Norwest's Tim Chang explains why virtual goods are so hot in social games

Tim Chang, principal at Norwest Venture Partners, has immersed himself in the online games sector for some time and he says that the hottest business model for game startups in 2009 is virtual goods. With the virtual goods business model, game companies let users play online games for free. But they charge them when they want to upgrade to new capabilities such as cool clothing or better weapons. This model was pioneered in Asian online games, but it has only recently been embraced in the U.S. While ad-based games have cooled off in the recession, virtual goods is finally taking off in the U.S., with revenues expected to hit $1 billion this year. We asked him about the state of the game industry and the role of virtual goods in this interview. Chang will be a speaker at the Virtual Goods Summit, which takes place this week on Oct. 28 and 29 in San Francisco. Look for our coverage of it.

Xerox develops silver ink for wearable or throwaway electronics

Xerox researchers have invented a kind of ink that can conduct electricity and be used to put electronic circuits on top of plastics, film, and textiles. That means in the coming years we’ll be able to wear or bend our electronics. You could even print out your electronic gadget on plastic sheets, as if you were printing a document.

Sony to get Netflix movies on the PlayStation 3

Sony is finally catching up to Microsoft in getting Netflix movies streamed to a game console. Today, Sony and Netflix are announcing that Netflix’s collection of thousands of movies and TV shows will soon be available on the PlayStation 3, the New York Times reported.

Web 2.0 Summit: Our photo gallery of the top moments

Here’s our collection of photos from the Web 2.0 Summit, which ran from Tuesday through Thursday in San Francisco. It’s also our 30-second summary of what you may have missed at the big digerati event. We’ll start with the last man who spoke at the conference, Tim Berners-Lee, who created the World Wide Web. He never made any attempt to own his creation and gave it to the world for free, he said, because “that was the only way it would have worked.” He said he was concerned about attempts by companies or countries to control the Internet.