This week, Nintendo's seeing red, Facebook's seeing green and no one's seeing FOX.
It isn't every day that Microsoft creates a custom Xbox 360 to go along with a videogame release. Even more rare is for them to release a custom console for a game that they are not intimately involved with. Based on this information, it was a surprise when they announced a Star Wars Kinect custom console.
Ever since NCsoft announced that they would be attending gamescom 2011 and were going to "make some world exclusive announcements," the Interwebz have been trying to figure out what it could be. The prevailing theory seems to have been there would finally be a release date for Guild Wars 2.
As regular readers of The UpStream know, many of us here are RadioShack alumni. Over the years, we have seen a lot of changes, particularly in the wireless business. In my tenure with the company, I had the opportunity to interact with all of the major networks but always in smaller, odd pairings. The largest, and possibly strangest pairing, is the current 3 that The Shack offers - Sprint, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile.
There are some things in life that you hear about and think are simply weird or strange. Other times, there are things that are confusing. This is one of those cases that go beyond the bizarre line and enter the "just plain wrong" category. Forget about selling your kidney for an iPad or your virginity for an iPhone, this week parents Li Lin and Li Juan have been accused of selling all three of their children to solve their need to play video games at several Internet lounges. I promise you, this is something even the best fake Apple store can't make up.
Starting October 1st, AT&T is joining the ranks of Verizon and T-Mobile and start slowing down your data speed once you hit an unconfirmed level that would mark you as one who uses "an extraodrinary amount of data." 9to5Mac has reported that because AT&T has seen an increase in data consumption of 80 times what it has in 2007 - before the iPhone was introduced - that the company may consider putting the hammer down on those crazy tethering and streaming mobile devices.
Nintendo had high hopes that its Nintendo 3DS would bring the company out of the basement of the gaming world and bring it back to the glory days. Unfortunately, Quarter 2 results did not look so good for the company. Nintendo posted a total net loss of $324 million for Q2, a little more than their hit from last year as the same time. The bigger issue here is that Nintendo also reduced their sales forecast for 2010 by 82 percent, from $11.5 billion to a mere $257 million.
By now, I think we all know about Nintendo's 3DS price cut, but that isn't the only thing getting slashed at Nintendo. Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's corporate president, has taken responsibility for the poor sales numbers and recognizes the probable loss that will accompany the price drop on the 3DS, and has announced that he will take a 50% pay cut, as well.
Before 2011 this year Facebook Credits were merely an option for game developers and it was a nice option to have. If they chose not to manage their own virtual currency but wanted the option to sell virtual goods, Facebook took care of it for a fee. Then in January this year, Facebook announced a new policy, effective July 1st 2011, that would make it mandatory for game developers to use Facebook Credits should they want to sell virtual goods to users through Facebook. Basically, they were leveraging their then 500 million plus user base to get mega social game developers like Zynga to concede to the 30% Facebook takes off the top. To be fair, there are advantages to having one universal currency and Facebook has offered targeted ad campaigns as part of the deal.
In less than a month, FOX Broadcasting will be launching a new campaign to go after the pirates (Davey Jones, Giant Squid). FOX is aiming to make sure cord-cutters aren't going to benefit from sites like Hulu and Fox.com anymore. Starting on August 15th, if you have DISH Network, you will be the first to be able to watch new episodes of FOX TV shows online. If you don't have DISH, you will have to wait 8 days after the episode airs on TV. This change will affect anywhere that hosts FOX TV shows on their site, legally, of course. This particularly affects Fox.com and Hulu.