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December 14, 2006 | From the Associated Press
The European Commission said Wednesday that it had withdrawn plans that could end copyright levies on electronic equipment but denied it had done so under pressure from the French government. Most European countries charge fees on music and video players and blank CDs to compensate artists and copyright holders for legal copying.
December 7, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday that it would sell more than 1 million Zune digital media players by June 30, giving its first forecast for the device and showing how it plans to stack up against Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod. That tally should allow Microsoft to meet its goal of becoming the second-biggest maker of media players with a 30-gigabyte hard drive, said Bryan Lee, a vice president in Microsoft's entertainment business. Lee declined to say how many Zune players Microsoft has sold.
November 18, 2006 | Valerie Reitman, Times Staff Writer
Dollar signs danced in the head of business student Julian Perry, 25, when he learned that the much-anticipated PlayStation 3 would go on sale Friday -- in limited quantities. As demand outstripped supply, Perry knew the video game console's price would rocket past Sony's $599 list price -- on EBay. So Perry hired seven people to get in line with him. It would be a long wait. They arrived Monday afternoon at the Circuit City in Torrance, where 100 machines were to go on sale at 12:01 a.m.
September 25, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Sony Corp., the world's biggest maker of video game players, cut the price in Japan of its PlayStation 3 by about 20%, responding to complaints that it cost twice as much as rival consoles. The game player will retail for $430 when it goes on sale in Japan on Nov. 11, Ken Kutaragi, head of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said Friday at the Tokyo Game Show. The company previously said it would sell models for $540.
September 21, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Microsoft Corp. is introducing an external high-definition DVD player for the Xbox 360 video game console to compete with the Blu-ray disc player in Sony Corp.'s upcoming PlayStation 3. The rollout plans come as the Redmond, Wash.-based company tries to shore up sales ahead of the arrival this year of next-generation consoles by its two top rivals -- Sony and Nintendo Co. The Xbox 360's external player, to be launched in Japan on Nov.
September 18, 2006 | From the Associated Press
RealNetworks Inc. is teaming with SanDisk Corp. to release a portable music player that more closely links with RealNetworks' Rhapsody online music service, the companies said. The deal, expected to be announced today, is the latest attempt to take on Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod and iTunes stronghold. Analysts see it as a way for SanDisk and RealNetworks to join forces against a new common foe: Microsoft Corp., which recently announced plans to release its Zune portable music player and service.
September 14, 2006 | From Reuters
A top U.S. antitrust official urged foreign governments to think twice before interfering with popular new technologies, singling out overseas scrutiny of Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes online music service as an example of misguided enforcement. Justice Department antitrust chief Thomas Barnett cited proposals by some officials overseas to impose restrictions on iTunes as an example of overzealous regulation that he said could discourage innovation and hurt consumers.
September 7, 2006 | From the Associated Press
The release of Sony's PlayStation 3 will be delayed in Europe until March because of problems with producing a key component, the executive in charge of the project said Wednesday. The much-awaited next generation of the popular game console will go on sale in November in the U.S. and Japan as planned, but fewer units will be available for the launch dates. The company is sticking to its initial global target of shipping 6 million PlayStation 3 machines by March.
July 28, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Microsoft Corp.'s plans to offer an iPod competitor could take up to five years of investment, but the spending is worth it in part because it will help the software maker's broader entertainment agenda, a company executive said. Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices group, told financial analysts that the company's planned Zune product line would require millions of dollars in investment and would not pay off immediately.
July 10, 2006 | Dawn C. Chmielewski, Times Staff Writer
Sony Corp. has patented technology that would prevent its PlayStation consoles from playing used, rented or borrowed video games -- raising questions about whether the electronics and entertainment giant may attempt to redefine what it means to own something in the digital age. Sony has said little about the technology, patented in Japan in 2000, or how it might be deployed.
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