If you think about it, all MMOs’ days are, in a sense, numbered -- what with finite amounts of money for servers and all -- but The Matrix Online’s days have now hit the point where people actually care to count. In exactly two months, the periodically slow-moving MMO will finally grind to a halt.
“Now we’ve seen how far the rabbit hole goes and it’s time to wake up from that dream (or go back to sleep, depending how you look at it). On July 31, 2009, we will be jacking out for the last time. It’s a bittersweet moment for everyone involved with the game; as a player or as a developer,” said producer Daniel Myers on the game’s forum.
However, just because the world’s ending doesn’t mean everyone’s gonna stop their slow-mo chop-socky to kiss each other goodbye. Nope – this one’s going out with a bang, via an earth-shattering end-of-the-world event.
“The team will also be whipping up an end-of-the-world event,” Myers explained. “It won’t be quite the same as having over 100 developers in the game as Agents like when we ended beta, but we have 4 years of tricks up our sleeve. It’ll be a chance to revisit all the things that make MxO the memorable experience it is. And how could we pull the plug without crushing everyone’s RSI just one more time?”
Four years culminating in one day. If you miss this, you’ll probably regret it for the rest of your life – and then again when your life is recreated in a computer simulation run by robot masters that’d give even Mega Man the shakes. So yeah, jump on this while you have the chance.
Reports have claimed that Microsoft is currently in the developmental process of creating a mobile platform that mixes many elements of the Xbox and Zune – earning it the nickname “xYz.”
The rumored handheld is reported to be “unlike anything on the market today … think of a mashup of the Sony Mylo, the PSP, and the iPhone… errr, the iPod touch; [the MS handheld] doesn’t need access to a phone network. Although the Microsoft handheld is definitely a converged device, this is not a Zune Phone. Microsoft won’t compete with its Windows Mobile customers.”
The device will supposedly be based off of Live Anywhere, for the most part. “There will be a single online marketplace; the lines between the Zune, Xbox Live and Sky marketplaces will blur when the handheld launches.”
Given that both Nintendo and Sony have strong footholds in the handheld gaming sector, it seems like a natural progression for Microsoft to move here as well. Let’s just hope that this rumored handheld takes less pages from the book of Zune and more pages from the book of Xbox.
At a panel about the future of filmmaking Michael Lynton, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s CEO, had some choice words to say about the Internet and what it has done for his business.
“I’m a guy who doesn’t see anything good having come from the Internet. Period.” His complaints are stemmed from the belief that the Internet has “created this notion that anyone can have whatever they want at any given time. It’s as if the stores on Madison Avenue were open 24 hours a day. They feel entitled. They say, ‘Give it to me now,’ and if you don’t give it to them for free, they’ll steal it.”
Wow, some pretty brash words. What’s most surprising is that this man is a CEO of a very successful company that no doubt uses the Internet to conduct business on a daily basis. Though, I suppose if you want to get in a pissing match over piracy, being quotable is more important than being correct.
Earlier this week YouTube announced that they’ve finally wrapped up a deal that will allow them to stream a large range of full-length movies and TV shows from Sony, Lionsgate, as well as other television networks and various indie movies.
The movies and episodes will come in a new section of YouTube, as ad-supported (but free) content. Some of the content initially included will be “Casino Royale,” CBS’ new series “Harper’s Island,” and even Morgan Surlock’s popular “Super Size Me.” Though, for the time being Sony’s content will simply be a link that leads users directly to their site, allowing Sony to collect traffic from their own video player.
Sadly, as Google admits, much of the content is at least a decade old. But, for the time being they’re looking towards making baby steps before they can fully compete with Hulu.
Styling a computer is no simple task. Finding exactly how to fit all the complex parts that make a computer hum with life inside a sexy form factor can prove difficult, and, evidently to Sony it is.
With Sony’s latest line of VAIO Type C notebooks, they’ve given in to a high school girl’s daydreams and clad the chassis with a crocodile skin-like surface. Now, while it does look an awful lot like legitimate crocodile, it’s all a rouse – the surface is grooved and pigmented plastic and silicon, rather than covered in genetically modified croc skin.
These notebooks are currently available in Japan with no plans for international release (thank goodness), and running consumers there ¥104,800 (or, a bit more than $1000).
