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The 90nm Cell/B.E. package as found in the PlayStation 3, now to be manufactured by Toshiba.  (Source: DailyTech)
Sony gives Toshiba something in return for its troubles -- Japanese Cell chip plants for $835M

A new twist has emerged with the death of HD DVD.  After Warner, Best Buy, Walmart and Netflix jumped on the Blu bandwagon, the fate of HD DVD was already sealed.

Despite the grim news, the principal HD DVD developer, Toshiba Corporation, refused to initially comment on its plans for its HD DVD.  However, as many analysts predicted, Toshiba came out last week and officially surrendered to Blu-ray

Many saw Toshiba's willingness to give up on HD DVD as a logical business decision and perhaps an admission of Blu-ray's superiority.  However, there might be a little more to the story.  Reuters reports that on Wednesday Toshiba and Sony Corporation, one of Blu-ray's principal developers, agreed to a major business deal, reached just after Toshiba made its final HD DVD decision.

Sony agreed to sell it microchip processing facilities in western Japan for approximately $835M USD.  These facilities currently produce Cell processors and RSX graphic chips.  Toshiba will enter the joint venture with Sony on April 1, 2008.

Toshiba, IBM and Sony were the principal developers of the Cell microprocessor, but Toshiba previously showed little interest in using the chip for any of its own projects.  Sony touts the Cell broadband engine in its Playstation 3 consoles; IBM uses the Cell processor in high performance computing clusters.  Toshiba has vowed to now use the Cell in its upcoming products.

While Toshiba and Sony entered into talks back in October 2007 and reached a tentative agreement to sell the cell facilities, the two companies continued to haggle about the price.  Sony's concession of what is considered a favorable price for Toshiba will likely strike many following Toshiba's drop as HD DVD as more than a coincidence, and perhaps a sign of an informal agreement.

The other interesting aspect of the move is that it indicates a clear shift by Toshiba to back the PS3.  The PS3, which last month outsold Microsoft's Xbox 360, previously had few ties to the company; while Microsoft's number one ally in hardware manufacturing has always been Toshiba.  Toshiba manufacturers several components for the Xbox 360, including the HD DVD add-on, and the Microsoft Zune MP3 players.

Toshiba's flip-flop may have been in the cards for a while.  Microsoft showed little remose as HD DVD took second place to Blu-ray; a move Toshiba must have recognized from its American ally.  Now the solidified PS3 venture between Sony and Toshiba indicates that Toshiba now has switched to backing the PS3 almost exclusively, another victory for Sony.

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RE: A matter of time
By Timeless on 2/25/2008 2:10:53 AM , Rating: 2
Can you stop spewing the same data over and over again? I believe you already said that Sony needs to sell 85k consoles in six years to be even five times already. Shessh, we get it.

Both formats combined sold a unimpressive .8 of one percent of movie sales. Movie studios were set to lose if both formats failed.

All fledging formats start off with small numbers. Did DVD sales shoot from >1% to over 90% in a night? Shessh, give Blu some time and it will go up.

SOny needs to outsell MS by about 85K each and every month to just break even in 6.5 yrs !

Yeah, yeah...we heard it all before. Do you really think sells won't rise when the AAA games come out this year? I wouldn't be surprised if MGS4 alone spike sells pass 100k more than the Xbox360.

Developer support for MS isn't going anywhere.. "exclusive" games once dominated by Sony will continue to see multi-platform release.. and games on 360 that are too big for one DVD will be put on 3 or 4 DVD's - AKA recent RPG release 'Lost Odyssey' which was developed by a couple of FF's people..

Isn't that jumping the gun a bit too soon? Yes, some developers have gone multi-platform. That doesn't mean that the rest will follow. Out of all the Japanese developers releasing games for the 360, it seems that Konami is the only one benefiting from it. I can kinda see why too. So far, all the JRPG on the 360 are tanking. Not to say that they have a lot, but the two main ones(Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey) aren't doing so good. Why waste money on a port to the 360 when current trends show that JRPGs aren't doing well on it? They could save money by just releasing it on the PS3 like what they did for the PS2. The Japanese developers won't abandon their market just to cater to a console that isn't doing well in Japan.

RE: A matter of time
By wolfpack1825 on 2/25/2008 2:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
Glad to see JRPG's are tanking. I have never liked them and the sooner they die the better. The Japanese games that are translated to english have always for the most part been terribly written, the cut scenes are the only thing that even gives merit to their existence

I sure hope Sony does not count on these games to boost sales. I guess they have there Japanese audience, but any of those that come state side are generally junk.

So I am okay if Microsoft just gives up on Japan and just makes quality titles in America.

MSG for the record had horrible controls, but the story was good. However the game itself was horrible, and there are countless titles to support that.

So I am not saying all games out of Japan are bad, but they sure have a huge library of ones that are. I sure hope they learned from there mistakes and really change there method of releasing games to North America

RE: A matter of time
By Timeless on 2/25/2008 5:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
Really now...I wouldn't say JRPGs tanking on the xbox360 is good thing. JRPGs rake in a decent amount of $$ each year. To give up on Japanese and their JRPGs is to lose out on a big market.

I sure hope Sony does not count on these games to boost sales.

Since I can't find better numbers anywhere else, I just borrow VGChartz numbers. Final Fantasy XII sold ~5mil copies. That is quite a lot. Don't count out the JRPGs cause they can make a huge difference.

So I am okay if Microsoft just gives up on Japan and just makes quality titles in America.

You still gotta give the Japanese some credit. Each year they try to create new, more innovative games. Americans stick to the same old, same old...shooters. Gears of War, BioShock, Crysis, COD4, Halo 3, Mass Effect(to an extent) and Turok. I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of shooters.

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