Twitch Commands Live Gaming with 100 Million Monthly Views

Twitch Interactive announced late last week that it now averages 100 million global viewers per month. The Amazon-owned site hosts live video broadcasts of gamers competing against each other and has been steadily growing in popularity (its current viewing numbers more than double last year’s figures). The announcement comes as Twitch faces an increasing number of competitors, including Dailymotion, GamingLive.tv, Valve and Google’s YouTube. Twitch generates its revenue through advertising and premium upgrades. Continue reading Twitch Commands Live Gaming with 100 Million Monthly Views

Sony to Add Spotify Music Service to its PlayStation Network

Sony recently announced that it plans to replace its Music Unlimited service on the PlayStation Network with popular digital music service Spotify. Come March 29, PlayStation users will be able to connect their Spotify accounts, both free and premium, to run through the PlayStation Network and stream music while they play games. The new partnership could generate new subscribers for Spotify and help it take on competitors, since Sony’s PlayStation Network currently has about 64 million active users. Continue reading Sony to Add Spotify Music Service to its PlayStation Network

Oculus Launches Movie Studio to Make Content for its Headset

Oculus VR is expanding its focus from video games to virtual reality films. The Facebook-owned Oculus has created a new in-house movie studio called Story Studio to create films and find the best practices for VR storytelling. The new content created by Story Studio intends to help attract more users to the Oculus Rift headset, while also encouraging other filmmakers to make similar VR films. Story Studio’s first work is a short film called “Lost,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Continue reading Oculus Launches Movie Studio to Make Content for its Headset

Microsoft Unveils Windows 10 OS Features and New Headset

During a press event yesterday, Microsoft made a series of announcements regarding new features for its coming Windows 10 operating system including improvements to built-in apps for Windows Phone that involve mail, messaging, photos, maps and more. According to the company, Windows 10 also intends to enhance and integrate Xbox, PC and mobile gaming. Additionally, Microsoft introduced its HoloLens headset that will allow users to interact with holographic images for playing video games and building 3D models. Continue reading Microsoft Unveils Windows 10 OS Features and New Headset

Fandometrics: Tumblr Launches Hub for All Things Pop Culture

Yahoo-owned blogging platform Tumblr launched a new pop culture hub yesterday that highlights top conversations from its community related to categories such as celebrities, TV shows, movies, music and video games. Since Tumblr blends online publishing tools with social features, the platform has grown popular for those who like to follow blogs and share posts. It has also become popular with fan communities, which makes the Fandometrics hub a natural fit for Tumblr — and a potential new marketing opportunity for brands. Continue reading Fandometrics: Tumblr Launches Hub for All Things Pop Culture

Voice-Commanded Mobile App Transforms First Person Games

“Mayday! Deep Space” is a new iOS game app that lets users control the character through voice commands. Instead of playing first-person as the character, the player will build a relationship with their character. As part of the game, the user not only gives directions to their character; they also make moral decisions for the character. However, the AI does not have to do everything the user says, and can reject commands. Future AIs may eventually be able to identify emotions as well. Continue reading Voice-Commanded Mobile App Transforms First Person Games

Dailymotion Games Plans to Compete with YouTube and Twitch

French startup Dailymotion announced this week that it is launching a streaming site for the growing number of fans who enjoy watching video of live gaming, a move that would put the company in competition with Twitch, the leader in this emerging field. The move will also provide Dailymotion with another means of taking on its rival YouTube. Gaming video has grown increasingly popular due to new streaming services, the appeal of live professional gaming events, and the rise of massively multiplayer team-based games. Continue reading Dailymotion Games Plans to Compete with YouTube and Twitch

Intel Promotes its RealSense 3D Camera Technology at CES

At CES, a wide range of companies showed or discussed products that are becoming more aware of their surroundings, largely due to improved sensors. This will enable tablets, phones, cars, drones and other devices to interact with people and each other in more sophisticated ways. This could also require significant upgrades to camera tech. While Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for Xbox was built to use gestures for game control, the tech has proven more far-reaching, especially in robotics research. Now Intel is aiming to take the next step with 3D sensors. Continue reading Intel Promotes its RealSense 3D Camera Technology at CES

