Since the Xbox One launched last November, Microsoft's latest game console has changed pretty dramatically. From "going all-in" on Kinect to offering a camera-less $400 model; from focused on TV and home entertainment to appealing directly to "core" gamers. The last year for Microsoft's Xbox division has been one massive pivot. The future sounds brighter.
You've already read about the updates coming to Xbox One this fall. What about beyond that? Head of Xbox Phil Spencer offered us some possibilities in an interview this week at Gamescom 2014. What about, say, a version of Steam's massively popular Early Access program, which enables developers to release games still in development and gamers to participate in the development process? "I think it does make sense. I think we have to land it the right way on console," Spencer told us. That's certainly a start!
Finland’s commercial TV network MTV has begun an extensive restructuring of its business and brands.The broadcaster has announced two strategic partnerships, one with Ericsson and one with Valve; and the division of MTV Oy into two entities, MTV Sisällöt and MTV Oy. Read the story »
New research reveals that despite the growth in TV viewing via PC, tablet and smartphones, 89% of viewers still regularly use the TV to watch their content live – with 85% also stating that the TV is their preferred screen. Read the story »
Sony Pictures Television has promoted Kate Marsh to EVP, networks, Western Europe. Read the story »
The Romanian incumbent Romtelecom and its sister company Cosmote are to undergo a major rebrand and will operate under the name Telekom Romania from mid September. Read the story »
The Danish police in Mid and West Zealand Police searched 15 homes in search of evidence of a card-sharing ring. Read the story »
Polish viewers are watching more TV and open to new ways of consuming TV services. Read the story »
Most sub-Saharan countries, notably Nigeria and South Africa, will not achieve the ITU-mandated 2015 deadline to switch off their analogue terrestrial TV signals. Read the story »
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa has announced that MTV will be available to a wider audience from August 25. Read the story »
Okay, we know that the PlayStation 4's Share Play feature is coming, but how does letting a friend on an entirely different console (possibly around the globe) play one of your games work? A lot like how PS4's remote play with the PS Vita does, apparently. In an interview with Famitsu Weekly, Sony's head of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said that game developers don't have to do anything special to enable the feature, and that barring a game requiring the PlayStation Camera, any title should be compatible. Once firmware 2.0 launches, all a friend has to do is send you a Share Play invite and voila you can start playing their copy of Destiny on your TV. If it sounds like we're living in the future, that's because we pretty much are.
The Indian Sun TV channels Sun TV, KTV, Sun Music, Adithya, Gemini and Surya and the Brazilian TV channel TV Globo are now available on Toshiba connected devices, thanks to Cloudio TV. Read the story »
Remember those new Xbox One features Microsoft announced at Gamescom this week? They're available right now -- at least to members who are part of the company's preview program. Major Nelson just announced that Xbox Live users that have access to preview updates will be able to download the new features today. This includes the updated Friends section announced earlier this week as well as SmartGlass TV streaming, the system's new boot to TV mode and the long awaited Media Player app. The announcement also revealed a host of previously unannounced updates, including tweaks to the Party app and Xbox One's GameDVR.
Earlier this week Sony announced that it'd sold over 10 million PlayStation 4s to date, but that isn't the half of it: the company's latest gaming console is once again dominating the sales charts overall. As Sony tells it, July marks the seventh consecutive month that the PS4 outsold Microsoft's Xbox One. Hardware isn't the only area Sony is trumping its rival either, as The Last of Us: Remastered led software sales last month by a "considerable" margin ahead of number-two-seller Minecraft on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The gaming sector as a whole is incredibly healthy, too. The NPD Group reports that even though software sales are down overall for July (something it attributes directly to the lack of an NCAA Football release this year), hardware is picking up the slack. Comparing life-to-date numbers of the PS4 and Xbox One to their predecessors, the new consoles are outselling the PS3 and Xbox 360 by almost a whopping 80 percent. That puts this July ahead of last by 13 percent in terms of total money spent in the area, according to NPD.
Activision creates and publishes a small group of blockbuster video games aimed at mainstream consumers. The world's largest game publishing company handles some of gaming's most culturally impactful titles: the Call of Duty franchise, this year's Destiny, and the entire Blizzard catalog. This week at Gamescom 2014, Activision announced its first smaller effort in many years with Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. As the name implies, Dimensions is the third entry in the Geometry Wars franchise -- a beloved series that debuted as a minigame within the first Xbox console's Project Gotham Racing 2. People like it so much in that completely unrelated game that it spawned into its own series.
Sadly, the studio behind the originals (Bizarre Creations) was shuttered after a commercial flop with the critically-lauded racer Blur. Some of the folks from Bizarre are back on Dimensions, now part of a new studio named Lucid. But this isn't the return of Activision's expanded portfolio, says Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg.
As great as Humble Bundle is at bringing content to your devices on the cheap, it's worth pointing out that its Android app has been a bit lackluster -- at least until today. Even though the application wasn't completely terrible per se, there's no doubt its looks and functionality could benefit from a makeover. The good news is there's a new Humble Bundle app on Google Play, featuring a redesigned, cleaner user interface and some novel tools for fans of the service to use. In addition to the fresh, more intuitive design, the app now lets you sideload APKs with more ease and, for the first time, download e-books and music directly to it. It's also easier to keep track of your purchases, including old and new, which is definitely a good thing if you often get in on the Humble deals. Let us know in the comments below if you're liking the new app so far.
Via: Android Police
Source: Google Play
If you use YouTube's app on your TV, get ready for a new UI (finally!). The app has a much cleaner look now, in line with Google's Material Design, and includes features that you're used to seeing on your computer, smartphone and tablet, such as a guide that pops up on the left side, latest videos from your subscriptions and curated channels. The refreshed interface should pop up soon -- it's available now with Xbox One, and Google plans to roll it out to other devices within the next few weeks.
Discovery features are becoming the norm among video and music applications. Vimeo, naturally, has been taking note of this and is now introducing a redesigned app for Roku streaming devices. Along with making it simpler for viewers to find fresh content on its homepage, Vimeo's new application also lets Roku users get smarter search results and have easier access to their personalized feeds -- such as Incoming, Likes, My Videos and Watch Later. The online video company says this was all done with the future in mind, too; the application is setup to support in-app purchasing for the Vimeo On Demand service, which will soon allow creators to charge for productions directly from any Roku. Vimeo on Roku definitely looks much prettier than it did before, let's just hope those looks match its overall performance.%Gallery-slideshow214470%
Switzerland’s largest cable operator UPC Cablecom will roll out co-surfing service Wi-Free to its whole customer base across Switzerland in early October 2014. Read the story »
Antenna Hungária has provided more details about the enhancements to its DTT service, which come into effect on October 1. Read the story »