Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Weekly News Roundup (7 December 2014)

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

A nice and quick one (I always say this, and often don’t deliver), as I’m running a bit behind having just watched the new Hunger Games movie at the cinemas. No spoilers from me, but I thought the sex scene between Katniss and Haymitch was totally out of place, a real departure from the books (yes, I’ve read them!) and exploitative to say the least.

Now onto this week’s news, of which, just like everything I’ve written so far for this WNR, will be completely truthful.

Copyright

Sony Pictures Hacked

Staff at Sony Pictures had to resort to pen and paper after servers were hacked – image sources

The big story of the week involves Sony and hacking yet again. The PlayStation Network wasn’t the target of hacking this time round, but it was actually Sony’s film division that was victim to one of the most brazen hacking attempts yet. Not only were sensitive and personal data stolen, so were several digital copies of new and upcoming Sony films, some of which will eventually be leaked onto the usual places.

The newest update from the FBI seems to indicate some kind of undetectable malware was used to infiltrate Sony Pictures computers, and gain access to the data. There’s still no confirmation as to whether the North Koreans were involved, which is one of theories doing the rounds due to Sony’s imminent release of The Interview, which provides a the less than flattering look at North Korea. Would be funny if it was true, and would also provide a great premise for a sequel to yet unreleased comedy.

Something perhaps a little bit harder to crack than the security on Sony’s servers (but not that much harder) is the gaming DRM, Denuvo. As with every single other article talking about Denuvo, I must make it clear that Denuvo isn’t actually a DRM, but rather an anti-tampering system designed to protect existing DRM (such as the Steam or Origin DRM). It’s essentially a DRM for DRM. After months of it being unhacked, due to the use of a 64-bit encryption system, many have started calling it an “infallible” copy protection method. But those that have followed the various stories on DRM I’ve reported here will know that no DRM (or anti-tampering system) is infallible, and it appears Denuvo isn’t any different in this regard. While no working crack has been made available for games that deploy Denuvo, including ‘FIFA 15′ and ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’, it seem it’s only going to be a matter of time.

While doing the research on this story (yes, I do do research … heh, “do do”), I did find some interesting information on FIFA 15, and how despite being completely protected by Denuvo, its sales compared to FIFA 14 wasn’t higher at all (and was something really low like 5,000 copies). Publishers need to take a good look at the hard data and decide if DRM (or DRM for DRM) is really worth it or not.

If publishers want another reason not to use DRM, just have a look at Apple’s ten-year legal battle over a DRM they no longer even use.

Gaming

Denuvo

Denuvo, close to being hacked?

Both the previous story about Denuvo and this subsequent one are ones that I’m not entirely convinced will hold true given the luxury of time. The Denuvo story because it’s based on information posted by a Chinese warez group, without any other confirmation as to its veracity. This story, about the Xbox One’s total pwnage during Black Friday, comes from a credible source, shopping data analysis firm Infoscout, but I’m not too sure about the methodology used to derive at this conclusion. Based on sales receipts received from its panelists, Infoscout’s data shows that Xbox One sales accounted for 53% of all console sales during the BF sales, that’s more than every other console combined, including the PS4 at only 31%.

It does seem quite high for the Xbox One, given the trend over the last year, but it’s important to remember that the Xbox One also won BF last year, and that the Xbox One had a very generous promotion going on during BF (and still on at the moment), making it cheaper (sometimes a lot cheaper, when bundled games are taking into account) than the PS4. But even if the reported 53% is true, the Xbox One still has a long way to go before it starts to catch the PS4, but this would be a good start.

But in Japan, it seems the Xbox One (just like the 360) is struggling, so much so that the boss of Xbox Japan has just resigned due to the poor sales. It’s a hard ask for any non Japanese console to break into the Japanese market, so I don’t know if a new Xbox Japan boss will be able to turn things around by much.

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Okay, I’ll try to keep to my word and not make this WNR go any longer, although at 800 words, it’s not exactly the shortest WNR in history (which is almost always the Christmas/New Years edition, coming soon to a screen near you). See you next week.

Weekly News Roundup (30 November 2014)

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to those in North America, and Black Friday to those that took part. Remember when I used to do a lot of coverage of Black Friday Blu-ray sales here? Back when Blu-ray deals were still rare on the ground, and that paying $12 for a movie was considered a great bargain. Black Friday isn’t as special any more though, and we should have the sales stats in a few weeks to see if others feel the same way as well.

