Microsoft Has Developed 3D Audio to Augment Virtual Reality

Video games are about to get very realistic, and it’s not just because of virtual reality headsets. Microsoft researchers have developed the technology to make sounds seem as if they are coming from a specific point in space. The 3D audio technology is made possible by the software that builds a 3D model of a player’s head and shoulders and calculates a personal filter to trick the player into perceiving sound as coming from a specific location. Continue reading Microsoft Has Developed 3D Audio to Augment Virtual Reality

More Fake Reviews for iOS Apps, Quality Lower for Android

According to analysis from Apptentive, 55 percent of apps with fake reviews were found on the iTunes App Store while 45 percent were on Google Play. The fact that Google Play requires a Google+ account may account for the lower number. Although iOS apps have more fake reviews, Android apps have the worst reviewer quality. The development of the “Love Score” metric, which helps publishers learn what customers really think about the apps they use, brought Apptentive to these findings.

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AT&T-DirecTV Deal May Hinge on NFL Sunday Games Rights

Telecom giant AT&T is poised to acquire DirecTV for $49 billion, but that deal could fall through if DirecTV fails to renew its “Sunday Ticket” offering with the NFL. The current DirecTV deal with the NFL, which allows the satellite company to broadcast all out-of-market NFL football games on Sunday afternoons to TVs and mobile devices, expires at the end of the 2014 football season. AT&T hopes to become a major broadcasting partner of the NFL with the acquisition of DirecTV. Continue reading AT&T-DirecTV Deal May Hinge on NFL Sunday Games Rights

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

Digital Comics Platform ComiXology to be Acquired by Amazon

Amazon announced that it will acquire comiXology, the digital comics platform that had its 200-millionth download last fall. With the sales of physical comics fading, comiXology is developing tech to allow the craft to move online. The company operates a comics store and a mobile comics app, which was the top-grossing non-game iPad app from 2011 to 2013. Its library includes 40,000 comics from 75 major publishers. ComiXology also opened a self-publishing platform last year. Continue reading Digital Comics Platform ComiXology to be Acquired by Amazon

NAB: USC’s Elizabeth Daley Speaks at Tech Summit on Cinema

The ongoing effort to utilize new technologies in the service of storytelling was the theme of USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Dean Elizabeth Daley’s keynote address Sunday at the SMPTE Technology Summit on Cinema at NAB. Digital technology is deeply engrained throughout the SCA curriculum. In fact, the Interactive Media & Games Division and the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts wouldn’t exist without it. Yet “everything has changed, and nothing has changed. Great storytelling is still key,” Daley said. Continue reading NAB: USC’s Elizabeth Daley Speaks at Tech Summit on Cinema

Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

Amazon’s new Fire TV will serve as a game console in addition to streaming movies and TV shows. To help distinguish itself from industry giants such as Xbox One or PlayStation 4, Amazon plans to develop some of its own Android games. While Amazon Game Studios has not released a full list, sci-fi shooter “Sev Zero” has the potential to be the most popular. Amazon recently acquired Double Helix Games, the company that made the Xbox One launch title “Killer Instinct.” Continue reading Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

Deloitte: Digital Omnivores Crave More Content Across Devices

Digital omnivore is a term that refers to consumers who own a trio of CE devices — specifically tablets, smartphones and laptops. Deloitte’s eighth “Digital Democracy Survey” found that over 37 percent of U.S. consumers are now digital omnivores, a 42 percent increase over the previous year. The growth is driven by a 33 percent increase in tablet adoption and an 18 percent increase in smartphone ownership. Women currently account for 45 percent of the digital omnivores group. Continue reading Deloitte: Digital Omnivores Crave More Content Across Devices

Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

Amazon continues to expand into the entertainment realm with its delivery of movies and TV via Amazon Prime, the launch of Amazon Studios, its recent acquisition of video game developer Double Helix, and now, the possibility of a streaming music service that would likely be bundled into its Prime delivery option. Amazon has been hiring executives with digital music experience in recent years, and has reportedly been in talks with major music labels for the past few months. Continue reading Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

EVE Online: The Move From Game to Comic Book to TV Series

Gamemakers are increasingly looking to other platforms. CCP Games announced its plan to create a TV series based on the popular space game “EVE Online” almost one year ago. While the company has met with numerous networks and studio execs to develop a series, they claim to be in no rush to produce it. CCP wants to capitalize on the growing number of the online game’s worldwide players, and will launch “EVE: True Stories” as a comic book before a TV series is produced. Continue reading EVE Online: The Move From Game to Comic Book to TV Series

Apple Builds New Networks to Boost its Internet Infrastructure

Apple is quietly building new networks, part of an expanded Internet infrastructure capable of delivering large amounts of content to customers, while providing Apple with more control over distributing its online offerings. It will also lay the groundwork for handling more traffic should the company decide to move deeper into television. Apple has been moving in this direction for a while, since the inception of its iCloud service and in response to rising sales of media via iTunes and the App Store. Continue reading Apple Builds New Networks to Boost its Internet Infrastructure

Zynga Acquires NaturalMotion and Its Simulation Technology

Social gaming company Zynga has acquired game and software developer NaturalMotion for $527 million — giving the company access to simulation technology that makes characters look and move naturally. Zynga hopes to improve its mobile games like “FarmVille,” which currently feature more cartoon-like 2D characters. The same technology behind NaturalMotion was used in the “Lord of the Rings” movies, and Rockstar uses it for the “Grand Theft Auto” games. Continue reading Zynga Acquires NaturalMotion and Its Simulation Technology

Holodecks Could Become a Reality Within the Next Ten Years

Hollywood, computer companies and video game makers have often pursued interesting ways to bring entertainment closer to reality, a pursuit that may head to the next level with the introduction of holodeck-related technologies. Some scientists and researchers now believe that holodecks, which would allow the audience to become a part of the story rather than just passively sitting back and watching it, could become available in some form by 2024.  Continue reading Holodecks Could Become a Reality Within the Next Ten Years

Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was developed with video games in mind, but is becoming a compelling possibility for filmmakers as well. A 360-degree interactive video of a live performance by Beck proves to be truly immersive, making the viewer feel as if he or she is on stage with the musician. Makers of the Rift took to this year’s Sundance Film Festival to interact with filmmakers and see how the virtual reality technology can potentially be used in cinema. Continue reading Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment

Amazon is expected to launch a new sub-$300 games and entertainment device this year that runs Android. To compete with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the product — the name of which has yet to be announced — is said to stream and download games, music, movies and television content. Key to the device’s success is its price point, on par with Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle Fire HD, which are priced comparatively lower than Apple’s iPad. Continue reading Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment