Reports earlier this week suggest that YouTube (and thus by extension, Google) are planning to buy the game-streaming company Twitch for a tasty $1,000,000,000. That is all cash up front by the way.
The popularity of Twitch has grown exponentially over the past few years as streaming footage and commentary from games has become a viable way of making a living – indeed, the userbase has swelled from 3.2 million in 2011 to over 45 million people last year. Most recently, both Sony and Microsoft have integrated Twitch streaming into their next gen hardware, and almost every major e-Sports competition is broadcast live on the service.
For getting its foot wedged firmly in the door of the gaming industry, a mere $1 billion must seem like a bargain for Google. The deal is far from settled at the moment though; by owning the two largest online video distributors in the world Google would have a lot to answer for with regards to competitive practices, and it remains to be seen if Google’s more strict approach to copyright would be inflammatory to the carefree attitude to content that Twitch users currently display.
The Xbox One could potentially have been released without a disc drive following criticism at its second reveal at E3 2013 – that’s according to an interview with Microsoft Studios head honcho Phil Spencer released this week. Speaking in Official Xbox Magazine, Spencer revealed:
“There was a real discussion about whether we should have an optical disc drive in Xbox One or if we could get away with a purely disc-less console, but when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues.”
This was in response to overwhelming criticism for the Xbox One’s ‘always online’ requirements which were quickly dropped. Can you imagine the sheer backlash there would have been if this particular u-turn had gone through as well?
In this scenario it appears Microsoft dodged a bullet – the last time a major console manufacturer released a purely digital console was when Sony unveiled the handheld PSPGo; which even by PSP standards flopped. But Spencer’s revelations have ignited the discussion once again of how long it will be until digital retail is the only way forward. Personally, I think the disc will be around for quite a while yet. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 30TH DECEMBER 2013 – 5TH JANUARY 2014→
A report from the Associated Press claims that a new world record has been set for the largest gaming collection in the world. Michael Thomasson from Buffalo, New York has amassed an incredible personal collection of 10,607 games, eclipsing the previous record set in 2010 by Richard Lecce of 8,616.
Featured in a two page spread in the newly released ‘Guinness World Records 2014 Gamers Edition’, Thomasson revealed that he has amassed his collection over a period of 31 years on a $3000 a year budget, from the Collecovision right up to the present day, and that remarkably he has already sold his collection twice to finance the purchase of a Sega Genesis in 1989 and to fund his wedding in 1998. He has estimated that his current collection is worth anywhere between seven and eight hundred thousand dollars.
Speaking on his playing habits however, Thomasson confirmed that he hasn’t played every game in the collection due to time constraints – working as a college teacher in Boston teaching 2D animation and the history of video games means that in his own words, “I probably get three hours of playing in a week…If I’m lucky.” Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 23RD – 29TH DECEMBER→
A few days ago, I completed my long belated playthrough of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (expect a review soon) and today while I had a free moment at work I found myself musing over which game from my rapidly expanding Steam library I should tackle next. As I considered this, another thought popped into my head; KOTOR is the third game that I’ve completed in the space of just under two months, the other two being The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and Grand Theft Auto V. Each of these games have required a reasonable investment of anywhere between twelve to forty hours apiece to complete, and initially I couldn’t work out where I had managed to find the time alongside a six day working week. And then in a moment of genius, the answer hit me: