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Comment Re:They are also worried about unlicensed devs (Score 1) 267

Consoles are subsidized through software licensing, as has already pointed out. The fact that Sony has "other, substantial businesses" helped when the console slogged through its first few years, but the only console producer that has consistently profited from hardware is Nintendo.

It's the "razor and blades" business model, and its application in the video gaming industry is a lot more forgiving to consumers than it is in many other contexts. At least with video games, there's a healthy second-hand market (no, Mr. Bear, I have no interest in your used Mach III blades, thank you very much) and the option to wait for prices to drop... unless we're talking about Call of Duty 4, which will still be $40 long after we're dead.

Comment Re:They are also worried about unlicensed devs (Score 1) 267

According to an article on IGN, the PlayStation 3's production cost at launch was as much as $840.35. They had a hard enough time pushing the console at $600, and an additional $240.35 wasn't going to make that any easier, which would have been the bare minimum without the current business model.

Licensing fees are rather high for the PS3, so it can be argued that you'd make up for the high initial investment buy paying less for games, but there's no guarantee that publisher's won't just take the savings for themselves. Do you know why Activision is suddenly selling Wii and PC games for $60? I'll give you a hint... It isn't because licensing fees suddenly went up.

Comment Inconceivable! (Score 1) 286

God forbid we have a digital distribution service that benefits the consumer!

If Valve takes advantage of small developers, I don't know why those developers continue to flock to the service like flies to honey. And if there really is a conflict of interest, they don't seem to be exercising it. Valve games aren't advertised any more than third-party titles, and the standard non-sale prices are comparable.

Comment Re:Gamestop -- pushing used games over new (Score 1) 664

What about $36 for Little Big Planet? Or even $33?

The big benefit to buying used from Gamestop isn't the paltry $5 discount; it's the sales on used games that occur every weekend. The usual discount is 20-30%, but last weekend's sale was Buy 2, Get 1 Free, turning that $55 game into a $33 one if you shop smart and use an Edge card.

I hate Gamestop as much as the next guy, but they're not always a ripoff.


Internet Communications While At Sea? 504

ubergamer1337 writes "Next semester I will be participating in a college study abroad program known as Semester at Sea. The gist of it is that over four months 600ish students sail around the world on a converted cruise ship, visiting diverse port cities while taking classes when we are between ports. Debates about its educational merit aside, my internet options while I will be at sea will be severely limited. We get just 100 minutes of internet access for the entire voyage, and once thats gone the only internet access we have is a university email address, which is limited to messages under a megabyte with no attachments. I have been pondering different ways to staying in contact with friends and family back at home without running to an internet cafe in every port, and I have already decided that I want to set up a blog that can be updated by email, but I wanted to ask the collective wisdom of Slashdot if anyone knows of any other ways to transmit more then just your standard message through email. Some things I would be particularity interested in being able to figure out would be a way to send photos (encode them as text?), and a way to get Wikipedia pages etc. emailed to me."

Comment Executive Privilege (Score 4, Insightful) 249

I didn't realize, until reading this article, that law is what forced the presidents to remain unwired. I just always assumed they were out of touch with the technological curve.

Still, that makes the president the only American citizen completely immune to spam, phishing, and those annoying e-mails laden with photos of dogs dressed up like superheroes.

That's some pretty hearty executive privilege.

Comment Re:I bought the kit (Score 1) 146

At least they're honoring your request.

I ordered my band kit from RedOctane, and the guitar had a broken whammy bar. (It behaves as if it's always down, so playing a song sounds incredibly out of tune and unpleasant.)

It's been almost two weeks, and I still haven't been sent any RMA information.

United States

Barack Obama Wins US Presidency 3709

Last night, around 11pm, all the major networks announced that Senator Barack Obama had won the election. Soon after, Senator McCain conceded. There were no crazy partisan court hearings, just a simple election. This is your chance to talk about it and what it means for the future of our nation.

Verizon Wireless To Buy Alltel For $28B 207

CWmike writes "Matt Hamblen reports that Verizon Wireless has officially announced an agreement to purchase Alltel for $28.1 billion, which would make the new company the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., with 80 million subscribers. The deal will undoubtedly provoke scrutiny by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, they acknowledge. Who loses? 'This [deal] is another nail in the coffin for Sprint," said Michael Voellinger, an analyst at Telwares in Parsippany, N.J. 'Alltel is a highly valuable and strategic roaming partner to the top four providers, and this acquisition would put long-term pressure on pricing and terms of those arrangements.'"

Duke Nukem Forever 'Confirmed' For Late 2008 344

An anonymous reader writes "A Dallas newspaper is claiming that the long-in-development title Duke Nukem Forever is headed for retail release in late 2008. Unfortunately, game creator 3D Realms says that's not exactly what they meant. 'What the modest Texas newspaper actually seems to suggest is that 3D Realms is "on target" to release the mythical sequel sometime this year, though company president Scott Miller adds, "we may miss the mark by a month or two" (wink, wink). Miller also hinted that "hitting the big three" (in this case, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3) is the obvious development strategy, but he continued to stress that 3D Realms has not "formally announced any platforms for DNF."'"

Details of Cyber Storm War Games Released 96

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Apparently, the participants in the U.S. 'Cyber Storm' war games are familiar with the Kobayashi Maru, because some of them tried to cheat by hacking the games themselves. They also prepare for some very interesting scenarios. Among other things, the organizers are worried about having too many people on the 'No Fly' list show up at an airport, finding 'mystery liquids' in the subway, and having bloggers reveal the classified location of railcars with hazardous materials. The Department of Homeland Security has already analyzed the results of the games, and plans to hold 'Cyber Storm 2' in March."

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