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The Academy Is Quietly considering Streaming the Oscars

With less people watching both award shows and television in general, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is contemplating streaming the Oscars after their current deal with ABC expires. "TV is going nowhere. So why don’t we just get our money [from a streaming deal], not worry about ratings, and call it a day?" Netflix had approached the Academy last year, expressing interest in hosting the show.

By 2022, 20% of U.S. adults will have ditched their cable or satellite TV subscriptions, according to eMarketer. By 2028, when the Academy’s deal with ABC expires, who knows where we’ll be? Netflix could own a sizable theater chain by then, and Amazon could be green-lighting shows based on what Alexa overheard Jordan Peele say at breakfast.

Posted by Megalith September 22, 2018 2:50 PM (CDT)

Take-Two CEO: Game Streaming's Latency Problems Will Be Over in a Few Years

While the majority of gamers would prefer to stick with local copies, an increasing number of publishers have seemingly made up their minds already on streaming being the future standard. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, for one, thinks the transition will occur "in one to three years," with large-scale companies rapidly developing their infrastructure and numbers of hyperscale data centers around the world, which will help limit latency issues.

Zelnick's comments come a few months after Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot suggested that streaming games will completely replace consoles after one more generation. Guillemot suggested that changeover would cause a revolution in the gaming market, which will explode in size and accessibility thanks to cheap, streaming-capable boxes delivering big-budget hits. Zelnick agreed that streaming will increase the size of the high-end, big-budget gaming market -- because "you don't need to buy a box in order to play our games."

Posted by Megalith September 22, 2018 2:30 PM (CDT)

ESPN Streaming Service Attracts 1 Million Paid Subscribers

The $4.99 a month streaming video service from ESPN has attracted more than 1 million paid subscribers since its launch in April of this year. Disney, which owns ESPN has decided to pull its content from Netflix in favor of starting a branded streaming service dedicated to its movies and shows.

ESPN+ will stream 10,000 live sporting events in its first year, in addition to on-demand content and past sporting events. It features games from Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and global soccer events. It does not require its subscribers to buy a cable or satellite subscription, appealing to cord-cutters. The service costs $4.99 per month, or $49.99 per year.

Posted by cageymaru September 21, 2018 5:29 PM (CDT)

Twitch Streaming Service Has Been Blocked in China

Twitch has been blocked in China after Chinese citizens flocked to the free streaming service to watch the Asian Games. Due to state broadcaster CCTV's complete lack of coverage of the event, Twitch became the third most popular app in the iOS App Store in China. Even though Chinese esports players brought home two gold medals, it is speculated that the Chinese government may have been upset at the number of Chinese viewers trash talking South Korean viewers in Twitch chat. I wonder how Valve's Steam Store, which is already partially blocked in China, and its DOTA 2 tournaments will be received in the future as Shanghai has been chosen as the host city for The International 2019.

Twitch’s disappearance has caused quite a bit of an uproar online in China. A Chinese netizen said the shutdown is a crackdown on free speech: "All things that don’t jive with Xi Jinping Thoughts will be blocked." If it is a crackdown, it puts Twitch in elite company: Facebook, Google and YouTube are all banned in China, along with Reddit, which was recently blocked.

Posted by cageymaru September 21, 2018 7:50 AM (CDT)

Monster Hunter: World Adds Standard PC Mouse Control Option for In-Game Camera

Monster: Hunter World has added standard PC mouse control options for the in-game camera. Initially the only camera control option was to emulate a game controller which made it slow and clunky. Now the game feels much more like a standard PC game as everything is much more crisp and familiar with new mouse option enabled. Has anyone tried modding the game yet? I was thinking of adding the Souvenir's Light Pillar mod to the game as I have issues finding all the monster parts that fall to the ground during an intense fight. Are there other fair and balanced mods out there that a budding hunter should try?

We've implemented an update adding new mouse control options for the in-game camera. The new control type is in line with the control standards for most PC games. To change the controls, open up the in-game Start Menu, go to Options, and select the Controls tab. Here you'll be able to switch between the different mouse control schemes. If you wish to adjust the sensitivity, go to the same Options menu, and select the Camera tab.

Posted by cageymaru September 20, 2018 10:25 AM (CDT)

Valve Adds CO-OP Steam Link Streaming and Moderates Reported Posts

The latest Steam Client Beta has some interesting features for gamers with local friends. Valve has added CO-OP Steam Link streaming for multiple devices simultaneously, but the feature requires a high quality 5 GHz WiFi network. Don't worry about purchasing additional controllers for all of your friends as now they can disable the audio and video on their Android phones within the Steam Link app and use them as touch controllers! Also the version of Chromium used in Steam has been updated to 68. Starting on September 25th, Valve is now offering game developers the option to use Valve's moderation team to review posts reported by community members. Valve has reassured developers that they won't be actively moderating their community discussions; only the reported posts and content. Valve says that they have been moderating content such as images, guides, reviews, etc for quite awhile and this is just an extension of that practice. Many developers have been asking for help and Valve has been busy implementing the human power to handle the task. Developers can opt out of the service.

