Gates is now 1 year into his 2 year transition period in his move to depart Microsoft, and is still planning to leave the company 1 year from now. Since his departure to the side lines and handing over the steering wheel to Balmer, the company has reportedly doubled it’s revenue and almost doubled it’s profits in just 5 years.
It will be interesting to see how much input Gates has into the running and direction of the company once he completely leaves, since he will still retain a position on the board.
Balmer was quoted today in the press as saying that the $1bn cost that Microsoft swallowed for the 1 in 3 failure rate of their XBox 360 console was ‘painful’.
Microsoft recently announced that it would extend a full replacement warranty for 3 years for all XBox 360s previously and newly sold in order to handle the 1 in 3 failure rate that consumers are currently seeing with their XBox 360s.
Sony are partnering with SKY in Europe to provide a downloadable library of ondemand movies for PSP users. Since we’re been expecting this to come for quite some time, how long will it be before Sony offer this service for the PS3 also, and in the US?
Sony are going all out on maximizing their news coverage this week at the E3 conference. First there were no weekly updates on the Playstation Network last week, just a banner ad stating to expect something new this week at E3. Apparently there will be downloadable videos from the Playstation Network on the PS3 during this week to cover the news announcements. Today it emerged that Sony will also be streaming their press announcement live on the official Playstation website. Since Sony seems to be gowing great lengths to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to hear whatever they are going to say, just what are they going to announce?
- Home, their massively multi-user online environment is already in closed beta and is due to go live in October, so probably nothing related to Home that we haven’t heard already.
- The PS3 price was dropped $100 today – big news, but already news to most people, including the masses that rushed to buy on Amazon today and boost the sales by 2800%, making it their #1 top selling product today.
- An 80GB model has also been confirmed (for sale in October), so probably not an announcement about a new model. The new 80GB model will take the current price of the 60GB model at $599, and the 60GB drops to $499. Interestingly, the new 80GB model will now only include software emulation for the PSOne and PS2 (as in Europe), so will not enjoy full backwards compatibility (since the previously shipped 20GB and 60GB models in the US shipped including the PS2’s CPU and additional chips to ensure hardware compatibility).
- Remote internet access from your PSP to your PS3 at home has already been available for a couple of months now, so not that either.
- DVD video and PSOne/PS2 game upscaling to HD has also just been added via a firmware update in the last few weeks.
Ok, so what’s the announcement about? Here’s a couple of guesses:
- Online Playstation Network access to buy music and movies? This wouldn’t be major news (although a neat feature), since MS’s XBoxLive already has downloadable movies for a fee. I’m not sure it has music though, so an iTunes tie-in would be pretty neat? Downloadable TV episodes via iTunes?
- One feature that hasn’t been mentioned for some time – before the PS3 launch there was talk of a Tivo-like DVR feature for the PS3, being able to record SD and HD video streams and scheduled recordings like Tivo. There was even a photo on Flickr at one point of a demo of the PS3 playing multiple HD video streams simultaneously, something we haven’t seen yet.
- Simple photo cropping was recently added in a firmware update. What if Sony was to add fully support for picture editing (red eye removal, filters etc), and/or a video editing package on the PS3?
- There’s always the chance that the announcements will not be PS3 related at all. There have been rumors for a while of a new PSP, with an integral hard drive?
So, what’s it going to be?