Opinion - On Wednesday, Slide, the Widget start-up primarily
responsible for delivering individuals photo slideshows and videos
announced that it would be hosting video from CBS, Warner Brothers, and
Hulu on Facebook. This is the beginning of a new Facebook application
that is being worked on in partnership with FunSpace Channels that will
open today. Facebook and TV? Does that go together?
Game consoles are not just for gaming anymore. If we look at devices
such as the iPhone, which also wants a share of the gigantic mobile
gaming market, it is clear that mobile devices will have to become
universal entertainment devices with much more functionality of current
devices: Nintendo made a huge step into that direction with the
unveiling of the new DSi today. The new console merges gaming with some
practical applications (web browsing, shopping) and entertainment
(camera and image editing). Extra: SLIDESHOW
Following on the heels of Sony’s recently announced update for the
Playstation Portable, Nintendo said it will be refreshing its DS mobile
gaming console. The pimped DS is scheduled to be introduced this
Thursday in Japan and wills port a camera, a music player capabilities
and enhanced wireless connectivity.
Wal-Mart informed its customers that it will be shutting down its DRM
servers on October, which should be perceived as good news by
customers. But some users may be left with somewhat useless music files
that were purchased before February of this year: DRM-packed songs that
will not be backed up until October 9 cannot be transferred to another
PC thereafter and cannot be recovered in the case of a system crash of
a new installation of the PC.
SonyEricsson is getting into the unlimited music downloads arena with
the pending launch of its new PlayNow plus service. You'll have to wait
for it though in most markets, as it will initially be kicking off only
in Sweden with mobile operator Telenor by the end of the year.
There is little doubt that music downloads will take over most of the
audio CD sales volume sooner or later. The music industry seems to have
accepted that trend and while it may give up on the audio CD, it isn’t
ready to give up on physical media sales yet. Four major publishers
announced a new media format that will be compatible with PCs,
cellphones and other portable devices: Flash memory cards will soon be
sold with preloaded, DRM free music.
Electronic Arts and Crytek are set to deliver the next Crysis game to PC owners September 18. The new title is Crysis Warhead and will be available for around $30 in North America and Europe.
Crysis Warhead, according to EA, occurs alongside the events of last year's franchise title.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
is a highly anticipated expansion pack for the most popular MMORPG of
all time. The big question on gamers' minds has been: when will it come
out? Blizzard Entertainment finally answered that question, saying
today the pack will be available November 13 in North America and other
global markets, followed by more world releases in the days immediately
Mythic Entertainment, a division of Electronics Arts acquired back in 2006, continued to say today all is set to roll with the upcoming MMORPG Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. This title is now shipping to retail and will see a September 18 kickoff.
Rising energy and food prices may finally show their ugly face in the
retail space, as consumers are adjusting their spending, ChangeWave
suggests. It’s once again the time for discount retailers, which will
grab market share from established chains, the market research firm
said. Consumer electronics spending will be weak over the next 90 days,
according to the forecast, but it seems that Apple might see little
impact – and some of its products may actually see record sales.
Electronic Arts has dropped its hostile takeover
bid of Take-Two Interactive. The two companies have been going back
and forth on bids for nearly seven months with Take-Two saying that it
was being undervalued by EA. As you can expect, Take-Two’s stock price
has dropped nearly five dollars and is currently trading at just under
$17 a share.
The effort of making legal digital media available to consumers in
convenient ways across many devices has been an industry disaster
defined by piracy paranoia, lawsuits, exaggerated copy protection
policies, locked down technology platforms and corporate interests that
mostly ignored consumer interests. Now there is a new industry
organization that aims to come up with industry standards to enable
consumers to acquire and play content across a wide range of services
and devices. 16 key players from Hollywood and Silicon Valley are part
of this initiative. Notably absent is Apple, which obviously has not
much interest in creating an open media download spec.
The National Science Foundation has given $100,000 to the
University of California at Irvine for a study on World of Warcraft
players. Bonnie Nardi, a UCI informatics professor, will examine the
differences in play habits and culture between WoW players in the
United States and China. She already has some interesting observations.
Sony and Amazon, which a few months back announced plans to carry Amazon's Video on Demand service on Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video Link module,
said today this service is now live. It promises to bring "immediate
access to premium, commercial-free movies and television shows
purchased or rented by users."
We first took a very brief look
at the chilling video game F.E.A.R. For the Xbox 360 back at E3 in
2006. The popular title's sequel, now in development, has just spawned
a name from developer Monolith Productions – it will be called F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.
Normally we'd ignore something like this but it feels too strange to
pass up on a brief mention of. Tom Cruise, that Scientology loving
actor who, despite some weirdness, is still a pretty major Hollywood
presence, has announced his official Web site is going iPhone friendly.
Following a previously announced price cut for the Xbox 360 in Japan,
Microsoft today said that it will reduce the price of the console for
U.S. customers as well. For the very first time, you will be able to
buy an Xbox 360 for less money than a Nintendo Wii and for half the
price of a PS3.
Sony’s Playstation Portable (PSP) will see its first major feature
update next month: Scheduled for an October 16 launch in Japan, the new
PSP-3000 is positioned to challenge Nintendo’s DS console, which
currently outsells the PSP by almost 3:1 and has a substantial lead in
total units sold.