Posts Tagged ‘Sony’

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Gaming Future Is Almost Here

Written by Jon Schwarzmann on . Posted in Tech

Last year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft and Sony announced game-changing technologies (literally) and, unless you’re a gamer, you probably haven’t heard of them. Both have to do with user motion-control for the Xbox and PlayStation 3, which directly encroaches on Nintendos long-standing and popular gimmick.

Except Microsoft is taking a different route than the motion controller. They’re taking the controller completely out of the equation by using a host of sensors designed to read your body. Yep, pretend like you’re driving a car, shooting a gun or even fishing and you can play your favorite driving, shooter and fishing games.  If this sounds good to you, then you’re the exact kind of gamer the monopolistic company is looking for, which is to say you’re not (a gamer, that is). You see, this sort of virtual technology has never caught on, and yes, this isn’t its first incarnation.

I remember playing VR games in Vegas nearly ten years ago, and it was lame. Why? Because if you’re pretending to grip a steering wheel, aim a gun or cast a net and there’s nothing in your hand, then you’re going to have no connection with the game you’re playing. But isn’t that the point of video games — to play them, to disconnect from reality? Oh wait, that’s what all entertainment is designed to do. Maybe that’s the thing: to reach a level of gaming where you don’t feel like you’re playing a game. Perhaps this is supposed to make the virtual world more real.  It’s an interesting concept and is the entire idea behind Project Natal. It’s also a giant gamble.

Home Invasion: Netflix, the Game Console and You

Written by Jon Schwarzmann on . Posted in Tech

Chances are you either have Netflix, know someone that does, or at least watched a Netflixed movie. The hugely successful online movie rental giant somewhat recently launched their “Watch Instantly” option for all their plans, giving users lightning fast access to hundreds of movies, as long as their internet connection allows it. In fact, Netflix has provided the perfect solution for my weekly movie night with Jordan Petersen, using the economical $8.99 one-at-a-time plan to rent our flick, while still allowing us to stream movies individually throughout the week. It’s the perfect fix for any cinephile.

Last year, Netflix teamed up with Microsoft to provide Xbox 360 systems the ability to stream “Watch Instantly” movies straight to your living room (Xbox Live Gold membership required, $7.99 per month).  This was a smart move by Netflix, but of course Microsoft had to get their greedy hold on such a lucrative venture, forcing Netflix to sign a two-year agreement. The details are a bit fuzzy, but it appears the deal calls for Netflix to stay away from offering their services via any other gaming consoles.