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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Briandre9's Sanctuary Intro Clip

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

StarBucks(WiFi) + Free = Epic

Mmm... nothing like the smell of a warm caramel macchiato in the morning being masked by the smell of fresh greenbacks being burned, right? All jesting aside, we're pretty stoked about the world's most recognized coffee joint turning off the pay wall surrounding its in-house WiFi hotspots, and in case you missed the original announcement, we're here to remind you that the free-for-all begins today. As of this very moment, the next US / Canadian corporately-ran Starbucks that you enter should be offering free one two-click WiFi, meaning that no password is required and no time limits will be set. Of course, this also means that you'll never see an open chair in any Starbucks ever again, but hey -- that's why sidewalks were created, right?

White House pledges another $800 million for broadband stimulus

Usually, when we see"stimulus" and "broadband" in the same sentence it's because someone turned off our Google Safe Search filter, but today we have one such item that is totally safe for work. According to Information Week, the $7.2 billion in broadband grants and loans that we've already seen will be buttressed by an additional $800 million. A total of sixty-six new infrastructure projects (with up to 5,000 new jobs created in the process) are planned to launch in every state of the union (and Washington DC to boot). That is, of course, if the congressional appropriations committee doesn't siphon off $602 million of it to offset the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Once we emerge from the immediate crisis, the long-term economic gains to communities that have been left behind in the digital age will be immeasurable," President Obama said in the announcement.

PlayStation 4

Sony is only four years into it's ten-year PlayStation 3 lifespan, but it's already doing some preliminary planning for the next console in the line. Develop reports that Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida talked frankly about the company's new direction and future plans in a recent interview. "When Ken Kutaragi moved on and Kaz Hirai became the new president of SCE, the first thing Kaz said was, 'get Worldwide Studios in on hardware development'," Yoshida said. "So he wanted developers in meetings at the very beginning of concepting new hardware, and he demanded SCE people talk to us [developers]." He also said they are "undergoing many activities that we haven't yet been talking about in public. Some future platform related activities. The move was probably a smart one. Ken Kutaragi may get credit as the father of the PlayStation, but he also took the blame for the PlayStation 3's lackluster launch. Hirai's differing philosophy means we'll see a very different kind of launch for the PlayStation 4 or even PlayStation Portable 2, whenever they happen to come.

Obsidian Expresses Interest in Working on Chrono Trigger


Obsidian is teaming up with Square Enix to create Dungeon Siege III, but what if the studio behind Fallout New Vegas had a chance to work on one of Square Enix's classic properties? Siliconera posited that scenario to Obsidian CEO Feargus Uquhart, who joked that he would love to work on Chocobo. But thinking about it more seriously, he said, "If I could come across everything that I played I would have to go with Chrono Trigger. I think Chrono Trigger was one I really enjoyed.” Urquhart and lead designer Nathan Chapman went on to note some of the key similarities between Chrono Trigger and traditional western RPGs, such as its open-ended design.” There are lots of differences, like you can beat Lavos at different parts of the game and you get different endings based on that. There are obvious answers like dialogue trees and all of that good stuff. The seeds are there for that kind of development," Chapman said. The pair are also interested in the setting, which Urquhart described as a "is a weird mix of fantasy and sci-fi mashed together. “An Obsidian-developed Chrono Trigger remains purely wishful thinking on their part, but Square Enix has recently been farming out well-known properties to western developers. One example is Front Mission Evolved, which is an action-oriented take on the classic strategy franchise developed by Double Helix. Don’t expect Obsidian to take on Chrono Trigger anytime soon, but with Square Enix continuing to experiment and expand its brand, anything is possible.

Gold Subscribers

Microsoft recently announced that half of the 25 million Xbox Live user account more than $600 million dollars in revenue from Gold subscriptions. Add up revenue generated by DLC, movies, and TV shows sales it looks like Xbox Live revenues topped a whopping $1 billion in a single fiscal year for the first time ever. That’s a lot of money and in an Bloomberg reports, Microsoft says that sales of DLC, movies, and TV shows exceeded the revenue brought in from subscriptions for the first time this year. This is big money Microsoft is talking about and if you combined the numbers of everything there generating revenue from it quickly exceeds the $1.2 billion mark. None of this can really be confirmed since Microsoft doesn't release detailed sales and revenue figures for Xbox Live. Sarah Frier of Bloomberg put her own estimate for Xbox Live revenue this past fiscal year at $1.1 billion, far exceeding the $800 million she estimated for the prior year. With Microsoft making such a hefty sum from their online network, it's no surprise some third parties are becoming increasingly more vocal about revenue sharing. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick claimed to the Financial Times that 60 percent of Xbox Live users were there "principally because of Call of Duty," and Activision isn't seeing a fair share of the revenue.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blockbuster Avoids Bankruptcy

Things stateside haven't gone the way of Blockbuster Portugal (yet) but while the Blockbuster was able to make arrangements with creditors and avoid bankruptcy this week, it will be forced to delist from the New York Stock Exchange after a proposed reverse stock split fell through. Even the extension on debt payments it was able to negotiate hasn't satisfied analysts, with our old friend Michael Pachter telling Reuters "there's nothing on the horizon that makes it look like Blockbuster is going to be more profitable." Ouch. A substantial amount of debt has long been a problem for Blockbuster as it tries to adjust to a changing marketplace with Redbox and Netflix, and with shares trading at .18, has now made its existence more precarious than ever.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ASUS Eee PC 1215N.

The words Netbook and powerhouse usually don’t float well with some people. That was until ASUS announced the Eee PC 1215N featuring the new Atom D525 processor running at 1.8GHz, dual core of course. It also comes with NVIDIA Optimus to intelligently switch between the NVIDIA Ion discrete and integrated graphics. So it will rip right thought 1080p videos with no problem no matter the display, also to thank for that is the HDMI jack. Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11n WiFi, integrated webcam with lens cover, choice of 250GB or 320GB hard disk , 500GB of ASUS WebStorage and pass-through USB to charge connected devices like cellphones when the Eee is powered off. No mention of battery performance, price, or availability on this so-called netbook. But I’m sure it wont be over 500$, and the battery might last two to three hours depending on what your doing.