Electronic Arts Launches Subscription Service for PC Gamers

Origin Access hopes to become the new Netflix of video gaming. For $4.99 per month, subscribers can sample new PC games before they’re released, receive special discounts on current games, and play some games for free. All of the games are delivered via Internet downloads. The subscription service is an extension of Electronic Arts’ Origin, an online community and store for PC games. EA already offers a similar subscription service for Xbox One games and rival Nvidia has one for PC games. Continue reading Electronic Arts Launches Subscription Service for PC Gamers

Xbox One Likely to Add DVR Functionality Sometime This Year

In a post yesterday about the death of Windows Media Center, tech journalist and blogger Paul Thurrott cited unnamed sources regarding an update to Xbox One’s live TV functionality that would add television recording. This would allow Xbox One to replace TiVo and other DVRs in many households. Microsoft recently unveiled a tuner that enables the console to accept over-the-air broadcast TV signals. It also offers the options to pause live TV and stream live content to mobile devices via SmartGlass. Continue reading Xbox One Likely to Add DVR Functionality Sometime This Year

Nvidia Unveils Set-Top for 4K Movie and Video Game Streaming

Nvidia, a company best known for its graphics chips, has plans to launch a new set-top box with significant processing power and Ultra HD resolution. The $199 console, known as the Nvidia Shield, runs on the powerful new Tegra X1 processor and Android software. The Shield was designed to deliver streaming video games through Grid, described as a “Netflix of videogames.” Consumers will also be able to stream 4K video from Netflix, YouTube, and the Android TV version of Google Play. Continue reading Nvidia Unveils Set-Top for 4K Movie and Video Game Streaming

Netflix Shares Take a Hit After Disappointing Third Quarter

While Netflix has become the largest standalone subscription programming service in the U.S., and the leading brand among millennials, the company attracted a disappointing number of new users during the third quarter, resulting in a 26.4 percent drop in its stock value yesterday. Netflix added 980,000 customers for the quarter, down from 1.3 million for the same period last year. The disappointing results were intensified by HBO’s announcement that it plans to offer a competing service next year. Continue reading Netflix Shares Take a Hit After Disappointing Third Quarter

Shield: Nvidia Launches its First Tablet, Designed for Gamers

Nvidia’s new Shield is a tablet PC, but also a gaming console for Android game apps, streamed PC games, and games streamed from the Nvidia Grid cloud gaming service. The Wi-Fi tablet can be used as a handheld gaming device or a console that can be plugged into a TV via an HDMI cable. For $299, gamers will get 16 gigabytes of storage and perhaps some of the best image-rendering technology on the market. The Shield tablet will start shipping at the end of July. Continue reading Shield: Nvidia Launches its First Tablet, Designed for Gamers

LeapFrog to Launch Educator-Approved Game Console for Kids

LeapFrog Enterprises plans to launch its $150 kid-friendly LeapTV game console this fall. The twist? LeapTV will debut with 100 games and videos approved by professional educators, those who ideally know what is best for children. The console will include personalization features and motion-sensing controls similar to those introduced with Nintendo’s Wii. Games will target children ages 3 to 8. At launch there will be nine cartridge titles offered, with additional titles available digitally. Continue reading LeapFrog to Launch Educator-Approved Game Console for Kids

E3 2014: Nintendo Unveils New Games, Experimental Robots

In the wake of Wii U struggles, Nintendo hopes its E3 announcements this week will please company loyalists and possibly help generate new fans. The company introduced new figurines with NFC chips that will work with its video games. It also announced integration of custom Mii avatars for the upcoming “Super Smash Bros.” fighting game, a new “Legend of Zelda” game coming to the Wii U in 2015, a kid-friendly shooting game called “Splatoon,” and a variety of other new and experimental game titles. Continue reading E3 2014: Nintendo Unveils New Games, Experimental Robots

E3 2014: $99 Game-Streamer PlayStation TV Coming to U.S.