Here’s the news from the week.

Copyright

Google may be taking a hard line stance against DMCA requests that are not specific enough. In a recent example, Google decided not to take action against home and category pages on potential “piracy” sites, despite these pages often providing list of links to copyrighted titles.

Traditionally, Google prefers each DMCA takedown request to contain one specific copyrighted title, and a URL that corresponds to that title. For category and homepages, these not only feature more than one title, they also often don’t offer direct downloads, and only link to another page that has the download. Google is more than willing to remove a page with a direct download link, but it seems they’re not too sure about category or homepages.

You can sort of see why the likes of the MPAA and RIAA feel frustrated in their dealings with Google, because for them, it would be a lot easier if they could simply get homepages and category pages deleted, as these pages are far more important to the site and are harder for the site admins to change URLs for. But you can also see why Google has drawn a line here, since technically, these pages aren’t “directly” offering any pirated content on them.

BayFiles

Bayfiles has disappeared, no reasons have been given …

But just because Google doesn’t think that a page is worthy of a DMCA removal, it doesn’t mean that Google won’t punish the page in its own way. This could be through piracy demotions, activated when a site receives too many DMCA removal requests and all pages on the site are demoted. Or it could be something else entirely, and unrelated to piracy at all. This is what appears to have happened to Bayfiles back in June, when most pages on the site were removed from Google’s index. What is more mysterious is that that Bayfiles appears to have disappeared entirely, shortly after its co-founder and former Pirate Bay operator, Fredrik Neij, was arrested in Thailand (unrelated to Bayfiles, but related to the sentenced handed to Neij in the Pirate Bay trial.

No reason has been given for the closure of the site, and for now, the site simply redirects to the main Pirate Bay website (which still links to Bayfiles). Some files on the site (for example: http://bayfiles.net/img/logo.png) still appear to work, but almost everything else has been redirected. Something strange is happening here, and we may hear more about it in the future.

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LG Android Wear

Digital watch face piracy is a thing now, apparently

Here’s a new form of piracy that’s only been possible recently – pirated digital watch faces. With the hype over smart-watches, there’s now a demand for digital watch faces from the most famous watch brands from around the world, including Rolex, Tag Heuer, Omega, Armani and Swatch. Users can download these faces to their watch, often for free, and they would instantly have a digital replica.

These luxury watch brands that have had their designs digitized, however, aren’t so happy. And according to TorrentFreak, several have started taking legal action against sites that offer watch face downloads.For now, the sites hosting watch face downloads, many of which are original and very creative works, are complying and have implemented ways to prevent future uploads of “stolen” designs.

While everyone involved seems to be taking appropriate action, I do wonder if this is also another example of a lost opportunity. If these luxury watch companies offered a way to purchase official watch faces (especially at a more than reasonable price), then perhaps there wouldn’t be a need for pirated downloads.

It’s all about anticipating demand, if you can anticipate where pirates will be doing next, then perhaps you can also anticipate the next business opportunity too.

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An update on a story from a couple of weeks ago, regarding the MPAA’s WhereToWatch.com website – enterprising hackers have made a browser script that adds torrent links to WhereToWatch movie and TV listings, turning the useful legal content search engine into also a torrent search engine.

The team that released the script, PopcornCab, says they’re actually big fans of the MPAA’s new site (even if they’re not big fans of the MPAA, normally), but that adding a torrent options will help users (even if the MPAA won’t be fans of their work either).

High Definition

Apple TV Movies

How we watch TV in 2030 might be far closer to Netflix than NBC

Is broadcast TV doomed? That’s what Netflix’s boss thinks, and he thinks that 2030 is when broadcast TV (that is traditional “linear” network and cable TV) will finally come off the air. His prediction isn’t entirely groundless – a recent study found that broadcast TV viewership dropped by more than 50% in the ten years between 2002 and 2012.

While I’m certainly a big fan of “on-demand” TV, there is still something quite reassuring about “linear” TV. Someones makes the decision for you regarding what to watch, and that’s a comfort sometimes. After a hard day’s work, the last thing I want to do is to spending an eternity flicking through Netflix, unable to decide on what to watch (until it’s too late to watch anything and I have to go to bed). And finding something interesting to watch while channel surfing is its own kind of reward.

