When you're the CEO of the second largest video game publisher in the world, people have a tendency to take what you say seriously. Case in point, Electronic Arts' Andrew Wilson recently revealed his company's plans for virtual reality. At a South by Southwest panel, Wilson said that his company is less focused on the technology of VR, and more interested in exactly how people consume it. As he sees it, we interact with games in three different ways: leaning back, leaning in and looking over -- relating to console, PC and mobile gaming, respectively. With VR, he thinks there will be a fourth: getting in. He says that this could happen either via a headset or even a hologram popping up from your living room floor, and he's pushing his team to explore it.
Think of this along the lines of Amazon (hypothetically) announcing that it'd accept Bitcoin for payment and you're on the right track; that there's another major player in the VR space helps validate the medium. While this could all be taken as pie-in-the-sky speculation, the fact that EA is clearly invested in the virtual reality isn't anything to write off -- just look at what the company's done with mobile gaming.
It's a bittersweet day in Austin, Texas for Aereo. The company's remote DVR service, which allows users to stream or record over-the-air broadcasts, just launched in the city this week against the backdrop of SXSW, making it Aereo's fourth market in the state. But there's a storm cloud hanging over this celebration; a recent legal hiccup with the state of Utah that saw it shutdown service in Denver, CO and Salt Lake City, UT. Aereo, however, is no stranger to this courtroom drama. The company's been engaged in a copyright battle with broadcasters that'll either cement it as content licensee (along the lines of a Netflix), and potentially cripple its business growth, or as provider of cloud DVR storage. It's a fight Aereo's waging all the way to the Supreme Court and has so far been winning, except for today.
Aereo's streams in Denver and Salt Lake City hung on for a while after the US District Court of Utah granted its opponents a preliminary injunction on February 20th, but today they're shutting off. Yesterday a panel of federal court judges denied Aereo's request to stay the injunction while it appeals, claiming "Aereo has not made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its appeal. Nor has Aereo demonstrated that the other factors weigh in its favor." As a result, the antenna-to-streaming company has informed affected customers service will go dark today at 10am. For now, it's looking forward to the upcoming Supreme Court case to affirm its belief that the service is legal, and issuing a refund for this month's service for anyone living in those two markets. Aereo's hearing is set to take place April 22nd -- check out CEO Chet Kanojia's message to customers after the break.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
We're live on the ground at South By Southwest (#SXSW for short), the annual event that brings together everyone and anyone who's invested in the interactive arts. Those artists include the minds behind emerging startups (like Twitter was here in 2007), as well as established innovators like Mark Cuban and even Grumpy Cat.
We're already off to a great start: we've seen a man get stunned by the Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone and had a chance to punch virtual sharks with the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion. But, there's more to come over the next few days, including riding MarioKart in real life, separate virtual conversations with Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, Shaq and much more.
Here's how to keep up with us at SXSW, after the break.
My Dearest Friends at Engadget,
With this letter I have enclosed a large, slightly frayed chunk of styrofoam that we all thought resembled the prominent "t" in the Engadget logo - you know, the one wearing the cute Wi-Fi hat. We have no use for this item here at Joystiq, so we thought you might hoist it above your reeking desk-beds, or use it in another story about 3D printers.