YouTube, in an effort to continue expanding as a media hub for more than just low quality, user-made content, is trying to hash out a deal with Sony Pictures to secure licensing rights to some of the studio's full-length movies, CNet reports. Such a deal would help YouTube better compete with the likes Hulu, Netflix, and other web video services.
It was just a week ago that YouTube was able to license short-form content from Disney, which also includes Disney brands like ABC and ESPN. But when it comes to feature-length content -- a crucial component if YouTube is to compete with other streaming services -- YouTube has only been able to snag a small number of titles from MGM.
Neither company is commenting on the report, but it's not hard to see why each one would be interested. Sony Pictures acquired streaming video site Crackle in 2006 for a cool $65 million and has since posted a bevy of full-length films on the site. By licensing a handful of flicks to YouTube, Sony would be promoting its Crackle acquistion. And of course it makes sense for YouTube, which was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion three years ago.
Do you think is a good move for either company? Hit the jump and sound off.
It looks like Comcast and Sony are looking to take a bite out of the Apple pie that is retail marketing, by opening up their very own joint retail store that will push Sony’s tech and Comcast’s services.
“At Sony Style Comcast Labs, trained staff show consumers how to unlock the full potential of their devices by demonstrating how Comcast's advanced delivery services integrate beautifully with Sony's hardware products and entertainment content,” said Stan Glasgow, President and COO of Sony US.
If anyone out there is looking to check out this store on its first day, the location will cut the ribbon today at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia, on 17th and JFK Boulevard.
Mel Brooks may have coined the phrase “it’s good to be the king”, but that probably wasn’t what the president of Sony France was thinking when he was taken hostage by the angry employees at his soon to be closed Pontonx-sur-l'Adour tape manufacturing plant. Workers held Serge Foucher overnight before freeing him on Friday to take part in his meeting with head office officials to continue negotiating their severance package. “I am happy to be free and to see the light of day again” he told reporters as he climbed into a mini-bus with other union officials.
Sony press spokeswoman Delphine Viers said the situation was under control and the manager had been in contact with the local state security chief regularly throughout his captivity. "It's true that this might seem surprising abroad, but it's less surprising in France, where we're more used to this kind of situation," she said, adding that it was unlikely that the firm would make a criminal complaint.
The Pontonx-sur-l'Adour plant is slated to close April 17th, and has been producing video tapes for Sony since 1984. This isn’t the first time disgruntled workers have held bosses hostage in France, but I wouldn’t suggest trying it here. I’m not sure North American CEO’s would have the same level of patience.
Despite winning the high-definition format war, Blu-ray adoption appears to be at a standoff with most consumers. Not everyone is willing to pay the relatively high prices associated with Blu-ray players, and that decision has been aided by the prominence of streaming media (a la Netflix) and upconverting standard DVD players. And it looks like consumers were right to wait.
Panasonic, Philips, and Sony have jointly announced plans to create a single licensing firm for Blu-ray patents, which should help drive prices down across the board. The new license is expected to cover all the essential Blu-ray patents to be overseen by an un-named licensing company in the U.S and run by Gerald Rosenthal, former head of intellectual property at IBM.
"By establishing a new licensing entity that offers a single license for Blu-ray Disc products at attractive rates, I am confident that it will foster the growth of the Blu-ray Disc marekt and serve the interest of all companies participating in this market, be it as licensee or licensor," Rosenthal said.
As it stands today, licensing Blu-ray requires talking to each of the three partner companies, but under the new plan, the group estimates the cost of a license to be "at least 40 percent lower than the current cumulative royalty rate." How much of that ends up being passed on to consumers remains to be seen, though we won't have to wait long to find out. The new plan is expected to be introduced by the middle of the year.
Sony Music Entertainment became the first of the four largest recording companies to renew their music licensing deal with YouTube.
The renewal has ensured that Sony artists will remain on the video-sharing site exclusively. Deals such as this allow YouTube users to not only view the artist’s music videos, but to also use the label’s songs in their clips.
It’s been reported that Universal Music Group is close to breaking a deal with YouTube, and if they signed it would leave only EMI and Warner Music Group. Though, talk between EMI and YouTube ran into some trouble last month, and since then their content has been removed from the site.