And there will always be live sports, which so far only really works on a linear fashion, although I think more interactive viewing options (multi-angle, commentary, player cams …) might be welcomed.

So I hope that while on demand and Internet TV will take over as the dominant form of television by 2030, part of me still hopes that linear TV, and other “quaint” things like physical media, will still be around by then.

Meanwhile, have a look at this article to find out just how much Netflix’s subscribers are loving their original programming, and this one which looks at the tricky situation with second screen usage during TV viewing, looking at what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to user interaction, lost eyeballs and advertising.

Gaming

October’s NPD results did not provide any real surprises. The PS4 was still the top selling console, and the other gaming companies are still choosing not to be specific when it comes to releasing sales data.

What is interesting though is that if you look at the top selling games data, you’ll usually find that for the top selling franchises, the PS4 version will usually outsell the Xbox One version. For October, this was true for ‘NBA 2K15′, ‘The Evil Within’, ‘FIFA 15′, ‘Madden NFL 15′ and ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’. The Xbox One was only ahead of the PS4 for ‘Destiny’ (and ‘Skylanders: Trap Team’).

This is a dangerous development for Microsoft, who had gotten used to the Xbox 360 beating the PS3 for multi-platformers. It’s dangerous because it means more and more developers will simply follow the money and make the PS4 their lead development platform for games – this could mean slightly better versions of the games on the PS4 than on the Xbox One, and it’s these “little” things that wins console wars.

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That’s the end of this week’s WNR. Hope you enjoyed this issue, see you next week.

Weekly News Roundup (23 November 2014)

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

A bit sleep deprived today, so please let me apologize in advance for the “quality” and brevity of this week’s WNR.

Copyright

BitTorrent Logo

BitTorrent users are also big spenders

With BitTorrent Inc having just made a major move in monetizing the techology for content creators via its BitTorrent Bundle network, where artists can distribute their content via BitTorrent technology and still get paid, the company responsible for inventing the file transfer protocol (and not responsible for how people use it) has released the results of a survey that shows BitTorrent users are also big spenders.

In keeping with the theme of this WNR, I’ll leave you to read the details of the survey in the actual news report (link above), but suffice to say, it reinforces what we already know about big downloaders – that they are big content consumers, sometimes illegally downloaded content, but also a lot of the legal variety.

People who really love music, movies or games, will find ways to consume them even when they’ve run out of financial resources to pay for it legally. People who don’t download pirated stuff, on the other hand, probably also don’t buy a lot of stuff in the first place. And yet, the creative industries love the second group, and want to kick the first group off the Internet. Piracy is not a black and white issue, and it’s not in anyone’s best interest to simply label pirates as criminals.

And just as pointless and a potentially dangerous course of action would be the censorship option. An option that has been tried elsewhere with little success (considering how easy it is for anyone serious about pirating to circumvent the block), but still an option that Australia’s government may put into action soon. The only pirates that censorship stops are those that that technically inept, and I would assume that these users are the definition of the casual, infrequent downloader.

High Definition

So while censorship may stop a few downloaders in Australia, it will not stop the frequent downloaders, which may very well be the same type of users that are also accessing legal services like Netflix. A recent Sandvine report found that, in the case of one fixed network in Australia, 2.5% of users were already accessing Netflix, despite the service not being officially available yet. This situation will change soon though, with Netflix officially landing downunder (and in New Zealand) in March 2015.

The introduction of Netflix (officially) in Australia could very well be the catalyst for a major reduction in piracy here though, but if the government can get their censorship regime in place before then, you just know they will spin any reductions on their useless actions, rather than proper consumer-led solutions like Netflix.

New Netflix UI

Netflix: All your bandwidth are belong to us

Going back to the Sandvine report on bandwidth usage, Netflix’s share of peak download traffic in North America grew, slightly, compared to the last report six months ago. It now accounts for nearly 35% of peak downloads, up from 34%. Amazon Instant Video, the second most popular SVOD provider, only accounted for 2.6% of traffic – and even this was up dramatically from 18 months ago. HBO Go continues to lag behind all the other services, with it being only 1% of traffic – HBO’s standalone streaming product can’t come sooner for HBO if it wants to catch up.

Sandvine also found that filesharing’s share of the bandwidth pie continues to fall in most regions around the world, with the losses become gains for services like Netflix. Nothing to do with website blocking, three strikes, or people being sued.

