E3 will be downsized

The Electronic Entertainment Expo. For gamefans it’s Christmas and the World Cup all in one. The world’s largest videogames event is where companies like Sony and Nintendo make key announcements about their latest hardware and games.

Uptil now it was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event will now be evolving into a more “intimate” event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities, the organization announced.

Are we spotting dark clouds above Gameland?


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Sony announces profits

Some good news coming out of the display division, finally. Sony said net profit rose to 216 million euro in Q2. In short: flatscreens and phones (Sony Ericsson’s Walkman-branded phones in particular) are making up for the heavy PS3-losses.


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Press release: new Pioneer digital AV Receivers

Pioneer announces 2 new AV receivers in the mid-high range. Both the VSX-AX4ASi and the VSX-AX2AS offer advanced HDMI connectivity, are THX Select2 certified, and include direct digital support for iPod Photo.

They’re equipped with four and three HDMI inputs respectively, fully capable of handling 1080p video signals. Both receivers use an advanced video scaler chipset with DCDi by Faroudja technology and feature flicker-free interlaced to progressive conversion options.

The multi-channel receivers provide additional THX listening modes for enhanced playback of a variety of entertainment content, including movies, music or games and guarantee the best possible sound, according to Pioneer.
The two new AV receivers will be available at the end of September. For more information on costs and availability, contact your local Pioneer office or distributor.


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Do Plasma televisions generate heat?

Was the electric chair invented by a dentist? Can a giraffe clean its ears with its tongue? Do Plasma televisions generate heat? The answer is yes, yes, and yes.
And you can read it at

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Depeche Mode mp3 player

Enjoy the Silence? Not anymore. German company TrekStor has made a special edition of one of its mp3 players and dedicated it to Depeche Mode. Some features of the i.Beat vision DM:
. Playable file formats: MP3, WMA, OGG, TOM
. Movie player (TOM)
. Integrated stereo FM radio
. Integrated voice recorder (MP3)
. TFT display with 260,000 colors
. Direct recording from the radio (as an MP3 file)
. Line-in recording (MP3)

The extras are quite disappointing. Yes, there’s the Depeche Mode inspired casing. And the preinstalled video of Suffer Well. But that’s about it.

The 2GB version costs about 220 euro. We wonder if U2 is getting worried…
DM player


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EU investigating on HD DVD & Blu-ray

Bill Gates knows what it’s like to have the European Union on his tail. Now Sony and Toshiba may expect some of the same treatment from the European Commission.

The Commission is investigating on HD DVD and Blu-ray. However, no complaints or charges so far. According to a spokesman, the Commission just wants to know more details about the licensing of their products.

So if you’ve ever wondered what Brussels is doing with your tax money, there’s your answer. Once you buy a new player (beit HD DVD or Blu-ray), you’ll know you pay a fair price.

More details on the BBC website.

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Less is more: LG plans 37″ HD-LCD sets

LG Electronics is planning to expand its global line-up of full high-definition LCD televisions by adding two smaller models: 37″ and 42″. LG currently sells 47″ and 55″ LCD TVs with full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Until recently high-def TVs with 1080 lines has only been available on sets with large screens. However as technology improves and prices drop TV set makers are adding it to smaller screen models to stay competitive.

The new full HD models will appear in Europe in the third quarter of 2006. (source:

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BenQ goes black: 3 new handsets

Sponsoring the best football team ever (according to FIFA) arouses hopes. So, when BenQ-Siemens comes up with three new devices, we only expect perfection. The Register reviews the E71, E81 and SL91. Available in Europe in Q4.


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Samsung E500 Versus

Fa-fa-fa-fa fashion phones the sequel. Seems like Versace’s betting on two horses. Last year, they made a special version of the Nokia 7270. But now, they’ve teamed up with Samsung too.

The Samsung E500 Versus offers three colour options: white and gold, white and antique pink, and black and silver.

Samsung adds in its press release this clamshell mobile phone sports a 1.3 megapixel camera, Music Player and Bluetooth. We doubt fashionistas even care…

Versace versus Samsung

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Sony to upgrade the PSP

Sony announced some future plans for the PlayStation Portable (PSP), at Comic-Con, a comic book event in San Diego, USA.
* Upgraded PSPs will work as a remote for the upcoming PS3 (thus following Nintendo who did the same with Game Boy Advance and GameCube)
* The newest PSPs will support RSS feeds for the built-in web browser
* Sony is also looking at ways to bring downloadable movies to PSP owners, which might be the final blow for UMD.


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Press release: 3 new Pioneer HD-DVD recorders

Pioneer announces 3 new Hard Disk DVD recorders (each featuring an HDMI output, advanced video processing and entertainment functions) will be available in October.

The new line-up includes:
* The DVR-645H, with integrated analogue TV tuner and 250GB hard disk, capable of storing up to 711 hours of video
* The DVR-545HX, with integrated digital (DVB-T) tuner, with 160GB hard disk (capable of storing up to 455 hours of video)
* The DVR-545H, with integrated analogue TV tuner, also with 160GB hard disk.

A new innovation for this line-up is the ‘Entertainment Engine’, included in the DVR-645H and DVR-545HX. The Engine enables you to upload digital images or compressed audio files at high speed, via the recorder’s front-in USB host.
You can then create a JPEG slideshow, whilst compressed audio is being played, or even print photographs from the hard disk via a PictBridge compatible USB printer. This means that your hard disk DVD recorder now also serves as a convenient central library of video content, audio titles and digital photographs.

For more info, read the full article. For your local office or distributor, click here.

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Windows is not – we repeat: not – working on an iPod killer. So just for now, let’s all pretend we don’t know it will be called Zune.

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