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XBox (Games)

Microsoft Unveils Xbox One 782

Today at a press conference leading up to E3, Microsoft unveiled its next-gen games/entertainment console, the Xbox One. Their stated goal for the Xbox One is to have a single device provide "all of your entertainment." One of the big changes is increased support for voice and and gesture input. You can turn the console on by voice, and it will recognize you and automatically login. Swiping to the side with your hand will browse through menu pages, and saying "Watch TV" will bring up the TV app very quickly. The same with music, internet, and movies. The new console also supports multitasking — for example, while watching a movie, you can bring up your web browser in a side panel and surf the web at the same time. There is also a built-in TV listings app that responds to channel names — saying "Watch CBS" will switch to CBS without giving it an actual channel number. By this point, you're probably asking: does it play games? Yes. Hardware specs: 8-core CPU/GPU, 8GB RAM, a Blu-ray drive, a 500GB HDD, USB 3.0, and Wi-fi Direct. (They didn't provide the CPU frequency, instead saying it had 5 billion transistors.) The Kinect sensor got an upgrade: 2Gbps of data capture has finer skeletal visibility, can detect minor orientation changes in hands and fingers, and can even calculate your balance and weight distribution. The new controller looks slightly bigger, and is designed to play well with Kinect. They've also updated Smartglass, the remote control software that runs on mobile devices, but they didn't explain much about it. The new Xbox Live will have 300,000 servers powering it, up from 15,000 this year — though, of course, no details were provided about server specs. The console will have native game capture and editing tools — essentially, a game DVR. Saved games will be stored in the cloud, and they have new matchmaking capabilities that operate in the background. Update: 05/21 17:50 GMT by S : Halo is getting its own live-action TV show, for some reason. They'll be collaborating with Steven Spielberg. Microsoft is also partnering with the NFL for live broadcasts and interactive experiences, such as split-screen Skype chats and fantasy league updates. Xbox One will be out "later this year." No price information. it will not be backward-compatible with Xbox 360 games.
Cloud

Sony Wants To Put Your Game Saves In the Cloud 224

itwbennett writes "Sony may be planning to have three platforms (Android devices, NGP, PS3) running PlayStation Suite content and needing access to the same saved data stored in the cloud, says blogger Peter Smith. At last week's PlayStation Meeting, game developer Hideo Kojima said his 'dream' was to offer the same game on the PS3 and the new PlayStation Portable with saves in the cloud. If Kotaku has it right, that dream may be coming in firmware version 3.6. Also, in an interview with Engadget, Sony's Jack Tretton first said that PlayStation Suite games would work on the PS3. He then retracted that comment, but it's sounding a lot like Sony just isn't ready to talk officially about plans to bring Suite content to the PS3, says Smith."
Movies

James Cameron On How Avatar Technology Could Keep Actors Young 404

Suki I writes "An article at EW discusses another use for Avatar's sophisticated motion-capture technology: 'Sure, it's terrific for turning human actors into big blue alien Na'vis. But the photorealistic CGI technology James Cameron perfected for Avatar could easily be used for other, even more mind-blowing purposes — like, say, bringing Humphrey Bogart back to life, or making Clint Eastwood look 35 again. "How about another Dirty Harry movie where Clint looks the way he looked in 1975?" Cameron suggests. "Or a James Bond movie where Sean Connery looks the way he did in Doctor No? How cool would that be?"' The article goes on to quote Cameron as saying you would still need actors to play the roles, and that an ethical line needs to be drawn somewhere."
Government

FCC Mulling More Control For Electronic Media 176

A recent Notice of Inquiry from the FCC is looking for opinions on how the "evolving electronic media landscape" affects kids, and whether the FCC itself should have more regulatory control over such media. The full NOI (PDF) is available online. "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski included a statement with the NOI in which he noted that 'twenty years ago, parents worried about one or two TV sets in the house,' while today, media choices are far more widespread for children, including videogames, which 'have become a prevalent entertainment source in millions of homes and a daily reality for millions of kids.'"
Patents

Apple Seeks Patent On Operating System Advertising 342

patentpundit writes "On April 18, 2008, Apple Computer applied for a patent relating to an 'invention' that allows for showing advertisements within an operating system. The first named inventor on the patent application is none other than Steve Jobs. The patent application published and became available for public inspection on October 22, 2009. If implemented, the invention would make it possible for advertisements to be displayed on a variety of devices, including desktop computers, cell phones, PDAs, and more. In one alarming aspect, the device could be disabled while the advertisements run, thereby forcing users to let the advertisement run its course before the system would unlock and allow further use. In an even more invasive scenario, explained in the patent application, the user could be required to do something, such as click to continue, in order to verify that they are actively watching the advertisement and haven't simply walked away while the ad runs. Whether Apple would implement such an invention is unknown, but it is possible that they think there are others out there who might want to implement such invasive advertising. It is possible Apple wanted to get ahead of the curve and file this patent so that if any company is silly enough to engage in Big Brother advertising, then Apple will get a royalty. I sure hope this is not the future of advertising."

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