Starting November 19, Microsoft will be coming a lot closer to its goal
to turn the Xbox 360 into the universal home entertainment most of us
will ever need. Microsoft’s deal will open up the Xbox 360 to an
all-you-can-eat video streaming fest that covers more than 10,000
movies and TV shows. What is unique about the Xbox-Netflix relationship
is the fact that the console will get HD content, which not only
pitches it against Apple’s hobby project Apple TV, but also against
Blizzard said that the subscriber base of its massively multiplayer
online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft has surpassed the
11 million mark, which is about the same as the population of New York
City and Chicago combined, the population of Ohio – or more than the
entire population of Greece.
Wal-Mart relaunched its MP3 store with more than 3 million DRM-free
songs in a much cleaner layout and new store navigation features. As
Wal-Mart’s overall music sales are falling behind Apple’s iTunes, the
company knows it will not be able to compete in terms of content
selection. Conceivably, pricing will be the next battlefield – an area
where Apple is vulnerable and possibly the only opportunity for one
Wal-Mart to score wins in the near future.
When Netflix rolled out the “Watch Instantly” functionality to its
subscribers, Apple users were left out in the cold. Now, utilizing
Microsoft’s Silverlight, Netflix plans to roll out online TV streaming
to all of its users by the end of the year.
Feature - Watching Apple announce and market products - or not announce and
market products some people expect from the company - can be a highly
interesting process. All new Apple products rolled out in recent years
seem to share a handful of common ideas: They never try to create an
entirely new product segment, but are placed into an already developing
market, they improve on obvious mistakes others made, they always
complement other Apple products and they take advantage of the
company’s software platform. So, with that in mid, which products could
we expect from Apple next? Here are five ideas.
Netflix today said that some of Samsung’ Blu-ray players devices are
now capable of playing streaming Netflix video via the web.
Additionally, LG’s BD-300 Netflix Blu-ray player is also on sale
through major retail chains in the U.S. now.
They have been two of the biggest video game franchises launched in
recent years - and both Rock Band and Guitar Hero are in the news
again: The former with a new set list and the latter with a new sequel.
When Microsoft announced at E3 2008 that it would be introducing Xbox
Live Primetime for the Xbox 360, the company suggested that it would
launch in the fall along with the revamped Xbox Live service. But
according to a report by Forbes, Microsoft will delay the launch in
order to ensure a smooth launch for the new user interface.
Tonight, LaLa will go live offering individuals a fresh new way to not
only expand, but also easily manage their personal music collections:
the new service will allow users to stream music they store on their
home PC to any other device they own, as long as it is connected to the
Review – Sandisk has been capturing headlines with a new music format
called SlotMusic, pitched as a microSD card-based replacement for audio
CDs. I have been patiently waiting for the first SlotMusic and today
found it at a local BestBuy. I had no reason to believe that it would
not work just like any other digital music, but I was wondering how far
the “No DRM” promise goes. Read my first impressions here.
Last Friday we reported about average Blu-ray player prices nearing the
$200 market. This week we have what we could consider – with some
tolerance for marketing messages - the first sub-$100 Blu-ray player –
the Insignia NS-BRDVD at Best Buy.
Market research NPD firm released its latest game console shipment estimate
for the U.S. Both the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360 showed sharp
upticks, while the PS3 gained significantly less – and has not gained
any ground on Microsoft Xbox 360 since its launch almost two years ago.
Extra: CHARTS and SLIDESHOW
Following several content deals that significantly expanded the iTunes
movie and TV catalog, Apple said it is now offering popular television
shows from all four major networks in HD. The company accelerates its
efforts to move Tunes Store video content to HD to push its broader
living room initiative centered around its Apple TV set-top box.
EA Games CEO John Riccitiello, speaking in a Q&A session at the Dow
Jones/Nielsen Media and Money Conference, noted that 99.8% of gamers
really don’t care about DRM.
The Sharp DX series is the first LCD TV family with an integrated
Blu-ray player. Set to go on sale November 20 in Japan, the sets are
planned to become available in the U.S. by the end of the year.
Sandisk today revealed more details about the upcoming SlotMusic, which
appears to be an attempt to replace the traditional audio CD as a
physical music storage format. Stored on 1 GB microSD cards without
DRM, SlotMusic is an option for those who do not want to download their
music, but purchase entire albums and play them in devices such as
“I hate you guys!” “You people have no life!” – When
it comes to being hated, World of Warcraft multiboxers are in their own
league. These players, who control more than one character at a time,
face criticism heaped upon them from online forums to slurs uttered in
person. How do these multiboxers deal with the criticism? Quite
easily actually and many of them simply don’t care. And after having
dinner with the multiboxers from the dual-boxing.net forums, I can
happily report that these people do indeed have lives, heck they even