These days, there seem to be at least a few signs that the general state of the economy is improving. But video games sales aren't one of them.
For the second straight month, and 10th in the last year, the industry saw sales drop, year over year. According to the NPD Group, which compiles monthly sales statistics for the video games business, total revenues in January came in at $1.16 billion, down 5 percent from $1.22 billion in January 2010.
Over the last year, the industry has seen upswings in monthly year-over-year sales just twice--last November and … Read more
Thankfully, Watson is not self-aware (yet), because we all know that once computers become self-aware one of the first things they do is try to wipe out humans, or even humanity itself. If my name was Sarah Connor I'd be nervous right about now.
But that lack of self-awareness doesn't mean Watson can't think for itself, or even speak for itself. In fact, right now you can (sort of) ask Watson questions online on this Reddit thread. It's part of Reddit's popular "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) feature, and while users are encouraged to ask anything, there's no guarantee you'll get a response.
Well, it's not actually Watson that's doing the answering, but the research team that created it, and that's because they don't yet know how to have him do it. That man-machine divide, by the way, is what we'll be addressing on tomorrow's Reporters' Roundtable podcast at noon PT. The topic will be "robobrain vs. humanity."
Still, it's still great that the scienticians who put together such an impressive machine are opening their minds to the public.… Read more
Famed Halo developer Bungie is working on a new title that could be quite different from what it has offered in the past.
Bungie is working on a massively multiplayer online (MMO) first-person shooter, currently named "Destiny," gaming blog Kotaku is reporting, citing an unnamed source. The source told Kotaku that the title is built on a new graphics engine that Bungie has developed, and will live completely online. The person told the gaming blog that the title is basically a "World of Warcraft in space."
This isn't the first time that rumors have cropped … Read more
In Round 3, try as he might, he couldn't buzz slow enough or make his metal-headed intuition poor enough to lose to human "Jeopardy" greats, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Even though Watson had no clue that Slovenia was now … Read more
President Obama is expected to meet with some of Silicon Valley's highest-profile executives tomorrow in San Francisco, including Apple's Steve Jobs, Google's Eric Schmidt, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, according to an ABC News report.
The San Francisco Chronicle and CNET cousin KCBS (part of CBS Corp.) reported earlier this week that Obama would make an appearance somewhere in the area on Thursday for meetings with "business leaders in technology and innovation," but it's unclear whether any of the meetings or appearances will be open to the public or media.
Sony came down hard on PlayStation 3 hackers today, saying they will be permanently banned from the company's online services.
"Violation of the system software license agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system," reads a notice posted to Sony's official PlayStation blog. "In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of international copyright laws. Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently."
To avoid the lifetime shutout, Sony said, consumers must "immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from their PlayStation 3 systems."
In the post, Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein said the policy represents an initial response to questions from PlayStation.Blog readers about how Sony plans to deal with breaches of its policy.
The company did not say when the ban will begin, but the blog PS3 News is reporting that many users of its PS3 forums have already confirmed receiving e-mail notices from Sony followed by their PlayStation 3 consoles being banned.
According to one account, "If you get error 0x8002A227, Sony banned your PS3 from the PSN."
This is just the latest step by Sony to thwart PlayStation 3 jailbreaks. … Read more
Major League Gaming, which runs online video-game tournaments in North America, has inked a deal with media conglomerate IMG Worldwide to expand internationally.
According to the companies, MLG will rely on IMG to help with "distribution, programming, and marketing agreements" across the globe with "select broadcast and broadband partners." The companies will also hold championship events and collectively search for "new talent." The ultimate goal, the companies said, is "to establish competitive gaming as a preeminent sport worldwide."
Among its services, IMG produces sports programming around the world, offering more than 18,… Read more
I have an idea for a new TV show. Two men stand, almost in silence, while a machine talks in a monotone and shows the world how clever it is. Will it sell? Perhaps that depends on the ratings for Part 2 of IBM's Jeopardy Challenge. Hollywood loves to copy.
As strife grows between National Football League players and owners, the video game business is already feeling sidelined.
The NFL and Electronic Arts have restructured their deal over the famed Madden franchise, the Sports Business Daily reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources. According to the publication, the NFL has agreed to "significantly" cut down on EA's "contractual obligations" and has extended the agreement for one year beyond the original 2012 end date.
Sports Business Daily wasn't able to track down how much less EA will pay the NFL this year, but Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne … Read more