Netflix’s growing dominance is becoming a big worry for TV networks. So much so that Nielsen, the ratings people, will start tracking Netflix and other streaming usage so they can provide networks with a clearer view of how Netflix may be hurting their viewing figures. Considering that a lot of Netflix’s content comes from networks, this could mean higher licensing fees being charged to Netflix, which could also lead to less content (or more delays to releases). The fight between the old and the new continues.

Gaming

Walmart "cheap" PS4

Walmart selling $90 PS4s?

I don’t want to do too much on the NPD while being sleep deprived, so I’ll leave most of it for next week, but I just wanted to mention that, according to the NPD, Wii U sales have risen 47% since last year. While this may sound impressive, considering how poorly the Wii U was doing this time last year, it may not be so impressive after all. But with a release of a few more first-party must-have titles, like Mario Kart, and with prices dropping enough to make it a good choice for the budget conscious, it’s only natural that the Wii U’s popularity will grow. Will it be enough to keep Nintendo out of trouble financially, hard to say really.

The real problem for the Wii U is that the PS4 and the Xbox One are also getting better in the value stakes, with aggressive competition forcing down prices. Of course, there are also other factors that are allowing people to pay less for these two top consoles: fraud! Apparently, people are setting up fake Amazon Marketplace listings for impossibly cheap PS4s (like $89.99 cheap), and getting Walmart to price match based on their online price matching policy.

Walmart unfortunately did not clue up fast enough, and a few people did manage to grab a few cheap PS4s before Walmart bought down the ban hammer on Amazon Marketplace price matching. For what you’re getting, $400 is not that much, so I’d definitely recommend paying the normal sales price before contemplating this or other similar methods (which could land you in big trouble).

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Actually, the WNR wasn’t as short as I thought it would be, ramblings of a sleep deprived mad man as it may very well be. See you next week!

Weekly News Roundup (9 November 2014)

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Am I the only one who got pretty excited about the GTA V first person experience video? GTA V has always been a third person game, but adding a first person mode might elevate the game to a whole new level. I’m not sure the driving elements would be improved by a first person mode, but it would definitely make the shooting parts a whole new experience, and could make it rival other more well known FPS games. One more piece of evidence that the PS4/XB1/PC version of the game is going to be awesome.

Let’s get started with this week’s WNR.

Copyright

Google Auto-complete BitTorrent

Will Hollywood take on Google by making their own “piracy-free” search engine?

If you can’t change them, erm, beat them? Could movie studios, tired of demanding Google “do the right thing” and start censoring its own search results for other’s commercial interests, start their own search engine instead? Disney’s latest patent seems to suggest so, although patents being what they are, it could all be fairly meaningless. Still, even if the studios had plans to launch their own search engine, who would actually use it? Especially when, based on the patent filings, the search engine will demote not only piracy sites, but also sites that aren’t owned by the studios themselves (including the IMDb and Wikipedia). It all seems a bit silly to me, but again a patent application could just be one of those things that you throw out there in the small chance that one day you might get something back from it, not a sign of any real intent to take on the likes of Google and, erm, Bing, I guess. Okay, I admit, they may have a shot at beating Bing, but you know, still kinda pointless.

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It’s that time of the year again and the EFF has filed submissions for DMCA exemption, specifically exemptions for certain cases where removing DRM would, under current laws, be illegal. Yet all these cases would still fall under fair use. This conundrum comes via the fact that the DMCA has a specific clause that outlaws all DRM circumvention, regardless of whether it falls under fair use or not. This means the EFF and other groups like it have to apply for exemptions every year (since these exemptions expire), or otherwise the DMCA could be used to strip away consumer fair use rights by corporations intent on controlling everything.

New this year is in-car software and the DRM that comes along with that. If used maliciously, in-car DRM could prevent non authorised repair and modification, thus locking car owners to service centers owned by the car manufacturer or dealer.

Public Knowledge - "Legal DVD Ripping" alternative

Can the EFF succeed in making DVD and Blu-ray ripping legal?

The EFF also wants gamers to be able to hack old and abandoned games to make them playable, even if it means removing copyright protection. Games that require online interaction, for example, might need to be hacked to point to new unofficial servers to keep the game going, when the publisher has given up on it already.

