E3 2013: Disney Infinity Has Potential as Major Franchise

During this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Disney Interactive promoted “Disney Infinity,” its upcoming video game environment and merchandise hybrid that incorporates physical toy figurines based on popular characters from the company’s films and television shows. Kids can interact with RF-outfitted action figures, power discs, and play set hexagons that can integrate film locations and theme park attractions. Continue reading E3 2013: Disney Infinity Has Potential as Major Franchise

E3 2013: Gamers Spending Less Time with TV and Movies

According to an annual study by the Entertainment Software Association, video games are beginning to have a larger impact on other media. The study found that active gamers are more inclined to give up time spent with television and movies while pursuing interactive entertainment. However, the ESA also notes that 42 percent of the console owners they surveyed indicate that their game systems are used to watch movies and play games. Continue reading E3 2013: Gamers Spending Less Time with TV and Movies

E3 2013: Microsoft and Sony Announce Game Console Prices

At this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Microsoft announced that its new Xbox One game console will be available in November for $499 (a price level higher than it has historically set), while Sony said its soon-to-be-launched PlayStation 4 console will sell for $399 (although a specific date was not mentioned). Both companies are facing mounting pressure from the growing success of mobile and social games. Continue reading E3 2013: Microsoft and Sony Announce Game Console Prices

E3: With Focus on Consoles, is Gaming Confab Out of Touch?

As the $66 billion videogame industry continues its transition toward mobile and social games, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is failing to attract some of the industry’s new rising stars. The show, which kicks off tomorrow in Los Angeles, will continue its focus on console games and, as a result, is not expected to draw developers who identify with a broader landscape of games for smartphones, tablets and other devices. Continue reading E3: With Focus on Consoles, is Gaming Confab Out of Touch?

Redbox Instant by Verizon App Now Available on Google TV

Google announced this week that the newly launched Redbox Instant by Verizon app is now ready for Google TV. Available in the Google Play market, owners of second generation hardware will be able to make full use of the app’s streaming capabilities (as detailed at the Google I/O conference, only newer devices have the necessary DRM support). Google Play is currently offering a one month free trial for new subscribers. Continue reading Redbox Instant by Verizon App Now Available on Google TV

Cine Gear Expo: Industry Vets Discuss 4K for Cinema and TV

Columbia Pictures’ “After Earth” was screened via a Sony 4K digital cinema projector this weekend during the Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles. After attendees filled the 500-plus-seat Paramount Theatre on Friday, a second screening was added on Saturday. “After Earth” was among the first feature films produced using Sony’s 4K F65 camera. Sony, Canon and Red are among the major camera makers now able to support 4K. Continue reading Cine Gear Expo: Industry Vets Discuss 4K for Cinema and TV

Sony Pictures Turns to eyeIO Video Compression for 4K Player

Eye IO, LLC (eyeIO) announced on Friday that its Ultra HD compression encoding technology has been licensed by Sony Pictures to help the studio offer content on Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs in the home. Owners of Sony 4K TVs will be able to access a number of movies via Sony’s 4K media player, which will launch this summer. The eyeIO technology processes, compresses and encodes 4K source files into a format that requires less bandwidth. Continue reading Sony Pictures Turns to eyeIO Video Compression for 4K Player

Sony Launches 4K Bravia TVs, Other Brands Expected Soon

Since the debut of Ultra HD 4K TVs at CES in January, Sony has become the first to offer 4K televisions to consumers with its new line of screens available through its Bravia brand. The first 4K Bravia sets are 55- and 65-inch models priced in the $7,000 range, while an 84-inch unit costs as much as $25,000. As an incentive, Sony is including a set of 10 4K mastered Blu-ray movies, and plans to launch a digital download service with more content. Continue reading Sony Launches 4K Bravia TVs, Other Brands Expected Soon

CBS and GameSpot to Offer Extensive E3 Coverage in June

CBS Interactive’s GameSpot.com announced its plans yesterday for comprehensive coverage of next month’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). The coverage will feature more than 100 hours of original live and on-demand programming from the Los Angeles Convention Center in addition to on-air integration with CBS Television stations. This marks the first time GameSpot will produce pre-show programming for a television audience. Continue reading CBS and GameSpot to Offer Extensive E3 Coverage in June

Best Buy Now Selling Sony 4K Televisions in its U.S. Stores

In an effort to boost lagging television sales, Best Buy announced that 700 of its U.S. stores will start selling Sony 4K Ultra HDTVs this week. The home theater departments of Best Buy and Magnolia stores will prominently display the 4K sets and offer demonstrations that tout the benefits of the new format over current 1080p offerings. The demos are expected to emphasize up-scaling capabilities to help attract consumers. Continue reading Best Buy Now Selling Sony 4K Televisions in its U.S. Stores

Will the Microsoft Set-Top Box Ever See the Light of Day?

We recently reported that Microsoft has scheduled a May 21 event to launch its next generation Xbox console (we’ll have details next week). Another piece of hardware has also been in development, but its future is less certain. Microsoft has been working on a set-top device for streaming video and other entertainment media, including a version that uses Kinect motion-control technology. However, it is not clear whether the product will be released. Continue reading Will the Microsoft Set-Top Box Ever See the Light of Day?

Google Signs Labels, Readies Subscription Music Services

According to inside sources, Google may unveil its rumored subscription music services today at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco. The company has reportedly signed separate licensing deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group that involve both YouTube and Google Play, the entertainment hub for the Android operating system. Earlier this year, Google signed similar agreements with Warner Music Group. Continue reading Google Signs Labels, Readies Subscription Music Services

Digital Paper: Sony Announces Ultra-Thin Flexible E-Reader

Sony may soon offer an affordable alternative for transitioning from paper notebooks and textbooks to digital solutions. According to a Japanese press release, the company is developing a 13.3-inch flexible e-reader called Digital Paper. Designed for use in classrooms, the grayscale reader weighs about 0.78 pounds, is a mere 7mm thick, features a touch capable 1,200 x 1,600 pixel display and includes Wi-Fi, 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot. Continue reading Digital Paper: Sony Announces Ultra-Thin Flexible E-Reader

Technology Leadership Award: ETC Honors Chuck Dages

The Entertainment Technology Center presented longtime Warner Bros. exec Chuck Dages with the Bob Lambert Technology Leadership Award during an industry gathering at USC’s Town & Gown Wednesday evening. The event also celebrated the first 20 years of ETC@USC and featured a studio technology leaders panel, during which execs discussed production and distribution challenges emerging from an evolving digital landscape. Continue reading Technology Leadership Award: ETC Honors Chuck Dages

Kaleidescape Launches Download Store for HD Movies

Home entertainment server maker Kaleidescape opened its own download store for HD movies this week. This new system lets users download “Blu-ray quality” versions of movies that can then be played through Kaleidescape or on the Web and through mobile devices via UltraViolet. However, there is a concern regarding the amount of data each download will consume, as each movie can average around 50GB. Continue reading Kaleidescape Launches Download Store for HD Movies

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