Plugged In

ANOTHER WEEK, another price drop for the drastically underperforming PlayStation 3. OK, so maybe it only seems like the price of the PS3 is being cut every week. But you can now score an 80GB console for $499 — $100 less than the launch price. Sony has also announced plans to release a stripped-down version of the PS3 for $399.

That new 40GB system will lack any form of backward compatibility, meaning it will not play PS2 or PS1 games. Why would Sony take out a feature that has been standard on PS3s since the system debuted? According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the final decision to remove backward compatibility was made to drive sales of PS3 games. And people still wonder why the PS3 is being buried in this console generation? C’mon.

HALO 3 STILL RULES: The September sales figures are in and, to the surprise of absolutely no one, Halo 3 was the driving force in helping the gaming industry rake in approximately $1.3 billion for the month. The NPD Group, which tracks video game sales, announced that Halo 3 sold more 3.3 million copies during the first 12 days it was available in the U.S. Halo’s popularity also helped push the Xbox 360 to the top of the console chart. Nearly 528,000 360s were purchased during September, compared to 501,000 Wiis and 496,000 DSs. That’s an amazing number for Microsoft, especially considering that it was a record month for Wii sales — the 501K tops the previous mark of 476K sold last November during the system’s launch.

The PlayStation Portable saw brisk sales with 285K, as did the PS2 with 215K. How did the PlayStation 3 fare, you ask? It moved just a tad more than 119K units. Ouch.

XBOX ARCADE BUNDLE: Microsoft apparently isn’t content with its current position atop the console sales chart. The company announced this week plans to release the Xbox 360 Arcade bundle. The new package will cost $279 and includes a wireless controller and an assortment of Xbox Live Arcade titles like Pac-Man, Uno and Luxor 2. This new bundle essentially replaces the Core system which included a wired controller and retailed for the same $279 price. No word yet on when the new Arcade bundle will arrive in stores.

DELAYED: Gamers hoping to get their hands on a copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii will have to wait a little longer. Nintendo has announced that the uber-popular fighting game has been delayed until February 2008.

GAMING EVENT: The Bethlehem Family and Community Enrichment Center in Chesapeake will be holding a Madden 08 tournament Saturday, Oct. 27 beginning at 11 a.m. Registration fee is $20 and all proceeds benefit the Center. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top players. For more information, contact Shawn Woods at 590-7294.