Being so close to
E3 2012, it wouldn't be right if there wasn't any gaming talk. Unfortunately, Valve says there won't be product announcement talk at E3. I guess we have to wait some more to hear more news about the Steam Box, as expected. We had hopes though and now I have to return the disco ball I rented for the celebration of new products being announced as Valve confirmed the news this week.
Valve rep Doug Lombardi said this week that, "We have no product announcements planned for this year's show."
While we shouldn't be too surprised by this, it still is unfortunate that they aren't a huge player at E3. Last year, they were seemingly nowhere to be found and the year prior was used only to show us another glimpse of
Portal 2. We have to trek back to 2009 and the Left 4 Dead sequel in order to see Valve in the limelight.
For now, any hope of
Half-Life news also goes down the drain. Valve will maintain the silent treatment about anything regarding the title which is apparently still going through "twists and turns."
There is a glimmer of good news, though. Valve did confirm they will be presenting some of their known projects like
DOTA 2, Counterstrike: Global Offensive and Steam's living room project, Big Picture Mode. I'm personally excited about Counterstrike and I really hope Valve makes their presence felt this year. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some Left 4 Dead game-playing to do.
While Sprint may have
secured a deal with 15 states for four years, things are also looking up for Verizon. We've known the United States has been working on being able to text in your 911 emergencies for quite some time now and Verizon has stepped up to help build the nationwide text system for the Next Generation 911 upgrade project. The company has selected TeleCommunication Systems Inc to assist them with the build out, which will include upgrades that will also increase the accuracy of the location data the 911 dispatchers receive for the calls.
How are they positioning this project? Learn the details after the break.
Since Netflix and Hulu started streaming content, both new and old, to your computer, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii and more, for a very low cost, the future of appointment television has been bleak. In fact,
Piltch Point host and Online Editorial Director of LAPTOP Magazine, Avram Piltch listed it as one of the 15 modern technologies his son will never use. While those of us with computers know what is obviously coming, there are others who do not understand it.
Viacom, the company who
took on YouTube, and has famously not understood the Internet, feels that it has had no impact on their flagship kids network, Nickelodeon. Nick has experienced a MASSIVE drop-off in viewership over the past few years, especially over the past 12 months, but this 30% loss has nothing to do with Netflix, according to CEO Philippe Dauman.
What does he attribute the lack of success to? We have his explanation after the break.
It is no secret that gaming hardware sales are down. Nintendo
posted its first ever loss this quarter but, in large part, to lackluster hardware sales. They sold just under 10 million Wii consoles compared to 15 million this time last year; that is a 33% drop in hardware sales. The sales numbers on the 3DS are, at this point, legendary, and it is difficult to recover from.
In addition to Nintendo's sales problems,
Sony's PS Vita has not had the sales that executives expected. A large part of the problem for handheld gaming is the proliferation of smartphones and the amount and quality of gaming available on those platforms. For example, the Asphalt 6 that came with with the BlackBerry PlayBook OS2 upgrade is on par with any racing game available on the 3DS or Vita.
While sales for dedicated gaming hardware seem to be slipping, and Nintendo and Sony seem caught off guard by this slip, Microsoft seems to have had a plan in place to deal with it.
Their plan has been to emphasize the media aspects of the console. In fact, they affected statistics for consoles with this strategy.
While it has been a winning strategy until now, it won't last forever. Will a cheaper console be their next move? Hit the break to find out.
AT&T decided this week that it's a good idea to help eliminate cell phone theft. The company has launched a new section of their website that not only helped customers be better informed on protecting their devices, but will also, in time, be able to shut down the stolen device. The site,
att.com/stolenphone first tells all users to put a password on your mobile device and change it often. It also has information on the security apps available and features a tutorial on how to back up contacts on a SIM card.
The AT&T Stolen Phone program launched shortly after the FCC came together with the wireless providers to work on
building a list of all stolen devices. For more on the program and what this list will do, check after the break.
A little over a year ago, AOL agreed to
purchase The Huffington Post, which made Arianna Huffington the Editor-in-Chief of AOL media. This decision was controversial all over the Internet, but most famously through the TechCrunch space, who lost their founder, Mike Arrington, followed by an exodus of employees following behind him. Obviously the decision to make Huffington Czar of AOL has turned out well for the company, so long as their goal was to make all of their brands as irrelevant as AOL itself.
AOL's management seems to be a little less ostrich-like this week, pulling their head out of the sand long enough to scale Arianna's role in the company back. In fact, management has brought in former Time Inc. executive Ned Desmond to oversee everything that Arianna has ruined, including Engadget, Joystiq, TechCrunch and The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW). While Arianna has tried to make it sound like it was her decision, it is clear to anyone with a brain that it was not; this might be why she thinks it is her decision. She has been banished back to the obscurity of HuffPo, where she can continue to oversee insanity and feel right at home.
AOL's management seems excited about this transition. Hit the break to hear what they have to say about it and what it could mean for some of the biggest tech blogs on the web.