Archive for the ‘IPS’ tag
Wikipad, the company developing an identically named tablet that will ship with an attachable gamepad for console-style gaming, has revealed the specifications of the device in an exclusive interview with GamesBeat.
The Wikipad (tablet, not company) will have a 10.1-inch IPS display with 16:10 1,280 x 800 resolution. The actual tablet will weigh 560 grams and be just 8.6mm thick, making it one of the thinnest and lightest 10″ tablets ever, only slightly thicker than the iPad 2 and nearly 40 grams lighter. When the Wikipad was first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, it was a 7″ tablet that was more similar in design to the Amazon Kindle Fire.
The final design model, which the company revealed to us at a design office in Thousand Oaks, Calif., will feature the NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30 1.4GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of DDR2 RAM. For comparison, the recently released Nexus 7 uses the T30L, which is a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with a 416MHz GPU (compared to 520MHz on the T30) and slower DDR2 RAM (667MHz vs. 1066MHz), and the ASUS Transformer Prime Infinity 700 and upcoming Ouya will use the more powerful T33, which clocks at 1.6GHz and has bandwidth for faster 1600MHz DDR3 RAM.
The Wikipad will also ship with at least 16GB of internal storage, though the amount of local storage hasn’t been finalized as of yet. However, according to Fraser Townley, President of Sales at Wikipad, “we will not go down, we will only go up.” 16GB is the standard amount of storage for tablets today.
The battery is 23.46Wh, capable of six hours of continuous gaming and eight hours of video playback.
Instead of tapered edges, the Wikipad will have flat sides similar to the iPhone 4/4S. The rear panel will also have an elevated plastic lip designed for a better grip in any holding arrangement. This also enables the speakers on the back of the tablet to bounce off of any flat surface and deliver strong acoustics.
Every Wikipad will ship with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and the controller add-on. The controller, which connects to the Wikipad from the bottom with a proprietary connector, is designed similar to the Xbox 360 controller, though according to the company there is little relation to Microsoft’s nearly seven-year-old design. The controller features two sets of triggers, bumpers, and analog sticks, as well as four face buttons, start, and select. The controller is also designed to cover the speakers and flow sound through acoustic tubes out the front grill for better audio performance. The controller also has a port to connect it to a power source on the back.
Wikipad will also feature a built-in 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera.
Finally, the Wikipad will not ship the first line of the tablet with a 3D display, which the company originally showed off at CES. Future models may ship with a 3D display. The Wikipad doesn’t have a definite release date yet, but according to Wikipad President James Bower, it will release later this year, and the company will reveal much more regarding the tablet in the very near future.
Ever since I/O and the unveiling of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the blogosphere has been measuring Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet. The verdict in almost every case is good, including our very own iPad lover’s take.
John and I thus found it only fitting to bring the little 7-inch tablet into the studio for Fly or Die. The tablet, with a 7-inch IPS 1280×800 display, a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and the latest version of Android, didn’t fail to impress.
And the specs have very little to do with it. Sure, that Tegra 3 proc probably contributes quite a bit to the snappiness of the tablet, but the display isn’t anything to write home about, nor is the measly 8GB of on board storage. (I know there’s a 16Gb model, but without external memory you’ll be walking around with a rather “light” amount of content.)
What makes the tablet great is that it’s the first truly premium tablet available in this size and price range. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is great but it isn’t really a computer replacement the way the iPad is, but rather a mobile Amazon content portal. And the iPad, though exceptional in performance and usability, is a little large and way too expensive to fit into the category.
The Nexus 7 fills that gap, and so we believe it’ll fly and fly into many a home. It’s already sold out once.
The real question is whether or not it’ll still have such high demand once Apple unveils that long-awaited iPad mini. September will be here before you know it.
Activision Blizzard is taking mobile games as seriously as major console titles, and it’s proving that today by licensing Swrve’s technology for analytics and A/B testing for mobile apps.
Activision has already integrated Swrve’s technology, which allows for real-time testing, extensive analytics, and monetization triggers, into the recent hit mobile title Skylanders Cloud Patrol. The company will rely on Swrve as it works to bring its popular IPs to the mobile arena.
