What's the internet's most popular game-streaming service worth? About $1 billion, if VentureBeat sources have their story straight. Earlier this year, Variety and the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was in talks to acquire Twitch, but conceded that the two companies were only just starting negotiations. Now, sources familiar with the deal say an agreement has been reached, though its unclear when the reported acquisition will be officially announced. Naturally, there are some concerns that a Google acquisition of Twitch would stifle competition for rival services, but the tried and true platform could certainly bolster Mountain View's own streaming efforts. If nothing else, perhaps the deal will validate emerging market shared gameplay in the eyes of its doubters. Both Google and Twitch have declined to comment on the report.
Apple's set-top hobby has come a long way since its major refresh in 2010, thanks largely to a variety of services bringing different content to the platform. When it comes to gaming, however, the Apple TV isn't exactly a powerhouse, despite being able to support it through AirPlay features -- something similar to what Real Racing has done in the past. Another developer that's made use of this particular second-screen kind of experience is Rolocule Games, and it just announced a new free title (with in-app purchases) dubbed Dance Party.
Source: App Store
When a broadcaster logs off for dinner or puts down the controller for some shut-eye, Twitch now lets them keep the game streaming going with its new Host Mode. The function keeps a channel's chat up and running, but embeds a video of the action from another user's session or event while the host takes a breather, or a nap, or goes outside. Viewing stats are still compiled for the original broadcaster and the option can be triggered with a simple chat command. For now though, Host Mode is only available via the web interface.
It seems as if this week is a good one to get stuff on the cheap or even for free. First, Marvel announced a promo yesterday which gave access to its Unlimited comics service for 99 cents, and now EA has quietly revealed that it's giving away copies of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection. You'll need to have Origin, EA's software distribution platform, installed on your machine to take advantage of this deal, but it's as easy as entering a code for old and new users alike. Just don't expect EA to keep supporting the classic game after you install it, since the publisher brought closure to that a few days ago. The Windows download on Origin will be available until July 31st at 1:00AM ET, which means there's plenty of time to let it all sink in and cancel whatever you had planned for the weekend.
German media company Senator Entertainment and French rights dealer Wild Bunch have agreed to merge, creating a leading European movie production and sales company. Read the story »
It's hard to believe that it's been a year single Google's streaming dongle arrived on the backs of TVs, bringing easy streaming chops to the masses. As a proper celebration, the folks in Mountain View are thanking both current and new Chromecasters with three free months of Google Play Music All Access -- starting today through September 30th. The company has been keen on adding new features to the accessory regularly, and in the festive announcement teased the ability to beam content while away from your WiFi and customizable homescreens as upcoming additions. Heck, with that bit of subscription savings, you'll almost have enough for a second unit.
Source: Google Chrome Blog
HD+, the fee-based satellite platform carrying the HD versions of commercial TV channels for German DTH households on Astra (19.2° East), has won 47,089 new paying customers in Q2 2014. Read the story »
TRACE has launched a brand new music channel – TRACE Toca – with MultiChoice’s digital satellite TV service DStv in Angola and Mozambique. Read the story »
Ofcom has launched a consultation into Access Control (AC) services on the Sky set-top box. While Red Button remains the headline grabber, access control has now developed to include on-screen watermarking and interactive services including. Read the story »
The Spanish media group Atresmedia, formerly known as Grupo Antena 3, has posted a profit of €37.8 million for the first half of this year, up from €29 million in the same period in 2013. Read the story »
High pricing is preventing Ultra HD televisions (UHD TVs) from securing a meaningful share of the overall flat-panel TV market through the world. Read the story »
Sky’s internet streaming service NOW TV has been added to the PlayStation4. It’s been available on PlayStation3 since May 2013. Read the story »
We're not sure how many of the new Oculus Rift VR kits have shipped out to developers already, but it looks like a healthy amount are in San Diego right now. That's where Comic-Con is happening this week and, following the X-Men VR demo we already heard about, Legendary Pictures and Oculus have teamed up for Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot. It lets attendees take control of the 250-foot tall Jaeger "Gipsy Danger" (no drift connection necessary) and do battle in a virtual reality combat simulator against the kaiju Knifehead (the first one you see in the movie). The whole experience is built in Unreal Engine 4 using the same assets Industrial Light & Magic worked with for the movie. Sure, you've seen the movie, and maybe even in IMAX 3D, but we're pretty sure even Guillermo del Toro's directing tricks can't add up to feeling like you're there, fighting an 8,700 ton monster off the coast of Alaska. It's all in Legendary's booth #3920 for all four days the show is open, from Thursday through Sunday. Don't have a ticket? There's a video preview embedded after the break, but it can't compare to diving into a VR world with Oculus -- maybe we'll be able to enjoy it at home by April 2017 when Pacific Rim 2 arrives.
Austria’s largest cable operator UPC Austria has expanded its video-on-demand (VOD) service by sports programmes from German pay-TV channels Sport1+ und Sport1 US. Read the story »
A couple of months back, Sky revealed that it was working to bring Now TV to Sony and Microsoft's latest consoles. Today, it finally started that rollout with the PlayStation 4, ensuring Sony fans have all of their bases covered in the process. Although the Xbox One app is still in development, the broadcaster notes that it will become available in the coming weeks. Neither the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One require a subscription to access the Now TV app, meaning you'll only need to put money down for Sky's movie, entertainment or sports packages to get streaming.