Friday, April 06, 2007

Mario/Sonic together?; DISH add sports hi-def

Mario and Sonic are two of the most popular videogame characters of all time, the Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino of the videogame universe.

The two giants, however, are owned by two different companies. They have never been together in a videogame.

Until now.

SEGA and Nintendo have both lent licenses to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Developed for the Wii and Nintendo DS, the game will drop for the Christmas rush.

Players will compete in events that take place in environments based on the official venues of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Other favorite characters scheduled to compete: Luigi, Knuckles, Yoshi and Tails.

“Mario and Sonic have been respectful rivals since the early days of video games,” said Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo. “In fact, for a long time they have been discussing the possibility of one day competing against each other. Now that they have been given the perfect opportunity to meet at the Olympic Games, we may finally learn who is actually faster, Mario or Sonic?”

I don't know who's faster, but I do know one holiday titles that will be leaving store shelves very, very fast.

DISH Launches Regional Sports Networks in HD

DISH satellite TV subscribers are getting seven regional sports networks in high definition.

The seven HD RSNs launched this week include Fox Sports Network Florida (DISH Network Ch. 373), Fox Sports Network Midwest (Ch. 368), Fox Sports Network West (Ch. 367), Fox Sports Network Prime Ticket (Ch. 361), Fox Sports Network Rocky Mountain (Ch. 364), Fox Sports Network South (Ch. 370) and Fox Sports Network Southwest (Ch. 366).

DISH Network will continue to explore carriage of additional HD RSNs throughout the year to enhance local HD programming line-ups. In addition to the seven RSNs announced today, DISH Network will begin offering Sun Sports and SportSouth this spring as well as Altitude this fall.


What is Derek Jeter using to hit the ball better these days? the new ProBatter PX2 pitching simulator from ProBatter Sports. It's another sign of how videogame tech is impacting society in more ways than online gaming.

The Yankees bought three simulators, sending two to their minor league teams.

The ProBatter pitching simulator projects a DVD-quality image of a real pitcher onto an 8x10 foot screen. The hitter watches as the pitcher winds up (or throws from a stretch) -- at the moment of release, an actual ball is fired through a small hole in the screen, delivering virtually any pitch a human being can.

News N Notes

-- Charlotte-based LikeTelevision announced today that its library of on-line video content has reached 10,000 videos.

Movies like "To Kill a Mockingbird," and shows like "The Beverly Hillbillies" are all on-line in a well-organized library ready to watch or download.

-- Tor Books has released Halo: Ghosts of Onyx. The book, the publisher says, " takes readers deep into crucial events that unfold during the Halo and Halo 2 timelines, expanding the characters and story of the Halo Universe as fans eagerly await the arrival of Halo 3 later this year."

-- Siber Systems' new RoboForm 6.6 is the most comprehensive protection yet for passwords, log-in information, credit card numbers and other highly private personal information. This new version conveniently and automatically fills out online forms for users & offers a number of new security features including the ability to isolate and protect personal IDs and passwords currently left exposed in the AutoComplete directory of Microsoft Internet Explorer.

-- Congoo's News Circles lets users pick from about 480 predetermined news categories or create their own using keyword searches on a given topic. Building a News Circle literally takes 2 minutes offering the intersection of social media and news sharing. If you want to reach new customers, tell people about your expertise, comment about news in your industry, or do some social networking about a specific topic, News Circles lets you do that without spending lots of time writing and updating a blog.

-- Direct2Drive ( has launched the Web’s first independent, download-to-own comic book store and will begin selling comic book titles from Top Cow Productions.

The downloadable comic books will be delivered in high-resolution, full-color documents via Adobe Systems Incorporated’s Portable Document Format (PDF), enabling users to download, view and print the comic books on any standard Windows PC.

-- Microsoft's Xbox 360 Elite ($479) will include a 120GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high-definition cable, and a premium black finish for the console, wireless controller and Xbox LIVE headset.

The new 120GB hard drive also will be sold as a stand-alone accessory to give current Xbox 360 owners greater choice and flexibility in their games and entertainment experience. Additional Xbox 360 Elite accessories, such as the black Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit and the Xbox 360 rechargeable battery, will be available separately. The Xbox 360 Elite and its accessories are expected to begin arriving in U.S. stores on April 29.

-- Microsoft announced that TV series and movies from A&E Network, ADV Films, National Geographic and will add to the more than 1,500 hours of downloadable entertainment content already available on Xbox LIVE in the U.S.

Paramount Pictures will offer its feature films for download in high definition. Available titles will include "Braveheart," "Team America: World Police," "World Trade Center" and "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut."
-- You’re most likely making projections for the 2007 MLB season. Sony PlayStation has done the same by running a complete 2007 MLB simulation using the best selling, longest running and most realistic baseball video game on the market, MLB 07 The Show. To see how we came up with the predictions, we've included a brief paragraph after the predictions.

-- NASCAR NEXTEL CUP Series champion Tony Stewart will appear on the cover of NASCAR 08, scheduled for release this summer. NASCAR 08 is the first title in the NASCAR franchise to be made available on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

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