“I think we’re pretty unique in our approach,” said Swrve CEO Hugh Reynolds in an interview with VentureBeat yesterday. The company’s technology focuses on acting proactively and making changes to apps as soon as possible, rather than the passive analytics of some competitors (including Apsalar, Flurry, Kontagent and Mixpanel).
Reynolds’ team has actually been working with Activision in the form of different companies over the past ten years. The two companies formed a similar licensing agreement back in 2002, when Reynolds was CEO of the game physics engine company Havok.
Activision recently announced that it would be staffing up internal mobile game capabilities, VP of mobile Greg Canessa told VentureBeat. The Swrve partnership is the latest sign that mobile is is something major publishers have to focus on.
Reynolds tells me that Swrve is now handling about a billion game events a day. With the Activision partnership, he expects that number to explode soon.
Swrve has raised $4.7 million in funding to date from SV Angel, Mantis Group, and Intel Capital. Among Swrve’s 20 customers are PlayFirst, XMG Studio, 5th Planet Games, and Breaktime Studios.
Photo: Dean Takahashi/VentureBeat
Huawei has its sights set on the US market. The Chinese manufacturer aims to be within the United States’ top 5 mobile phone companies within the three years. In order to reach that goal the company needs some impressive hardware — and marketing. The Huawei Ascend D Quad is a fine entry into the smartphone race and now, with the MediaPad 10 FHD, Huawei has a legitimate tablet as well.
The MediaPad 10 FHD packs a punch. Under the 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS display rests a quad-core CPU and 16-core GPU, which the company promises will provide “Smooth Game Experience”. The MediaPad’s back houses an 8MP camera and the tablet measures in at just 8.8mm thick. To top it all off, the tablet will ship with an LTE radio. No word on cost or availability just yet, but if priced right, this Android 4.0 tab could give the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Asus Transformer line some serious competition.
Notice anything weird about your email inbox? If you said there wasn’t as much spam lately that’s because researchers at FireEye and the venerable SpamHaus have essentially shut down the Grum botnet by marking and banning IP addresses. The botnet was responsible for 18% of the world’s spam and had lassoed 560,000 to 840,000 computers using a rootkit.
After FireEye and SpamHaus published the inner workings of Grum, public pressure soon forced Dutch ISPs to shut down a major network control hub that sent commands to about 120,000 separate IPs. Then a similar server was shut down in Panama, leaving only a working server in Russia. However, as the Panama server winked out, suddenly, the hunt for Grum became a cat and mouse game as new servers popped up in the Ukraine.
FireEye’s Atif Mushtaq wrote:
Although the Russian and Ukrainian servers are still running, the group reduced total spam output from 120,000+ IPs to 21,000, reducing the overall spam load. It’s not over yet, but it’s a dent in the overall feed.
Mushtaq closed with a message to the spammers: “Stop sending us spam. We don’t need your cheap Viagra or fake Rolex. Do something else, work in a Subway or McDonalds, or sell hotdogs, but don’t send us spam.”
“Keep on dreaming of a junk-free inbox,” he wrote.
LG introduceert haar eerste HD quad-core smartphone, de LG Optimus 4X HD
- Supersnel door de 1,5 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor- Haarscherp, kleurecht door het 4,7 inch True HD IPS display- Ultra zuinig door de 2150 mAh batterij- Quick……
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Built specifically for Google Play consumption, the Nexus 7 tablet built by Asus seems to be Google’s answer to both the iPad and Kindle Fire. So how does it stack up and just how buttery smooth is Jelly Bean?
It’s nearly impossible to say after only a few minutes with the device, but on a superficial level, it’s pretty nice. With an IPS display the screen is vibrant with fairly decent viewing angles. HD videos look sharp. Speaker placement is a bit weird but audio quality sounds pretty good. The textured rear looks and feels high-end.
Jelly Bean is noticeably smoother and faster, including app launching. Due to the screen dimensions, I’m not really digging the magazine experience, though. The ability to go from the normal magazine layout to a text-only format is a nice feature akin to most every other read it later app iOS and Android users have grown accustomed to.
Social sharing between the Nexus 7 and Q for audio and video is seamless and works quite well.
But that’s it for now. I’ll have a more in-depth look at the Nexus 7 later today.
