— PS3 rivals gear up for holiday season: Sony’s European rivals won’t waste any time capitalising on the PS3 delays this Christmas season. Nintendo’s Wii launches in November, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has its first proper season and is expected to release a bolt-on HD DVD drive soon. The “female-friendly” Pink PS2 also goes on sale at the end of October, though I can’t help but be a bit disappointed that marketing a games console to women includes little more than making the box pink.
— Microsoft to launch mini-Xbox in Japan: Meanwhile in Japan, where the PS3 will be out soon, Microsoft has announced it is releasing Xbox 360 core system in November. It’s a basic version of the games console without the 20 gig hard drive that will be 20 percent cheaper than the full Xbox, but finally puts Microsoft in the Japanese games console market.
— Dell Targeting Online Gaming Market: Online gaming will grow to a $4 billion industry by 2010, predicts Dell founder and chair Michael Dell. He told the Austin Game Conference that he wanted the company to position itself as a leader in online gaming.
— The gaming granny: We hear a lot about younger audiences, but not much about the other end of the scale. This Reuters piece on the gaming granny raises a smile or too but it’s worth exploring: research by the Entertainment Software Association found that one quarter of US computer and video gamers are older than 50, and there’s also value for older players in mental agility and social interaction, of a sort.
— ESPN Video Games Channel: Presented by GameTap, this new online channel from the Disney sports net offers everything you’d expect: sports video game news, podcasts, trailers, interviews and, eventually, an archive of information on popular games. The site is a result of a partnership between ESPN.com and Ziff Davis, so will feature some content from Ziff’s GamesVideos.com and relevant print titles.
— Game Makers Court ‘Casual’ Players With Shorter, Less Lethal Fare: Ren
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.