After eight long years the arrival of Sony’s Playstation 4 marks the true beginning of the next generation of video game consoles. Yes, I know that Nintendo’s Wii U launched last year but let’s be honest and state that just about everyone understands that it is vastly underpowered when compared to either the Xbox One or Playstation 4. However, this post is not meant to be some rant against the Wii U which, I actually like as a gaming console, but to point out that in terms of pure tech specs that it lags behind both products from Microsoft and Sony. Now, having spent an entire week with the Playstation 4 I can finally report a few quick impressions of the new console.
With the Summer movie season now in the history books it’s time to look back specifically at Star Trek Into Darkness to grade the movie’s box office performance and to see if we can ascertain any hints about the franchise’s future. Let’s be honest shall we? The past few weeks have seen Into Darkness’ reputation basically being dragged through the mud by the mainstream media but not without some degree of merit as news broke out of two Star Trek conventions that diehard Trekkies were not only mad but downright furious deciding to vote the film the worse Star Trek film ever in one poll while the other had it wallowing in 6th position. Is it really the time for revisionist history to kick in?
In a move that has long been speculated upon Microsoft Corp has finally pulled the trigger on a huge $7 billion USD acquisition of Nokia’s Devices & Services business bringing the number one Windows Phone maker into the fold. Analysts are certainly going to have a field day tomorrow morning when the Stock Market opens but this is a move that should not be much of a surprise.
As some people might have noticed I’ve been lagging on my posts but that’s because I’ve been in New York City for the past week and haven’t had much time to do anything blog related. Nevertheless, now I’m home and am back to my regular schedule so expect more updates in the coming weeks.
News has broken this morning that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has unexpectedly announced his retirement causing shares to surge 6-7% in morning trading. Ballmer has been at the helm since January 2000 when he took over from Bill Gates but his tenure has certainly been decidedly mixed with equal parts success such as the launch of Windows 7 and outright failures like the Kin line of smartphones.
Regular readers will remember what I said in an earlier post about Star Trek Into Darkness’ International box office potential and how I mentioned that the big panda in the room would be figuring out how the film would be received in Mainland China. Although all signs pointed to Into Darkness exceeding the 2009 reboot’s International gross the key going forward would be to see how the Chinese market reacted to the film. And did they ever as the film made $25.8 million in its opening week basically tripling the entire gross of the 2009 reboot.
By now most Internet savvy people would have heard that Microsoft has decided to do a complete 180 and remove the DRM requirements for the Xbox One, re-instated used game sales through physical media and completely eliminated the once per day Internet connection requirement. Not content with these changes Microsoft also made the system region free. You can read the official press release for more information here. While this news will be comforting to some and ridiculed by others the point of this post is not to go over the finer points of what has changed but rather to ask a simple question: Microsoft, what the Hell are you doing?
Everyone who knows me understands that I am a diehard gamer. Starting from the Atari 400 and Apple II+ way back in the early 1980s I’ve basically been blessed to own every single major console released since then along with most of the handhelds. Therefore, this time of year has always been great to be a gamer as the big guns come out at E3 to show upcoming games as well as periodically releasing new hardware. It is that last point that I want to focus on today.