“The Black IPs” lol. I follow nerds on Twitter, so rather than just the latest pop stars and sports games, I was delighted to see a nerdy hashtag in my Trending Topics. It’s thanks to Twitter’s new Tailored Trends that launched on Tuesday and shows you personalized trends based on who you follow.
“Creedence ClearRecentHistory? Revival” brilliant. In just a few days Tailored Trends has shown algorithms can beat back the stupidity of the Internet. Here’s why this matters, and a look at the best of #FailedTechBands.
The sad fact is that there’s a bag full of idiots for every genius on Twitter. Worse yet, smart people respect those who follow them and don’t flood their streams with a thousand repetitive tweets — dumb hashtags for example. Meanwhile, the imbeciles of the world post a flurry of tweets oblivious to it drowning out more sensible content.
That meant intelligent hashtags and topics were less likely to reach the volume necessary to break into the Trending Topics list. As a result, Trends was often filled with inane, offensive, and downright stupid hashtags and phrases because of this difference in tweeting behavior. But now if I see idiotic trends, it’s my own damn fault for following idiots. Well done, Twitter.
Well done because advertisers are probably a lot more willing to pay for a Promoted Trend now that it’s less likely to sit next to “#BlameTheMuslims” “#BigDickProblems” and other racist, sexist, childish, and otherwise offensive content I’ve seen become Trends. Twitter should avoid censorship of actual tweets at all costs. But when it comes to repurposing content within the service, focusing on relevancy might incidentally keep things a little cleaner, smarter, more productive.
So what did my delightful discovery of a truly relevant hashtag win me? These awesome #FailedTechBands:
Kernel Panic at the Disco #failedtechbands
I’ll take my award now, thank you.—
Kiernan (@KiernanProud) June 15, 2012
And our favorite tech conference speaker / new Microsoft employee:
Right after the GamesBeat staff got back from the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last week, we started wondering if we were all at the same event. Despite a combined 38 years of experience attending the annual game-industry trade show, lead writer Dean Takahashi, culture editor Sebastian Haley, and I (GamesBeat’s editor-in-chief) came away from the 2012 edition with drastically differing opinions on what we saw.
Here’s what we thought of this year’s E3:
Sebastian Haley, culture editor:
I might be alone on this, but E3 was a disheartening experience for me this year. Sure, I’ll buy and love Borderlands 2, Dishonored, and a ton of other games that were shown off, but everything was just so iterative — from the countless sea of sequels and spin-offs, to even the press conferences that seemed to focus less and less on what gamers like myself actually want.
After years of being the punchline of the Internet, why is it so hard to make a good E3 press conference? Microsoft gave carte blanche to Nike and ESPN to talk as long as they wanted, but when it came time to show off the only three original intellectual properties (IPs) in the entire lineup, if you blinked you would have missed it. And even if you didn’t blink, you’d still have no idea what the games were even about. Then Usher and Joe Montana come out for awkward performances, and that’s supposed to make things better?
The industry more or less seems to be on autopilot, and I can only hope it’s saving up all its energy for a massive 2013. But again, maybe that’s just me.
Dean Takahashi, lead news writer:
The game industry didn’t have such a bad showing at E3. The traditional game publishers showed off new original games such as Beyond: Two Souls, The Last of Us, The Unfinished Swan, Dishonored, Warface, Hawken, World of Warplanes, and Watch Dogs. New technologies such as Unreal Engine 4, facial animation, SmartGlass, the Wii U, and Sony’s Wonderbook were cool. The staple franchises such as Assassin’s Creed III, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Tomb Raider, SimCity, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and Crysis 3 will keep gamers delighted and busy in the next year.
But like Sebastian, I also have high expectations of game makers in the core console market. And I’m not sure they have done enough to shield themselves from the disruption that is hitting their industry. This E3 was an in-between year. Next-generation consoles are in the works, but only Nintendo showed off its cards, and they weren’t very disruptive this time around.
From the outside, the game industry is under pressure. Apple is one of the driving forces of the real disruption, but it isn’t alone. Samsung announced at the show that it will create its own cloud gaming service in partnership with Gaikai and Nvidia. It will in effect become a fourth major platform for game makers, launching a cloud-based game service that could threaten the core console business. Apple and Samsung could bring cheap, high-quality games into the living room that could compete quite nicely against $60 games that come with the number “3″ or “4″ after their names.