For quite a while now, our moderation team has been reviewing and taking appropriate action on many forms of reported community content across Steam, such as screenshots, artwork, guides, user profiles, community groups, and user reviews. In the past, we've been hesitant to get involved in the moderation of individual game discussions, as we didn't want to step on the toes of game developers that want to have their own style of communication with players and their own set of guidelines for behavior.

Posted by cageymaru September 20, 2018 9:34 AM (CDT)

Tokyo Game Show Live-Streams

The Tokyo Game Show starts today at 9:00 PM EST. SEGA Broadcast
Sony Broadcast
Posted by cageymaru September 19, 2018 8:00 PM (CDT)

Acer Expects 4K to go Mainstream

Digitimes reports that Acer expects Ultra HD gaming monitors to go mainstream in the second half of 2018 and all of 2019. In addition to recent 4k monitor releases, the company plans to launch several new Ultra HD monitors under its Predator and Nitro brands targeting the $2200, $1350, and $900 price brackets this year. Interestingly, many of the displays Digitimes points out feature 144hz refresh rates. Acer's own Predator X27 barely squeezes all that over DisplayPort 1.4, having to use 4:2:2 Chroma subsampling at 144hz with HDR, so I wonder if Acer expects new HDMI or DisplayPort standards to play a role.

Chien noted that the monitor market is in decline, but Acer managed to maintain double-digit revenue and shipment growths in the first half of 2018 and is looking to keep the momentum for the second half. However, the trade tensions between the US and China remain the biggest concern for the monitor industry.

Posted by alphaatlas September 18, 2018 9:35 AM (CDT)

Hunt: Showdown Update 2.4 Is Now Live

The Hunt: Showdown 2.4 update is now live and it adds a ton of new features and performance enhancements. The number one performance enhancement is the addition of new graphics options including resolution scaling. Resolution scaling allows text to still be scaled at the system's default resolution, while the game's rendering resolution scales to the power of the user's system. Of course users are going to have to experiment with settings. The game includes a new Nagant M1895 Officer Carbine pistol with an extended barrel to allow new players access to other weapons than the Winfield rifle. There is a new Specter 1882 Compact shotgun with a wider spread, but shorter usable distance. Last of all the new Crossbow Shotbolt shoots an exploding shotgun shell that can penetrate walls as it detonates in a cone. There are a ton of new features so make sure to read the patch notes!

With this update we wanted to provide more settings for players to use in order to tune their performance with specific focus on GPU. In this patch the graphics options were extended to let players set the quality of different rendering groups such as post-processing and object quality as well as introducing some new features that can benefit GPU performance overall. The larger of the new features is the introduction of resolution scaling. It is likely that users who are limited by their GPU can get significant gains by down scaling the rendering resolution while retaining their video resolution.

Posted by cageymaru September 13, 2018 5:56 PM (CDT)

Apple Special Event is Streaming Live

Apple is streaming a "Special Event" starting at noon CDT. Rumor has it that Apple will unveil new iPhone models and various other iDevices at the event, which isn't exactly a stretch since Apple does this every year. Interestingly, Apple is also streaming the event on Twitter, which they haven't done in previous years. You can check out the stream on Apple's website here.
Posted by alphaatlas September 12, 2018 11:59 AM (CDT)

Study Finds that Millennials Prefer Multiple Content Providers for Streaming

According to Parks Associates research, millenials are becoming ever more varied when it comes to choosing an Over-The-Top (OTT) subscription service to stream content. By tracking over 200 OTT services it was discovered that more than 25% of millenials chose 3 or more services and over 50% maintained at least two OTT subscriptions. This of course has had a positive effect on streaming services such as CBS All Access that predicts an increase in subscriptions from 2.5 million to 8 million by 2022. Marc DeBevoise, president and COO of CBS Interactive shared his thoughts on how CBS viewed the OTT business. "We're playing a different game here," he says. "We're taking a No. 1 network and building a premium service on top of it."

Hollywood has its eye on the OTT business for a simple reason: The financial stakes are huge. The Boston Consulting Group recently forecast that $30 billion in profits could shift away from the traditional TV business over a five-year period ending in 2022, with OTT services poised to pocket some of the spoils. With this much at stake, showbiz players are now making big plays for OTT.

Posted by cageymaru September 07, 2018 3:15 PM (CDT)

Bloodborne Is Now Available for Streaming on the PC Through PlayStation Now

Bloodborne has finally been added to the PlayStation Now lineup. PlayStation Now is a video game streaming service from Sony that allows PC and PS4 gamers to play over 650 PS4, PS3, and PS2 games. If you are unsure that you have the connection to stream the games, there is a free 7 day trial. The introductory pricing of the streaming service is $9.99 a month, $29.99 for 3 months of service, or $99.99 for a solid year of the subscription service.

Although note that in order to take advantage of the $9.99 intro offer, you will need to purchase that directly, as the 7-day trial will transition into the standard monthly subscription.

Posted by cageymaru September 06, 2018 6:43 PM (CDT)