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

Google Releases Cardboard VR App Update and Android SDK

Google is encouraging more people to check out Google Cardboard, the virtual reality platform and headset that connects to a smartphone. Over 500,000 of the devices shipped this year and now VR apps have their own section on the Google Play Store, featuring apps that include musical performances and exotic locations. Now, the tech giant has released an SDK for Android and Unity, so that developers can continue making apps and crafting their own custom headsets. Continue reading Google Releases Cardboard VR App Update and Android SDK

Samsung Launches Gear VR Headset, Powered by Galaxy Note

Galaxy Note 4 users interested in virtual reality can spend $199 for the newly launched Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, available via the Samsung and AT&T sites (a Verizon version is on its way). A variety of VR games and applications are available from the Oculus VR app store and a 16GB microSD card starter kit. Since Gear VR is designed for mobile, there are limitations to the types of games you can play, but Samsung offers a Bluetooth controller with more standard game controls in a $249 bundle. Continue reading Samsung Launches Gear VR Headset, Powered by Galaxy Note

Nintendo Characters Come to Life with Interactive Gameplay

Nintendo recently released a Wii U version of the popular “Super Smash Bros.” in addition to a series of Amiibo toy figurines designed for interactive gameplay. While facing the growing popularity of less expensive games for mobile devices, Nintendo has also recently struggled to compete with other console manufacturers, leading to disappointing overall sales of its Wii U. Nintendo hopes that the Amiibo line can reignite interest in some of its most beloved characters such as Mario and Luigi. Continue reading Nintendo Characters Come to Life with Interactive Gameplay

Fuffr Develops Multitouch Tech with Focus on Mobile Gaming

Sometimes a smartphone’s surface is just not big enough to make the most of mobile and social gaming. Even today’s largest smartphone screens have limitations that can hinder the multiplayer gaming experience. That is where Fuffr comes into play. The company has designed a mobile case that projects infrared lights to the surrounding areas of the phone, so that these areas too, can be used as multitouch surfaces for gameplay and a variety of other applications. Continue reading Fuffr Develops Multitouch Tech with Focus on Mobile Gaming

Amazon Considering a New Ad-Supported Streaming Service?

According to recent news reports, Amazon is planning to launch a new ad-supported streaming service early next year that will be separate from Prime. The ad-supported option could become a significant challenger to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, especially if it undercuts the monthly fees of its rivals. Sources indicate that the new service would ultimately serve as a vehicle to attract more subscribers for Amazon Prime. Meanwhile, Amazon has denied plans to offer a new service. Continue reading Amazon Considering a New Ad-Supported Streaming Service?

Study Shows Media Violence Not Linked to Societal Violence

A study recently published in the Journal of Communication found that no significant association exists between media violence consumption and societal violence. Researcher Christopher Ferguson of Stetson University conducted two studies, one which compared movie violence and homicide, and the second which focused on video game violence and youth violence rates. The findings point to an increase in media violence, but not a correlating increase in real-life violence. Continue reading Study Shows Media Violence Not Linked to Societal Violence

Nvidia to Stream Games via Grid Cloud-Based Gaming Service

Following a positive response to the Shield Android tablet, Nvidia hopes to win gamers over once more with the launch of its game-streaming service later this year. The Grid cloud-based service is slated for a North American launch later this month with Europe and Asia scheduled for next year. Nvidia will aim to release new games frequently, every week or so, to quickly amass a library that exceeds 100 games. The gaming service hopes to capture consumers of the Shield products market. Continue reading Nvidia to Stream Games via Grid Cloud-Based Gaming Service

Nintendo Finds New Ways to Profit from Existing Wii U Games

During the recent Nintendo Direct live-streaming broadcast, the company directed its Wii U focus on two familiar games: “Mario Kart 8” and “Super Smash Bros.” However, Nintendo continues to struggle to find software makers for Wii U games. Most of the presentation was devoted to how Nintendo will keep the currently available games interesting. In order to sell more existing games, the company plans to add content to games such as “Mario Kart,” “Hyrule Warriors,” and “Pikmin 3.” Continue reading Nintendo Finds New Ways to Profit from Existing Wii U Games

New Google Chromecast Apps Turn the TV into a Game Board

Google’s Chromecast streaming device now supports new game apps that viewers can play on their TV screens. The games include both board game classics, like sped-up versions of Scrabble and Monopoly, in addition to new titles. Users must download the corresponding game app to their mobile phones and then they can use their phones to play the games on their TV screen. The relatively quick games are more like mobile games than they are like traditional video games. Continue reading New Google Chromecast Apps Turn the TV into a Game Board

Toymaker Hasbro in Talks to Purchase DreamWorks Animation

Rhode Island-based Hasbro, manufacturer of popular toys including G.I. Joe, Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony and Transformers, is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation. Hasbro would pay a mix of cash and stock according to current terms of the proposed deal. DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is said to be looking for more than $30 a share for the sale. The news comes shortly after Japanese telecom SoftBank was reported to be a prospective buyer. Continue reading Toymaker Hasbro in Talks to Purchase DreamWorks Animation

Consumers Transitioning from Purchasing to Renting Media

Apple and Amazon, two of the world’s most successful retailers, find themselves struggling in today’s market to increase the sales of books, movies, music, and games because of a shift in consumer priorities. It seems that consumers no longer want to buy media; they want to rent it. The two companies can be considered largely responsible for creating the problem because they made it so easy to rent books and stream music that consumers didn’t feel the need to buy media anymore. Continue reading Consumers Transitioning from Purchasing to Renting Media

Amazon to Join Crowded OTT Device Market with Fire TV Stick

Amazon announced its Fire TV Stick, a $39 device ($19 for Prime subscribers) that plugs into the back of a television to provide access to movies and shows via online services such as Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and competitors Hulu and Netflix. Scheduled for a November 19th release, the Fire TV Stick offers twice the memory of Google’s $35 Chromecast (a bestseller on Amazon) and is priced lower than Roku’s $50 stick. However, it joins a crowded market of over-the-top Internet streaming devices. Continue reading Amazon to Join Crowded OTT Device Market with Fire TV Stick

Microsoft Opens The Garage, Unveils Wild Ideas of Employees

Microsoft recently launched a new section on its website to provide the public with access to various projects in development. Microsoft Garage started in 2009 within the Office Labs group as a place for employees to work on innovative new ideas. Until last week, The Garage was largely an internal effort that supported side projects, hackathons and science fairs. The Garage is now offering public access to 16 free consumer-facing apps across Android, Android Wear, iOS, Windows Phone and Xbox One. Continue reading Microsoft Opens The Garage, Unveils Wild Ideas of Employees

Free ‘League of Legends’ Game May Make $1 Billion This Year

The world championship for the biggest e-sport in the world, “League of Legends,” starts in South Korea this weekend. About 40,000 fans are expected to fill the stadium to watch the tournament live while at least another 30 million will watch the games online. Riot Games runs the League of Legends World Championship along with the online broadcasting, and by producing a premium sporting experience for players, Riot Games may make upwards of $1 billion in 2014. Continue reading Free ‘League of Legends’ Game May Make $1 Billion This Year