This is a very real threat. At E3, I didn’t see a masterstroke to deal with it. There was innovation, but not enough of it to make a difference.
Dan “Shoe” Hsu, editor-in-chief:
Last year’s E3 only gave me one stick-with-me moment: the BioShock Infinite demo. It left me near breathless, and even though I don’t smoke, I felt like I needed a cigarette after watching it.
Nothing this year quite matched that, but three games came awfully close, all from my personal top 3 games of E3: Watch Dogs, The Last of Us, and Dishonored. I saw The Last of Us on the last day of the show, and it just put the biggest smile on my face. Right when that amazing, frightening, tension-filled demo finished, it cemented this E3 as one of the best in recent years for me. So I’m quite surprised at Sebastian’s reaction — this show was amazing! When was the last time so many new IPs surprised and wowed us like this? We’re always complaining about the sequel parades (and rightfully so), but it’s up to us to look past the flashy hype of the Call of Duties of the world to champion original games like the ones I just mentioned.
Nintendo Land and ZombiU on the Wii U were both pleasant surprises as well (though the latter proved to me that first-pers0n-shooter controls will take a lot of hand-eye-coordination reconditioning due to the controller’s new layout — a reconditioning I’m not sure I want to commit to). Even the known quantities got me excited again: I honestly thought I was over Halo and Gears of War, but both Halo 4 and the overrun mode in Gears of War: Judgment were a lot of fun to play in multiplayer.
I went into my 16th E3 jaded and thinking I’ve seen and experienced it all. I left a surprised, giddy gamer.
Filed under: games
Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi says Xbox SmartGlass takes an open view of mobile-console integration (interview)
Naturally, Yusuf Mehdi, chief marketing officer for Microsoft‘s game business, thinks that his company won the battle of the press conferences at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). But it remains to be seen whether fans will opt for Microsoft’s view of the future of gaming and how tablets and smartphones fit into it. The company introduced its Xbox SmartGlass app, where users can tap mobile devices and use them to control a game console and queue up their entertainment. It’s a unique vision now, but Mehdi believes it will be a shot in the arm for Microsoft’s ambitions in the home. Microsoft’s SmartGlass will work not only with Windows tablets and phones; it will also support usage based on Apple iPad or iPhone. We caught up with Mehdi at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.
GamesBeat: How do you feel you guys did on the scorecard, what do you think about that? As far as the press conference…
Yusuf Mehdi: I actually like to get people’s feedback. I felt like we did a good job showing what we have for Xbox 360 this year. And I feel like, even after seeing the announcements for other people, it reaffirms that there would never be a better time to be an Xbox 360 owner. I do believe we’ll have, arguably, one of the best lineups for new games on 360 that we’ve ever had in the history of the 360. We’ve really broadened into entertainment in a way that our competitors really didn’t spend any time on. And we’re doing it in a pretty unique way. Sports, more content providers, training programs like Nike Fitness. And then our SmartGlass announcement and approach seems to have gotten a lot of people excited. Both here in this industry and also in the creative community. I think that’s very unique, relative to the competition. You add those three things up, and you say, you get all of that value this year if you’re a current 360 user, you don’t have to pay for any of that. That’s all great new value. I feel like we did well for what we wanted to talk about.
GamesBeat: I thought that the variations on this sort of touch and tablet theme are very interesting here at the show. Do you think that SmartGlass works better? The advantage I see is openly embracing what’s already in the hands of a lot of people out there. What, 60 million iPads have sold? If it works with that, then that’s good. Do you want to buy a Vita, right? If you’ve already got an iPad? Do you need this dedicated tablet? I guess you do, but do you want two of them? So Nintendo is in an odd place there. Can you talk more about your interpretation of the tablets?
Mehdi: I think you could say we were lucky, or we had great foresight. But I think the decision to take an approach that says, embrace the world of smart devices, the billions of smart devices that exist today, and build a platform and a technology and a user experience across those, is absolutely the right call for the consumer, for the industry, and for us. Because what’ll happen is, I think we’re going to get traction here that will expand the Xbox business in a dramatic way.
