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Sony Posts $300 Million Loss for FY Q1, Overall Revenue Slightly Up

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sony Posts $300 Million Loss for FY Q1, Overall Revenue Slightly Up

Sony's new CEO Kaz Hirai has said countless times that the company's revival plan will right the ship. Since that July 1st meeting and discussion to reassure investors, Sony has purchased Gaikai for $380 million and is readying its third generation of the PlayStation 3. We had to assume that all of this would cost Sony some money but at least would justify the job cuts in a way. At the very least, we'd hoped there wouldn't be another disastrous loss.

I don't know if "disastrous" would be used to cover their sales numbers they posted this week, but it certainly isn't good. Sony said that the economy was still tough and that "the trend toward appreciation of the yen (took) hold." The company also reconsidered its forecast on the fiscal year and estimated a "severe operating environment" for Q2. Unfortunately their gaming division was severely impacted by the losses and Sony had to lower its sales outlook for PlayStation consoles/handhelds that will be sold this year, which will end up making this division perform "significantly below" the original forecast.

So how bad did Sony do? We have the painful numbers after the break.

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EA Sues Zynga Over Sims Social Look-a-like, The Ville

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

EA Sues Zynga Over <i>Sims Social</i> Look-a-like, <i>The Ville</i>

As discussed last week on our show, Zynga's slumping performance as of late has led them to be a little bit desperate to hold on to their quickly diminishing userbase; some games have lost half of their 15 million users. They held a massively unimpressive press event to show off uninteresting games and are now grasping at straws with their new social game, The Ville. If you've played the game or even looked at the screen shots, you'd think you were playing The Sims Social, right down to some of the icons!

It didn't take Electronic Arts very long to notice the almost identical game style and design and because of that, the company has sued Zynga, citing direct copying of key features and other important aspects of the game. For Zynga, the company has faced several lawsuits lately that they've just let slide and not paid much attention to, however I think they will make an exception for EA. The stature of the opponent combined with their dismal sales numbers should make for an interesting case in court.

EA says that when The Ville's avatars dance around, talk to one another and do other Sim-y things that they look identical to EA's star social game. EA also said that The Ville's eight levels of player types, from villain to athlete, are just like the scoundrel to jock set in The Sims, except different names. Zynga is also being sued for the color scheme it has used for selecting the player's skin tone. Even the naming of the game is a direct copy: single out the distinctive word from your game series. SimCity, SimTower, SimFarm, etc became The Sims; FarmVille, CityVille and CastleVille became The Ville.

They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I think a cease-and-desist is a fitting return gesture, no?

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Amazon Secures Four Major Music Labels for Their Revamped Cloud Music Player

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Amazon Secures Four Major Music Labels for Their Revamped Cloud Music Player

We knew Amazon has been bringing more and more value to its Amazon Prime Instant Video service for some time now, however we've known for a while that they also wanted to start up a "better than Google" music service. Until this week, not much has been heard of the new project, as they were working on securing the music labels, similar to how Spotify had to go through its motions. Sure, the Cloud Drive was up and running, letting you load up 5GB of music, but there wasn't a diverse enough list of songs to choose from and you had to buy their music to get their 20GB service. Plus, it launched without consent from the music labels, which meant the app couldn't have lasted very long if they didn't take action fast.

What labels are on board and what will it cost you, you ask? Luckily we have the answers for you after the break.

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An Olympic Gold Medal for Konami Employee

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

An Olympic Gold Medal for Konami Employee

This is probably the last Olympic story I thought I would ever write. The gold medalist in the men's individual all-around gymnastics competition in London, Kohei Uchimura, works for Konami. Yes, you read that right: an Olympic gold winner works for a videogame company. Uchimura, however, is not alone. He is actually one of three Konami employees to be competing in London: Koji Yamamuro, Yusuke Tanaka and Kohei Uchimura, all representing the company's home country, Japan.

Konami Sports & Life Co., the division of Konami that Uchimura works for, aims at "providing you an enjoyable and valuable time within your daily life through health and fitness." It would appear that having a gold medalist working for the division they will be closer to being able to accomplishing that lofty goal.

Konami posted on their website,

Konami Sports & Life Co., Ltd. would like to congratulate Uchimura on this great accomplishment, and extend appreciation to his many supporters and fans. Konami will continue to aid in the further development and popularization of sports.

We, too, congratulate him on something seemingly no gamer would have ever expected: an Olympic medal. Thank you for proving to the world that not all gamers are fat and live in the parents' basement. You can see all of his gold medal performances after the break.

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Jon M. Chu in Talks to Helm He-Man

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Jon M. Chu in Talks to Helm He-Man

File this under the heading of WTF. Jon M. Chu, who is currently overseeing Justin Bieber's concert tour, "directed" the documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, as well as directing Step Up 2 and Step Up 3D, is currently in talks to direct a live-action Masters of the Universe movie.

Now, the beginning of this article was a little bit of a misdirection. In addition to Bieber-fever, Chu is also currently working on the second G.I. Joe movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, meaning he has experience manning a movie adaptation of an action figure line. The only problem is the movie has been delayed almost a year and, of course, has still not been released. This means that there is no way of knowing if his movie is going to be as successful as the first, or become another adaptation movie that is lost to history (see the first Hulk movie as a reference).

On the side of failure is the fact that this will be the second attempt at a live-action He-Man film. The first was done at the height of the He-Man craze, in 1987, and it still didn't make it. That was before the revival generation of films, however. With the success of G.I. Joe and Michael Bay's Transformers titles, there is still hope for a successful adaptation. And think, even The Incredible Hulk was able to succeed on the heals of the first massive failure.

I guess Chu has a lot to fight against, and a lot to prove if he is chosen to head this project. So, the question is, with or without Chu at the helm, do you want to see a live-action He-Man movie, or do you prefer the character that Seth Green has created for Prince Adam on Robot Chicken? Fight it out in the comments.

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Illinois Bans Employer Social Snooping

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Illinois Bans Employer Social Snooping

Since the trend of employers asking for Facebook passwords became widely known, a bill was defeated and then resurrected to prevent the practice once and for all. Not wanting to wait on the federal government, however, Illinois has become the second state to pass the bill on their own.

The law was signed into law on August 1st, banning employers from asking their employees or perspective employees for their social networking passwords. This law is intended to protect the privacy of employees and job candidates from employers finding out private information about people. It also prevents an employer from reprimanding employees based on information on social sites that would normally be private. If you say it publicly, however, I would imagine that is not covered.

What do people think of this law so far? Hit the break for reactions.

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