While these two exemptions might be granted, there are a few submissions that are more pie-in-the-sky. Like the attempt to make DVD and Blu-ray ripping legal, or allowing the DRM of streaming service like Netflix to be circumvented. Don’t think this is going to happen, not if the MPAA has anything to say about it (and they do, via their own submissions).

But you never know, and I wish the EFF luck in their pursuit of (consumer) freedom.

While the EFF’s (and the MPAA’s) actions on changes to the DMCA are mostly public, what’s not so public are the MPAA’s lobbying efforts on lawmakers in Washington. While the law calls on the MPAA and other groups to disclose the general topics of their lobbying efforts, the exact nature and detail of their lobbying efforts do not have to be disclosed. But from the MPAA’s latest lobbying disclosure forms, we can see that they’ve been particularly busy trying talking to politicians on the issues of Net Neutrality and an Internet tax.

While we can’t actually confirm for sure the MPAA’s position on these issues, one can make quite an intelligent guess at just how the MPAA could benefit from these two issues. First for an Internet tax, the benefits are obvious, especially when you consider that the Internet tax is also sometimes known as a piracy tax. Imagine a tax of a dollar on every GB of data you download (regardless of whether the download was legal or not), with most of that money going to rights holders like the MPAA, could be a very easy way to get your claws into the new Net economy without actually having to innovate. All in the name of fighting piracy, of course.

As for Net Neutrality, imagine if ISPs were allowed to throttle down your BitTorrent traffic (or even Netflix), in favour of MPAA approved distribution methods like UltraViolet. Wouldn’t that be nice? And again, all in the name of fighting piracy, of course.

High Definition

Windows 10

Windows 10 will play MKV files and those encoded with HEVC natively

Windows 10 is set to be a lot more HD video friendly thanks to the announcement that it will have native MKV and HEVC support. Windows Media Player in Windows 10 will be able to handle these formats without the need to install third party codecs, which is a win for users, but perhaps more importantly, for the HEVC format (which seems to already have secured its status as the industry standard codec, despite HEVC downloads being relatively rare at the moment).

Those of us who want a little bit more control over just how we play our videos might still rely on codec packs, VLC, MPC-HC and other similar tools, but for many, being able to play a video without having to install anything will be very attractive.

Gaming

Nintendo’s upcoming new 3DS console, schedule to be released in 2015, will still be region-locked. But to be fair, Nintendo did offer a pretty good explanation as to why region-locking is still needed today. In short, it’s more to do with marketing, licensing and localisation. Now, you may not believe this excuse, but Nintendo did offer a glimpse of hope by acknowledging that region-free is good for the consumer, and also be a benefit to themselves. But until the aforementioned problems gets solved, the new 3DS remain region-locked.

The Xbox One is already getting a temporary $50 discount for the holidays, but a permanent discount may also be on the way once Microsoft moves from its APU from a 28nm process to a 20nm one. In other words, once Microsoft can reduce the sizes of its processor, it could also reduce power requirements, which also means reductions to heat management – all of this will eventually lead to a “Xbox One Slim”, which will probably be cheaper to manufacture and be more efficient at the same time.

With that said, Sony will be working on something similar as well. So it bodes well for gamers. Both the PS4 and Xbox One are terrific value already, so cheaper versions will be even better!

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I think that’s it for this week. See you again soon.

Weekly News Roundup (2 November 2014)

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Welcome to another edition of the WNR, where you’ll get the latest news stories that I bothered to read (or write about) during the past week. Think of me as a filter that weeds out all the boring, useless and sometimes plainly untrue stuff, leaving you the best of the best, cream of the crop, in terms of news every week.

Read on to find out whether I’m talking out of my ass or not.

Copyright

Just a brief follow-up to the story that I already covered in the last WNR (but have only written the full article for this week) in regards to the EU now ruling embedding is not a copyright infringement. The actual case from which this ruling derives involves a video produced by a water filtering company that was uploaded to YouTube, and then embedded by agents working for a competitor on their personal site (I’m assuming it was also accompanied by some unsavoury comments, hence the legal complaint). The water filtering company claimed copyright infringement, but the Court, in my opinion, correctly ruled that as the video was originally uploaded to YouTube and allowed to be embedded by the rights holder, nothing untoward has actually occurred. You can’t really have it both ways – to want users to embed and share your video, but not your competitors when it comes to comment and criticism.