During its E3 press conference yesterday in Los Angeles, Sony announced that the PlayStation TV device is coming to North America this fall for $99 as a standalone, or for $139 bundled with a DualShock Controller, an 8GB memory card for storing downloaded games, and a copy of “The Lego Movie” video game. Users can pair the set-top box with their PlayStation 4 console for remote play on a second television. Video and music streaming services will be accessible, as will games via PlayStation Now. Continue reading E3 2014: $99 Game-Streamer PlayStation TV Coming to U.S.

E3 2014: Microsoft Places Emphasis on Games at Xbox Event

At yesterday’s Xbox briefing, Microsoft took a different approach by focusing its entire E3 presentation on games. Traditionally, the event has included other media functionality of Xbox hardware, but this year Phil Spencer, the new head of Xbox, noted that changes to strategy were necessary for the Xbox One — changes initiated by user response to the (formerly) always-online, DRM-heavy console. The event included major titles, trailers of previously announced games and a slate of indie titles. Continue reading E3 2014: Microsoft Places Emphasis on Games at Xbox Event

Google to Unveil Pano-Powered Android TV Later This Month

Google is reportedly planning to announce the launch of its Android TV platform during the Google I/O developer conference, which is scheduled for June 25-26 in San Francisco. According to multiple sources, Android TV will be a platform rather than another device. TV and set-top box manufacturers will be able to use Android TV to deliver streaming services to televisions. The platform, with its unique Pano interface, is expected to focus on online media services and Android-based video games. Continue reading Google to Unveil Pano-Powered Android TV Later This Month

Fox Now Video App Offers Personalized Recommendations

The Fox Now video app allows users to watch recent episodes of Fox series the day after they air. In a new update to its version for Apple devices, Fox has added a feature that suggests shows to the user based on preferences and viewing history. The upgraded user interface, which is based on the iOS 7 design, intends to keep fans watching more video by providing useful recommendations. Fox Now also features expanded TV Everywhere access with more current and past programming. Continue reading Fox Now Video App Offers Personalized Recommendations

GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

Take-Two Interactive Software announced that it has sold more than 33 million copies of “Grand Theft Auto V” since the game’s launch in September, generating an estimated $1.98 billion in retail sales. The New York-based company claims “GTA V” was the best-selling console game last year in North America, Latin America and Europe — and the fastest title in video game history to reach $1 billion in sales. For additional perspective, it’s worth noting that Take-Two generated $2.4 billion in total revenue for its fiscal year. Continue reading GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

Microsoft Will Offer Xbox One Without Kinect for $100 Less

Six months after the initial release of its Xbox One, Microsoft plans to offer a new version of the game console for $100 less. Beginning on June 9th, the company will offer a version that does not include the Kinect motion sensor, starting at $399. Microsoft also announced that it will begin offering new features to Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners in June. For example, Hulu and Netflix subscribers will be able to use the apps for free, without the need for an Xbox Live Gold membership. Continue reading Microsoft Will Offer Xbox One Without Kinect for $100 Less

Dish Plans to Launch its Internet TV Service Later This Year

Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen announced he has signed new deals with programmers to add channels to the company’s Internet TV service that he plans to launch by the end of 2014. The over-the-top (OTT) service is aimed at young cord-cutters who may opt to forgo an expensive cable package for a cheaper offering of channels that can be streamed on smart TVs and other devices. Dish Network already has a deal with Disney to offer channels such as ABC and ESPN. Continue reading Dish Plans to Launch its Internet TV Service Later This Year

Optimistic Financial Reports from Electronic Arts and Activision

Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts released positive financial results and showed optimism about the holiday shopping season. EA said sales of new video game consoles from Microsoft and Sony exceeded their goals, as well as the sales of games for those devices. EA also announced a repurchase plan for $750 million shares, and a lofty profit forecast for the rest of the year. Activision reported that presales for the newest version of “World of Warcraft” are the strongest in the game’s history. Continue reading Optimistic Financial Reports from Electronic Arts and Activision

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