What SmartGlass really does is it creates a new creative canvas for three-screen entertainment. Something that’s not happening today. It happens today in a kind of sneakernet way. You’re watching a TV show or a movie or playing a game, and in a moment, when there’s moments, you go to your device that’s handy. We know that people are playing with tablets or PCs while they’re watching TV, or they’ve got their phones in their pockets. What we’ve done is create a platform where the content creator can actually program to the devices, the devices are smart, and they are aware and they’re listening to the broadcast from the TV, and then they light up. That’s why I wanted to make sure you had seen it, if you haven’t I should show it to you. But then the second thing is that, like all these things scale is critical to creating the breakthrough experiences. If you don’t have enough volume, if you’re just saying, hey, I’m starting now, please go buy another tablet device that is single-purpose, you won’t get scale, you won’t attract enough content providers. One thing that’s very clear in this great world of gaming we live in is that the pace of innovation has accelerated. You have a lot of social-mobile-casual development going on. You have many more people coming to the gaming world, which is exciting. That also puts a lot of pressure on, okay, how do you embrace, how do you stay on top of that? SmartGlass, to me, is this fantastic bridge between… Let’s embrace the world of many people coming to gaming and then tie it to our overall story of premium entertainment. I think that’s what… You can call it lucky, you can call it great foresight, but we built it to land in this way.
GamesBeat: If you do work with existing smartphones and tablets, the drawback I see is what Nintendo sees, which is, if you want to use that tablet for realtime gaming, it’s harder to do than with their purpose-built Wii U tablet. It’s going to work in real-time to control the games. So… Here I can see you say, using it as the remote control or otherwise navigating around websites like that while you’re watching TV… But playing a game, it almost seems like somebody’s going to have to fix the latency problem with the tablets and the smartphones.
Mehdi: Well, there’s… What latency problem has Nintendo solved with their device?
GamesBeat: I guess they’re still using Wi-Fi, or…? I don’t know.
Mehdi: That’s exactly what it is. It’s just an input device. You’re going over wi-fi or you’re going over a cable. That’s all there is for latency. So there’s no latency issues.
GamesBeat: Then I guess you get to… They have thumbsticks, right?
Mehdi: We have some great thumbsticks on our controller. Did you play a lot of the games on their…?
GamesBeat: Nintendo’s? Yeah.
Mehdi: I think… One of the things that’s interesting is, when you’re playing a quick, realtime, twitch game, how much can you look up and down between the screens? That’s an interesting question. We’ve put a huge amount of design into how we do our controllers to understand user experience, and there’s a lot in there that I think.. This controller has a lot of science behind it, about why it works great for different types of gaming. In other cases, when you do want to have cross-screen sharing, that’s where I believe this approach is actually better, because what we’re doing is embracing it as truly a supporting screen. Not as the thing you should be looking at. Therefore, it needs to light up, it needs to notify you, it needs to actually provide content that’s relevant in that example. So I feel pretty good about that. I certainly don’t think there are any latency issues there. You can use any device for control, for tabbing, for browsing, for watching movies. It’s got a richer platform for things.
GamesBeat: And then there’s more, say, competition emerging too, like say Samsung with a Gaikai-enabled TV set. The TV and a controller and no console, cloud gaming… It seems like that is… And LG with OnLive as well. It seems like that’s more competition emerging.
Mehdi: It could be. It’s not today. I’ve looked at a lot of those things. I’d be interested to talk about some of the details on that. To actually run a full-time game, there’s not enough aggregate bandwidth anywhere in the infrastructure, in pretty much any different city around the world. So it’ll be many years before you could do a full triple-A console game. The bandwidth is not there. And it’s not a fixable thing. It’s aggregate bandwidth. It’s not bandwidth in the home. And then there’s the latency issue you talked about. There, there is a latency problem, because you’re not going to the device, the controller, you’re going to the cloud. We’ve done a lot of research, and once you pass 40 milliseconds of latency, the time delay is sufficient to have consumers saying, the game’s not playable. So those are our problems. It may get solved at some point, but it’s going to be many years. And the flip side, when you talk about cloud, there’s a lot of other parts of the cloud that we do believe in, and I feel like we’re invested in leading in a big way. The notion that all your achievements, your gamerscore, your IDs are all managed up in the cloud. So when you go to a friend’s house, you download your tag, it downloads all your data. Games on demand, the Arcade, DLC content that we’re publishing, all of that background cloud work that makes your games feel much more like a service, there we have a full-fledged, at-scale effort running. I feel pretty good about that. I think that, realistically, the other solutions are concepts. They’re not yet in a market that can do any of those things.
