In this episode, coming to you straight from E3 2008, we chat with Xbox’s Heather Snavely about all the news that Microsoft announced during their Xbox Media Briefing. We have keynote clips here as well, in case you missed it and want to see all that went down, while Heather gives us a bit more detail and answers a few questions we had about some of the specific announcements.
Specifically, Heather tells us a bit more about the new Xbox 360 Experience dashboard, answers a few questions we had about the Lips game and the motion-based microphone controller, as well as Xbox avatars and questions we had about the future of Gamer Pictures on Xbox Live. All in all, a nice look at all the new details uncovered at E3 in relation to Xbox 360.
We’ve entered the auditorium here in the West Hall, and are currently waiting for the E3 2008 Xbox Media Briefing to begin. Very nice setup in here, by the way. Bunch of stage lighting, high definition displays, and…oh, even a mock living room setup. Snazzy. Anyhow, keep it locked here, as we will be bringing you live updates from the keynote as it happens. Any predictions on what we will be seeing announced today?
Oh, as for images, we will update the post with a bunch of those after the keynote ends. We wanna focus on bringing you the text updates for now, mkay?
We start with some Xbox 360 Street Talk, where apparently Microsoft went around town and interviewed people off the streets, and asked them about what they like about Xbox 360. Obviously, all good comments here. Now we get answers for questions like “What is a noob?”, “What does it mean to be ‘pwned’?”, “What does melee mean?”, “What does RPG mean?”, etc. Basically, what do average people know about video game terms. This is kind of like sitting through the advertisement trailers in the movie theater, the ones that come before the actual trailers.
Check out the rest of the keynote after the jump:
Ever wonder how Netflix selects who gets the newest releases first? Apparently Sound and Vision Mag did. They contacted the company and although they wouldn’t reveal any trade secrets, they did divulge how the queues basically work. Here are some of their results:
- Ordering a movie first does not necessarily mean you will be the first recipient.
- The more popular the movie, the longer the wait.
- The more films you watch, the less likely you are to receive new releases. (We hate that one.)
- The more new releases you watch, the less likely you will receive other new movies. (Okay, that one is awful, too.)
Irregardless of our queue status and the algorithms used in them, we have to admit we are still Netflix advocates. It’s amazing how many obscure/old/cult films we have been able to screen with our subscription. And that makes it greatest thing since unsliced bread for us.
Read More | Sound & Vision
Roku’s Netflix Player was finally launched this week to the delight of those who are all things movies and TV. If you have a Netflix unlimited movie plan and a DSL connection, you can watch over 10,000 movies and TV episodes at no extra cost. It connects to your TV, home theater, or A/V receiver via standard RCA jacks, S-video, component video, or HDMI and works like a DVP. It comes with a remote to browse your queue, just like your Netflix account. At a price of $99.99, the player seems to be so popular that the company says to expect a 10-day delay in delivery.
Read More | Roku
If you experienced the breakdown Monday on Netflix’s site between about 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST, you will be happy to know that you were one of 7.5 million users that went through frustration when you couldn’t get your movie fix. The company says that there may be a delay in orders by a day and may credit some accounts to make up for the problem. This is the second time the site has been down, the first occurring last July when the Netflix lowered its prices.
Read More | USA Today
Round two. In a “no surprise” move (since Netflix is doing the same), Best Buy said that it will recommend that its customers choose Blu-ray when purchasing a DVD Player/Recorder.
“Because we believe that Blu-ray is fast emerging as that single format, we have decided to focus on Blu-ray products,” said President and CEO Brian Dunn.
You will notice the hardware and software change by March, although they will also carry HD products. We suspect you will find them in the mark down aisle and, while you are there, check out the bargain DVDs.
Read More | Reuters
Netflix has announced that it will only buy Blu-ray discs and phase out HD by the end of the year. We suspect that is because four of the six major studios have gone the same way. While this looks to be the end of the war, we are just not ready to go out and purchase a new player right away. We hope that Sony finally feels karma for their failed Betamax. We also discovered that Netflix will be only sending out standard DVDs by the end of this month.
Read More | Reuters
Netflix subscribers on unlimited rental plans are now allowed endless streaming of movies on their PCs. Previously, the company offered a limited amount of viewing depending on a subscription rate, but it seems that now that it has a library of over 90,000 titles, this is their time to shine over the competition. If you now are on the $4.99 singular DVD Plan or 2 a month option, you will still receive two hours of instant streaming per month. It remains to be seen just how the competition will react to the news, not to mention the dwindling supply of local neighborhood video stores.
Read More | Netflix
Apparently, the office of the USPS Inspector General is not happy because the mailers that Netxflix uses have to be sorted by hand. They estimate that it is costing them about $21 million a year and have suggested that the company include a 17 cent surcharge from now on. Tony Wible, a Citigroup analyst who wrote the report, says that the income that Netflix receives per subscriber would fall from $1.05 to 35 cents. We know that Netxflix, which mails out about 1.6 million movies a day, is clever enough to create a redesigned mailer sometime soon.
Read More | The New York Times
Another company has decided that we still don’t have enough choices when it comes to watching movies. Vudu promises access to over 5,000 movies with its 250-gigabyte hard drive that will handle about 100 hours of storage. The Vudu runs by Ethernet with at least a 2 Mbpm broadband Internet connection. In time, the box will have more storage capability with an additional USB hard drive. The price of the Vudu is $399.00 and although there is no subscription fee, you pay 99 cents to $3.99 to rent or $4.99 to $19.99 to own. The way we go through movies around here makes us think that with that kind of spending, we could probably purchase a new car by the end of the year. We’ll just be satisfied with our now dependable NetFlix which we figure pays for itself in the first week of any given month.
Read More | USA Today