New Download Tech, Same as the Old Download Tech

Techcrunch is highlighting a startup called Baseshield that’s created a marketplace for software that downloads into a virtual environment, protecting the user experience and keeping them safe from malware, etc, and ensuring compatibility. It does look like a well executed initiative, and I hope that it ends up being significant, but Techcrunch seems unaware that that there have been similar technologies around for about ten years. Exent, Yummy, and Into Networks all have/had their own versions, and I’m sure there are a few others that escape me at the moment.

Blockbuster and the Democratization (or not) of Settop Boxes

Blockbuster today announced that it’ll be launching a new initiative allowing download of movies to a proprietary settop box (similar to Netflix’s Roku). It has been noted that there are getting to be a lot of awfully similar boxes out there trying to claim the living room (Roku, AppleTV, Tivo, and to some extent the game consoles). I don’t believe that Blockbuster’s entry is meaningless, though, as their audience is not that of Apple or Netflix, so, if this can work, it will probably be incremental to that market. Continue reading “Blockbuster and the Democratization (or not) of Settop Boxes”

What is a Game Console?

As more diverse boxes come into the living room, not least those supporting Netflix streaming service (of which 360 is but one), and PC content creators show themselves significantly more agile in adopting new models for game content,  the question of what next generation game consoles will look like only gets more interesting. Some recent optimism about the current PC gamer marketplace is probably overstated, but it’s a curious time right now. -Especially compelling to ponder after the latest add-on to games’ subscription model leviathan. Continue reading “What is a Game Console?”

New Game Consoles, Old Game Console(?)

Silly new Brazilian console sounds like old silly American Console, but not quite as hopeless. -Cheaper to build, cheaper to buy, and probably didn’t manage to waste $73 million on the way to (not) releasing it. Interesting that, historically, Phantom did go through a semi-but-not-really credible stage, where actual game industry folks commissioned creation of a sorta neat lapboard/keyboard and perhaps (although I doubt it) streaming technology, and now Phantom seems to be sort of releasing these as products. A problem with Phantom from the start was that it wanted to be a premium device, but always consisted of elements that had already been better enabled by other entities. Hence, the threat was that if Phantom actually launched, and succeeded, a competitor could be put together with an afternoon of phone calls to vendors (Exent, Alienware, Alphagrip, hmm, what else…)