GamesBeat: I guess Apple has their event next week, we don’t know if they’re going to do something more, they may get a TV out at some point. Does that also represent competition you can think about? And also, do you have any worries if they would block anything you’re trying to do with SmartGlass?
Mehdi: So on the first part of your question, because I don’t know what’s actually going to be announced. There are lots of rumors. I have no idea what’s up. We’re in a very fortunate place at the moment, in that we actually are the most popular device in the living room for entertainment. We have 67 million Xbox consoles, we have a great run rate, all attached to the TV, all operating at high scale doing entertainment. Some of the stats you probably saw because you’re up on all the details, but we’re up to 84 hours a month per Xbox Live Gold user. More of those minutes spent on non-gaming versus gaming. We have really become a full-fledged entertainment service in the living room, and continue to grow. And you take things like the Kinect and SmartGlass, and it’s a very different bar than I think what anyone else has been talking about in terms of entertainment usage. So I don’t really… It’s always good to hear what comes, but for the moment, for the plans that we’re trying to draw, I feel pretty good that we can do that. What was the second part of your question?
GamesBeat: Whether they would block you guys, if it was not in their interest…?
Mehdi: Ah… I mean, I don’t know. They can certainly do whatever they wanted. I don’t think so. I think in this case, SmartGlass is frankly just a big win for everybody, because we make all your devices better. They work together. It’s a value prop to say that your tablet, whichever tablet you have, can help make your TV-watching experience better. If they say, well, we don’t want our tablets to be that good, we’d rather have your Windows tablets look better, that would be fine. I doubt they would do that. I think we’re okay. There’s enough devices out there, I think it’s okay.
GamesBeat: I assume when more Windows tablets and smartphones come later this year, that you’ll also have some advantages there.
Mehdi: Yeah. Part of what you’ll see is, the way we’ve designed the Metro interface for Windows 8, it was independent of our SmartGlass effort, this just is fortuitous, but… You can dock Windows… One of the things we do with SmartGlass is we create a remote control application. You can imagine now, because we’ve seen this before, you’re remote controlling the TV with a little pane here, maybe the size of your thumb, but you can still have content on the right. You can still be working while you control the TV or see what’s going on. These are all things that are kind of uniquely enabled through Windows that other operating systems haven’t done yet. They could, but they haven’t. I feel that it’s a win-win for Windows and for our broader story.
GamesBeat: Sony’s taken some shots at you guys about how you are straying from games? They say that they showed all these brand-new IPs and that they had more to show than Microsoft did…
Mehdi: Two IPs, right? I think they showed two new IPs. I think we showed at least three or four. We showed LocoCycle, Wrecketeer, Ascend, Matter… All world premiere first-time exclusives. Look, I think… There’s no question that we are focused and going to really excel on gaming. And I think we will… We’ll be the only platform that has the best first-party shooters this holiday. The only platform. Because we’ll have Halo 4 and Battlefield and we’ll have Call of Duty with exclusive 30-day download. Those are the three hottest, number one shooter games, they’ll do more volume than any other effort. That’s only Xbox 360. And then Gears of War as well. So if you take all those… I could kinda go down a few like that. I think anyone who’s a core gamer knows that this is a great place to play games. And then we also have the Xbox Live Gold multiplayer, which continues… If you like multiplayer, which a lot of people do, it’s still the place where people go to play multiplayer.
GamesBeat: Xbox Live Arcade is moving along pretty well? Are you happy with some of the results that you’re getting?
Mehdi: Yeah, it’s continuing to grow. I think it’s good, we like it. I think today we excel in core gaming, and I think we really want to broaden to many devices. I think part of, again, what’s great about Xbox is, this holiday we will be the gaming service on all of the Windows 8 PCs that go out, as well as the music service. Then you’re going to take our audience base of 67 million and you’re now talking about half a billion or so within one to two years. It’s dramatically going to increase our footprint. So relative to our traditional competitors, we are going to super-scale what they do in terms of reaching consumers.
