-cutting by Microsoft have circulated the internet since the inception of the Xbox 360, similar stories regarding Sony's Playstation 3 haven't been as forthcoming.
However, now it seems news of serious budgeting by Sony has led to a massive cost reduction in the company's flagship console.
While the Playstation 3 cost Sony somewhere around $800 a console to build when it was launched in November 2006, Sony has told Business Week that the PS3 now costs about $400 to produce - which is similar to the RRP of the new 40GB SKU.
Sony Japan has announced that it is to discontinue the 20GB and 60GB PlayStation 3 SKUs after a final shipment in January, Gamesindustry.biz reports.
The company said that it now intends to concentrate on the 40GB model in the region as it "vigorously promotes" the home console during 2008.
The GPS receiver for the Sony PSP is about to find its way out of Japan and into US gamers' hands, as Sony intends to launch it soon. Hopefully the company will also launch it in the UK.
Sony also confirmed that Skype will be making its way to the PSP.
And this may be the microphone attachment for the Skype software.
Nintendo has kept quiet about the upcoming WiiWare service, but third-party developer Engine Software has gone on record with the launch date. According to Engine, the service is scheduled to launch this March.
Bad news comes from IGN's Gerry Block, who has had direct information that Nintendo will not allow the licensing of any 'bat' like attachments for the Wiimote such as a lightsabre, due to safety concerns. So, Lucas Arts will not be able to release its own Official lightsabre add-on for the forthcoming Star Wars game.
At least you'll be able to buy some funky Wii speakers.
Here's the usual Eurogamer Wii Virtual Console round-up.
Officials from Microsoft have announced that a total of 17.7 million Xbox 360s have been sold worldwide since the console first went on sale in late 2005, with 4.3 million consoles sold in the last three months of 2007. According to estimates in September, the Wii had sold around 13.2 million units worldwide, and the PlayStation 3 5.6 million units.
BT and Microsoft have teamed up to allow Xbox 360 owners to access BT Vision - the telecom provider's TV-on-demand service - through their consoles from the middle of 2008.
The service will be offered in the UK to people so that they can continue to take advantage of Xbox 360 services, such as instant messaging, while they watch TV, rather than having to use an additional set-top box.
Unfortunately, BT has confirmed the new set-top box for Xbox 360 won't allow you to view or record live television.
Extremetech has a DIY article on how to hack your annoyingly loud Xbox 360 fan. µ
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