This has been a big week for Microsoft and its Xbox LIVE platform. We saw the launch of the
dashboard update promised at E3 2011, plus the beginning of the media enhancements we have been waiting for. We got a surprise iOS app, called My Xbox LIVE, plus a Sony-esque User License alteration.
Let's start with the bad - in a similar move to
the PlayStation Network, post hacking, Microsoft has added a new clause to their Terms of Service, preventing lawsuits against the company based on events involving Xbox or Xbox LIVE. Obviously, this is a reaction to the Sony breach earlier this year, however, they have taken a different tact. Sony allowed for an opt-out on the new clause, while Microsoft has not. While this lack of an opt-out has created a lot of discontentment in the Xbox community, it is important to note that, to date, the Xbox community has never risen against Microsoft, even while dealing with the RRoD problem in the early days of the 360.
To get the details on the iOS app and the dashboard and media enhancements, hit the break.
posted Saturday Dec 10, 2011 by
FreeCast is an online content provider and aggregate that takes an interactive approach to making all the free TV, radio, movie, YouTube and cable content out in the world available in one place, at no cost to the user. They have thousands of channels for Internet-based TV content from some big networks like USA, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC, AMC and more. They can also stream multi-player games and radio stations to your computer, TV (with WiFi) tablet and smartphone users thanks to their Android and iOS apps. Their own FreeCast Network focuses on production of original content through user-created channels that can be about practically anything, adding some unique content on top of the 1.5 million new videos they integrate into their service everyday.
All of this has been integrated in an effort to achieve the lofty goal of becoming the largest open collection of media channel links on the Internet. IMDB made a similar claim a long time ago but FreeCast seems to be moving forward quickly with their free and unlimited approach.
Since FreeCast does not charge its users and only focuses on the integration of free content, they have been able to put together some interesting partnerships with paid subscription-based services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Samsung and more.
Free My Jukebox Software – Create Your Own Home Jukebox of 1000′s Songs! (Value $99.00) Free 1 Month Trial Amazon Prime Unlimited Streaming and Home Delivery New Release Movies Free 1 Month Trial Netflix Unlimited Streaming of New Release Movies Free Online Games Membership – Unlimited FREE Play Games Free Adult Movies Membership and Starter VOD Minutes. (Must Be 18+ Years of Age) Free Daily Promotion Play for Chance to Win Top of the Line Samsung High Definition Home Entertainment & Personal Electronic Makeover or $50,000.00 Cash!
FreeCast also has something in mind for Facebook users, find out what after the break.
HP's most recent CEO Meg Whitman kept her promise when saying
we would know webOS's fate within 2 weeks. In fact, there was only a week between this promise and the official decision, handed down yesterday. HP has decided to open source webOS. According to Whitman,
webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable. By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.
In addition to webOS itself, ENYO, the development platform for webOS will also be headed to the community in the coming weeks, as well as the remaining components.
This could either save or destroy the platform. Hit the break for my take on the future, the reasons for the decision and a letter from Whitman to employees.
Early last year, Research in Motion purchased
QNX, a developer of operating systems. RIM started the seemingly long and complex transition of their products from the aging BlackBerry OS to the new QNX-powered operating system. The first device to run on this platform was the BlackBerry PlayBook, announced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Ever since the launch of the device, running the most innovative BlackBerry OS since the original, everyone wanted to know when the new OS would hit phones.
Well, that day is around the corner, but it isn't going quite the way they expected it to go. Like RIM's
hiring portal mistake, no one thought to do research on the new product's name - originally dubbed BBX. Well, as it runs out, BBX is a name that is already trademarked, and it didn't take long for the trademark holder, Basis International, to notice and file suit. Basis sued in October and an initial ruling was handed down this week.
To find out the ruling and where RIM goes from here, hit the break.
Mario has been jumping on our television screens and killing evil woodland creatures for over 25 years now. You would think we would get tired of the same formula of: beautiful princess running a peaceful kingdom of mushroom people in diapers, an evil dragon... turtle... thing decides to kidnap the princess just because he wants to, princess calls out to the four foot tall neighborhood plumber to come to her rescue, he defeats the evil fire-breathing bastard and saves the princess all for one single kiss. Well, apparently, we are not tired of this formula, because Nintendo seems to find a way to make each and every experience fresh and sometimes revolutionary.
Nintendo's newest installment to the Super Mario franchise has arrived.
Super Mario 3D Land jumps, flutters and fireballs its way into our 3DS consoles and our hearts with stunning graphics, familiar nostalgic gameplay and powers, and level designs that will keep you questioning how good you really are at gaming.
For more of my thoughts on the game, hit the break.
Any hardcore gamer can guess what this is about. Subscription-based gaming is the norm for most social games that aren't free to play and companies like
Zynga have not only enjoyed a more stable and predictable cash flow but they've been chipping away at the console gaming market at a steady pace. For the past few years console game developers have been trying to avoid getting pwned by bad economic conditions and the threat of shrinking market share, so naturally they have been gravitating toward the same subscription-based model in an effort to have more security for their revenue streams than Sony had for the PSN back in October. According to THQ's CEO Brian Farrell,
The big win there is you have a consumer base that pays you the subscription fee each month ongoing. That's a very different revenue model for a video game company, when you have this monthly subscription revenue rather than a one-time purchase.
Read on to find out why subscription-based gaming is gaining more momentum after the recent Reuters Global Media Summit.