GamesBeat: So the 99-dollar deal is getting good results?
Mehdi: Yes, it’s gotten really great results. It’s early. It’s a test, it’s early, I don’t want to over-promise it. But it’s gone so well that we announced that we’re going to expand trials to broad US retailers. And that has been… The uptake on purchases has gone up pretty dramatically. And then the other thing has been, the feedback from consumers is, they feel like this is a new price point. And I wasn’t sure that would land. It works for cell phones, I didn’t know if it would work for consoles. But the feedback from consumers has been, yeah, this looks like a new price point, 99 dollars does feel like an attractive value proposition, even though when you add up the dollars, it’s still a similar overall layout. Just like when cell phones… People don’t say my cell phone cost me a hundred dollars. They say it cost me 199 or 149 and then I had to sign up for two years, because they were fine with that.
GamesBeat: Sony had that interesting approach, with giving lots of games away for the PlayStation Plus service, a dozen games or so now. It seemed like they’re proliferating… Would you have any observation about that?
Mehdi: Well, I think it’s natural, because we’re moving increasingly to more of a digital world, and as more of these boxes, in particular the Xbox, are high-speed connected, then the ability to get more content and have that relationship with the customer and create more value and charge for that value becomes a real value proposition. What you’re seeing is a natural evolution. We finally achieved a position now where people can go and create those value props. So I think that’s good. We’ll see how they work. We’ll get the data. Consumer interest, I’m not quite sure. I know that with Xbox Live Gold, where we tend to put all of our value, that has continued to do particularly well, and people do like that, so I think it supports the overall statement.
GamesBeat: How do you guys feel about the free-to-play games on the PC? It looks like League of Legends is doing well, people are expecting good things out of Hawken. Crytek’s Warface…
Mehdi: I think those are really interesting. It’s a great space to watch. It’s definitely changing the model of how you can come play games. We love that. We just think that’s great. It brings more people into the gaming world and creates more opportunity.
GamesBeat: Do you think it’s a place Microsoft might dive in?
Mehdi: Possibly. We’re certainly going to consider… We consider all options right now about what will be good for consumers, and so we’re paying attention to it.
GamesBeat: You didn’t talk about next-gen… Is one explanation maybe that we’re not seeing new IPs now because a lot of the new IPs might be directed towards next-gen…?
Mehdi: Ah… You know… I do feel like with the four IPs that we showed, the ones we talked about, LocoCycle, Ascend, I think those are all things that people are probably surprised about. Wow, seven years into the cycle and you’re shipping four new IPs, what’s that say? Well, it says that the 360 continues to be a good platform. The second thing it says… I think we didn’t talk a lot about that, although people have asked… The 360, I very clearly see that we will have the Xbox 360 out on the market for many more years to come. With continued improvements and updates and enhancements. And the reason for that is that it continues to be a very robust platform to do gaming and entertainment. We’re able to continually drop lower prices through things like what we’re doing now with our lower price testing. And we’re seeing volumes grow. One of the things that we talked about, kinda volume cycles, I don’t know if we talked about the generation and what happens with volumes, but… Traditionally, in year four, you see volumes drop. And an amazing thing happened with 360, which has not happened with other services. Year five sales outsold year four. And then year six sales outsold year five. And then year seven sales outsold year six. You’ve never seen that in the history of consoles. And part of that has been that Kinect gave it some new life. And then all this work we’re doing with SmartGlass entertainment apps have given it another round. So I very much see the 360 going, and as a result we’re betting, with our own studios… We showed, on stage, four first-party exclusive premieres of IP. I think that’s a good statement that, yeah, there’s a lot of activity there.
GamesBeat: Are those this year, or are they all next year-ish…?
Mehdi: I think we have some coming this year, yes.
GamesBeat: I think they went by a little fast…
Mehdi: They did go by fast, you’re right. No, you’re right… You’re on the mark. We showed them later in the presentation, and so it was kind of easier… And we only showed teasers on a few of them.
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