Specialty media retailers have been hit hard by the growing popularity of digital media. All you need to do is take a look at Blockbuster and there is no dispute about it. They also make a great case study for what not to do with a brick and mortar niche media retailer that is expanding into the digital distribution business. GameStop seams to have realized this and has begun taking action to prevent an impending game over scenario.
GameStop is taking a different approach to entering digital distribution than failed Blockbuster by acquiring two companies that already have some of this figured out instead of just trying to figure it out themselves. They have $100 million put to the side for these acquisitions as a company that totally screws its customers should have available for that purpose. Spawn Labs and Impulse are their first victims in this process and probably not the last. Spawn Labs is very similar to OnLive in that they provide a cloud based gaming service you can use through your TV and Impuse is like Steam who allows you to purchase PC games online and download them to your computer. GameStop exec Paul Raines explained that these acquisitions are in line with the needs of their hybrid consumers.
We've got a hybrid consumer, and we are now a hybrid company. We've become more and more a technology company.
Click the break to continue.
We all know how much fun lawsuits can be and Apple is certainly the company who likes them the best, so let's see what they have been up to this week. Two of Apple's current legal projects have taken major steps this week. We first spoke of the battle between Apple and Nokia nearly 18 months ago and Nick and Kyria have kept us up to date 5 more times since then:
Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3 | Round 4 | Round 5 | Round 6
This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules in favor of Apple, saying that the manufacturer had not infringed on any of Nokia's stated patents. You might remember that Nokia filed the complaint with the FTC, which is secondary to the lawsuit still pending in federal court, as an attempt to get Apple's products to be blocked for import. That would have certainly stopped Apple in its tracks since their phones are fabricated by Foxconn in China. It is hard to sell a phone to Americans when it is stuck in China.
This ruling does not affect the other side of the coin, however. Apple had filed a counter claim against Nokia to the FTC claiming the same types of patent infringement, not to block the import of Nokia phones, but to prolong the process as long as possible. They probably assumed that the FTC would rule against them and they could then make an offer between the companies to get both phones back into the America market. That is no longer required, so if Nokia loses the next one, Apple will have the upper hand. It's kind of like a legal tango, isn't it?
We also have news regarding the ongoing Apple vs Kodak battle. For the details, hit the break.
posted Thursday Mar 31, 2011 by Jon Wurm
Only 6 long years after the debut of the worlds best game console the day has come where Microsoft was forced to address the storage capacity of DVDs. Compared to Blu-ray discs, which can hold upward of 50GBs, the DVD's 7.95GB limit was quickly running short as Xbox 360 games were confined to 6.8GB. The other gig was partitioned off and reserved for anti-piracy purposes until a new version of Halo: Reach that uses the extra capacity surfaced. The details of what the extra capacity is being used for is uncertain but Xbox 360 scene hacker commodore4ever broke the news to the world in a tweet,
MS will introduce xgd3 – this will add more ap checks, cvi (content integerity) checks, increase the disc size and adds a new layer for protection issues – all in the 20500 sdk! bring it on.
There is currently no announced change over date and assuming things work out there will definitely be a Xbox 360 dashboard update that will allow consoles access to the extra space.
Some people might be disappointed that Blu-ray didn't make the cut but there is no way that could happen since Xbox consoles have never been equipped with Blu-ray disc readers. Yes, Blu-ray discs have around 6.3 times the capacity of DVDs and Microsoft was aware of that but read speeds for Blu-ray drives are significantly slower which is why most PS3 games have to be installed on the HDD instead of being run from the disc.
posted Thursday Mar 31, 2011 by Jon Wurm
DVD has been around for ages compared to Blu-ray which made its debut in May 2006. We also can't forget the new format on the block, 3D, that is still in the infant stages of development, even if we might want to. For several years we have seen DVD sales decline and Blu-ray sales double in some instances. The same can be said for 3D TVs which are expected to be in 15 million homes by the end of 2012.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to the slow decline of DVDs, such as increased competition from the other physical formats as well as the increasing popularity of digital media. Research company Mindlab, however, suggests that we might be drawn to higher quality media because our brains like it better.
Decide for yourself and hit the break.
At last year's Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), one of the phenomenons of the show was Nintendo's 3DS. As of today, it has officially hit our shores and made its way into our stores. The 3DS is everything Nintendo promised, plus some really cool surprises. Working in retail myself, as well as purchasing one, I had the unique experience of being both behind and in front of the counter on launch day.
Women and children, grandparents and parents, people of all ages all showed up to pickup and see the wonders that are the Cosmo Black and Aqua Blue 3D handheld systems. After a half day of selling the devices to overjoyed customers, I finally got to get my hands on a live model, care of one of my fellow employees. Getting to play with features such as the 3D slider for adjusting the depth of the 3D experience, photo integration with the AR (or alternate reality) Cards and a peek at the overall interface, such as the home screen and photo application was incredible to say the least.
To hear about my full experience with the 3DS, hit the break.
We all know that digital video is becoming increasingly popular, which means that the market is becoming more competitive and expanding rapidly. So far, Netflix keeps doing things right in their world and continues to reign supreme among the masses. This week, research study and numbers wizards NPD Group released a report that says 61 percent of all streaming video content online is coming from Netflix, at least legally. Geez, good luck with your new project Amazon! Netflix just seems to be everywhere from online to Xboxs to set-tops.
NPD reported that the next closest competition was Comcast, which held 8 percent of the market with its digital movie united and coming in at 4 percent was Time Warner, Apple and DirecTV. NPD collected its data from Jan to Feb of 2011 with 10,618 United States Internet users.
Oddly enough, NPD also gave credit to the average consumer, stating that they know the difference between downloaded movies, Internet video on demand, cable video on demand and streaming services. They also understand the difference between services like iTunes, that get the current releases, and Netflix, that gets releases a bit later but gives you overall value for the product you're paying for.
For more on this, hit the break.