CEA Exec on the History and Direction of Wearables (Part 2)

In History and Direction of Wearables Part 1, we looked at the Consumer Electronics Association’s numbers for wearables, from 2014 through the end of 2015. CEA’s Director of Business Intelligence Jack Cutts released his forecast figures for the wearables category, specifically in terms of fitness trackers, smartwatches and smart eyewear. In Part 2 of our report, we look at CEA’s projected numbers regarding wearables from 2016 through 2018 and beyond. “This time next year will be the beginning of the wearables mania,” said Cutts. Continue reading CEA Exec on the History and Direction of Wearables (Part 2)

Startup Demos New Eye Tracking Virtual Reality HMD at CES

Japanese startup FOVE has developed a virtual reality head-mounted display with built-in eye tracking. The eye tracking enables the software to render the areas where the viewer is not looking with less precision than the area where the viewer is staring, allowing for more efficient CPU/GPU resource utilization. The rendered image was very clear, and the eye tracking worked well. When the headset goes to market, a FOVE rep expects the HMD with headtracking to sell for $400-$450. Continue reading Startup Demos New Eye Tracking Virtual Reality HMD at CES

2015 CES: Razer Unveils its $199 Open-Source VR Headset

PC game hardware manufacturer Razer may be looking to compete with virtual headsets such as the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. At CES, the company unveiled its own VR headset, the open-source OSVR Hacker Dev Kit. According to Razer, the $199 kit is compatible with Oculus DK2 software and experimental Linux and Android VR software. Slated for June availability, the kit is tied to a new consortium that plans to offer an alternative test bed for developers interested in VR. Continue reading 2015 CES: Razer Unveils its $199 Open-Source VR Headset

CES: LG to Unveil 34-Inch Curved Ultra-Wide Screen for Gamers

LG Electronics announced that it will introduce a 21:9 “UltraWide” monitor designed specifically for gamers. The 34-inch curved-screen monitor, model 34UM67, is the company’s first 21:9 monitor created especially for graphics-intensive gaming with Advanced Micro Devices’ FreeSync technology. The AMD tech reportedly eliminates screen-tearing, an image problem that can result when the monitor and graphics card are not in sync. We expect to see LG’s new monitor on display at CES next week. Continue reading CES: LG to Unveil 34-Inch Curved Ultra-Wide Screen for Gamers

Microsoft is Developing New Streaming Game and App Service

A team that is part of Microsoft’s Systems Group is reportedly developing a new technology called Arcadia that will stream games and apps on Windows devices. On separate occasions, Microsoft has posted job openings looking for candidates to join the Operating Systems Group (OSG) Arcadia team. Arcadia is to be built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud and is expected to be a replacement to an ongoing OSG game-stream project called Rio, announced back in 2013.  Continue reading Microsoft is Developing New Streaming Game and App Service

App Creates 3D Photospheres, New Potential for Mobile VR

San Francisco-based startup Fyusion released a new version of its Fyuse app this week that allows users to record 3D “surround view” photospheres. Users press record and move their phone for a few seconds. Fyuse then renders the images on the device and offers the result for sharing on its platform. The app, available for iOS and Android, is designed to augment everything from selfies to fashion shows, but may also prove successful as a compelling way to bring user-generated content to mobile VR. Continue reading App Creates 3D Photospheres, New Potential for Mobile VR

Virtual and Augmented Reality to Have Major Presence at CES

Virtual and augmented reality tools have been around for at least 40 years. In 2014 the next generation of VR and AR hardware was being energetically developed, beta tested, and discussed by the niche VR community. It was also used to create small-scale experiences as part of the marketing campaigns for other entertainment assets. Expect 2015 to be the year when hardware, software, and content companies work towards consumer adoption of VR and AR resources and experiences. Continue reading Virtual and Augmented Reality to Have Major Presence at CES

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