A key part of the ruling has to do with what is considered a new communication. The Court found that because the video was uploaded to an open and publicly accessible website like YouTube, embedding it to one or a million other pages does not actually communicate the (unmodified) video to a new audience, hence not a new communication. Looking it from the opposite angle, had the original video been uploaded to a private site and it was then embedded onto a public page, even without modification, this would be considered a new communication. The Court also based its ruling on precedent, in which they likened embedding to hyperlinking, which also does not count as a new communication.

All very sensible decisions, but you do have to question just how unbalanced and vague existing copyright law has to be for such a simple and logical issue to require the attention of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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MPAA Logo

The MPAA does its yearly thing and sends a list of things they don’t like to the USTR

It’s that time of the year again, and the MPAA has updated their submission to the USTR outlining the most “notorious” piracy markets. Nothing of real note in their submission really, with the usual suspects all being mentioned – Kickass.to, The Pirate Bay, Torrentz.eu, Uploaded.net – and the usual physical markets, like China, Russia, Thailand. One slightly interesting addition was the Greater Toronto Area … those sneaky Canadians, you can never be too careful. Just what the MPAA wants the government to do about these places, I really don’t know, and don’t care.

Meanwhile in Australia, one of our biggest ISPs have taken a stand against “copyright trolls” seeking to sue users for downloading copies of ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. The company seeking to sue, a ‘Dallas Buyers Club LLC’ which appears to have been created specifically to process claims wants the ISP, iiNet, to hand over subscriber details. iiNet is willing to cooperate, but only if the request is backed by a court order, which at the moment it is not. With iiNet’s past resilience to Hollywood backed legal pressure, this latest development will not enamour the ISP to rights-holders here already targeting iiNet as public enemy number one in their ongoing piracy crusade. I doubt iiNet cares though, but their customers, most of whom value their piracy, does.

High Definition

New Netflix UI

Can traditional media companies come up with something that’s as good or even better than Netflix?

If you can’t join them, beat them. That’s what Rupert Murdoch wants his and other competing media companies to do – to join forces and take on Netflix (and Amazon). Believing that the streaming market is now being dominated by these two big tech companies, which is not good for the industry (and maybe not good for consumers either, it has to be said), Murdoch wants media companies to avoid making the same mistakes that the music industry made, which allowed the likes of Apple to sneak in and now dominate over the entire industry.

It’s rare that I agree with Rupert Murdoch, but he is right in that this market space, or any space for that matter, needs competition to remain healthy, and for it to be beneficial to consumers. But I have almost no confidence that the old guard can come up with anything remotely as good as Netflix (or Amazon), simply because they care more about protecting their own interests than about what the consumer wants. Things like DRM, lack of inter-operability, and consumer unfriendly processes – all borne out of their obsession with control (for all of the above, see the UltraViolet platform) – has been and will be their undoing, until they figure out that serving customers should be their number one priority. The EFF, responding to Murdoch’s comments, made pretty much the same argument.

So I do hope the movie studios don’t make the same mistakes as the music industry, or the book industry, and allow a few key players from the tech industry to have way too much power to dictate things like pricing and availability (see Amazon vs studios, vs book publishers). But if the studios’ ultimate goal is to launch a product that allows them to create their own monopoly, then that’s not something we need and we’re much better off to leaving it to the tech companies, who are at least innovative.

Gaming

White Xbox One

Can a $50 price cut save the Xbox One from being a runner-up in this gaming generation?

Sony’s PS4 success is translating into good financial results for the company, with its gaming division reporting a 83.2 percent increase in second quarter year-on-year sales. The company says the financial results are completely driven by sales of PS4 consoles, network sales and games. PS3 sales continue to fall though. While operating income is still fairly low, $200 million out of sales of $2.77 billion, it is still the one bright spark in Sony’s otherwise fairly average set of results (operating loss of $766.60 million).

On the other side of the ring, Microsoft has been forced to offer an additional $50 discount to its flagging Xbox One console until the end of the holiday period. The most important sales period for gaming companies, Microsoft is hoping that the $50 discount, which brings the Xbox One’s price to be below that of the PS4, will help boost the console and regain some lost market share. The company’s previous console, the Xbox 360, led successive holiday sales periods and easily outsold Sony’s previous console, the PS3.

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So that was the best and most interesting of the week. Didn’t find anything particularly interesting? Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger (albeit a fairly lazy one). See you next week (hopefully).