Facebook Acquisition of Oculus – How it impacts Gaming Industry

Facebook Aquisition of Oculus – How it impacts Gaming Industry

Facebook has been on a spending spree.  After trying to buy Snapchat, Facebook broke the bank and acquired WhatsApp for $19B.  In their most recent acquisition, Facebook purchased virtual reality gaming company Oculus earlier this week for $2B.  The move comes in a long-line of deals that show Facebook is more interested in becoming a conglomerate than a social media standout.  Perhaps more importantly to the gaming industry, it shows FB is a strong believer in the long-term viability of the sector, and a signal that physical hardware and console gaming still has some considerable life left in it.

With smartphones and tablets becoming so popular, many analysts have speculated that console gaming is on the way out.  Despite the successful launches of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the sheer volume of mobile gaming has caught the attention of many developers.  Indeed, when a game like Clash of Clans is raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars a day in revenue, or a game like Flappy Bird starts a mobile phenomenon, it creates a buzz and attention that’s hard to ignore.  Consequently, it’s led many to wonder what place traditional console gaming will have in the near-future.  We have a PS4 and X1, but will we have a PS5 and X2 (?)?

Sony recently unveiled their own virtual reality device, titled Project Morpheus.  While the device is just a prototype, and a version for sale is still a considerable time away, it’s clear that virtual reality gaming as a primary avenue is on the horizon.  One thing is clear: physical hardware is needed to create the type of innovation and immersion to take full advantage of this new technology.  Concept videos have shown how the Morpheus VR system will work in tandem with PlayStation’s existing Move controllers.  These physical devices bridge the gap to the virtual environments the Morpheus headset creates.  What we could be witnessing is not just an extension of console gaming, but a re-imagining of the gaming industry.  Not only that, such innovating technology also has the potential to expand well-beyond gaming and impact other areas of entertainment and technology.

Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus is a sign that the tech giant is banking on virtual reality changing the world of gaming and entertainment.  It should also quell any fears that console gaming enthusiasts have of their favorite platforms disappearing anytime soon.

Robert Birmingham is Editor-in-chief at flydrs.com

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Jupiter Ascending: Trailer

A second trailer for the upcoming Wachowski Sibling’s new film Jupiter Ascending is out and it makes a lot more sense than the first, which had a very loose narrative feel – much like their under-appreciated Cloud Atlas. This echo’s more of The Matrix (Mila Kunis is essentially “The One”, Channing Tatum has been looking for her his whole life). Sure to be a big, blockbuster affair, and the special effects and creatures suggest’s a complete and expansive universe has formed (despite the “bad guy” just looking like a human – why are there so many humanoids in the universe? Where are the lizard people I keep reading about on conspiracy websites?!). Should look great on a big screen. We’ll keep you posted with more as the release date approaches. Nice to see an original superhero movie on the docket in a summer full of sequels.

 

 

Jupiter Ascending comes out July, 18th.

The Walking Dead – Season 5 Predictions

The Walking Dead – Season 5 Predictions

Season 4 of The Walking Dead has come and gone.  Which means it’s already time to start thinking about where the series is heading with Season 5.  While the season finale was good, and left us wanting more / wondering what’s going to happen next, it almost felt like the ending of a regular episode as opposed to season finale.  Regardless, with what we’ve seen so far of Terminus, the door has been opened to what could amount to something great in Season 5.  Time for some Season 5 predictions…

Terminus Cannibals

As I speculated in a previous article, the writing is on the wall for Terminus to be the home of a cannibalistic cult.  Upon welcoming intrepid survivors to Terminus, they’re greeted kindly and offered a plate.  The food they were cooking definitely had a Fallout “strange meat,” vibe to it. Fattening ‘em up for the kill.  Did you see how Rick’s group was herded into the cargo container? Like Daryl mentioned, the shooters were not trying to kill them, but rather keep them alive.  Which makes sense.  After all, human meat is much kinder to the stomach than rotten, walker flesh.

At this point, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Terminus was filled with a bunch of cannibals, but that doesn’t make it any less cool.  We’ve witnessed sadistic.  We’ve witnessed crazy.  It’s about time we witnessed sadistic, crazy, deranged cannibals.

We lose either Rick, Michonne, or Daryl

As much as that thought sucks, we’re going to lose one of the 3 major characters.  Daryl is a fan-favorite.  Rick has been the protagonist since day 1.  Michonne the resident katana-wielding badass. But we’re going to lose one of them.  I also think we’ll lose some auxiliary characters, but let’s be honest, these 3 characters drive the show.

Which of those 3 characters do you think will fall in Season 5?  Or do you think they’ll all live to see another day?

We learn the cause of the infection

This was teased towards the end of Season 4.  When Dr. Eugene Porter was introduced, it was claimed that he knew the cause of the infection.  At some point in Season 5, we’ll learn exactly what the cause was.  This is huge for a variety of reasons.  First, fans have been wondering what caused the outbreak since the beginning of the show.  Second, depending on the reason, it influences how long this series can last, to a certain degree.  Perhaps the series winds down like this:

Season 5 – identify the cause of the outbreak, handle Terminus threat.  Season 6 – work towards a cure. Season 7 – resolution of outbreak, series finale.

What could have caused the outbreak?  You would think if it was a virus, the CDC would have identified it.  Maybe it’s just evolution?  Whatever the case may be, fans will know what caused the walker uprising in Season 5.

What are some of your predictions for Season 5 of The Walking Dead?

Robert Birmingham is editor-in-chief at flydrs.com

 

Can Sony Salvage the PlayStation Vita?

Can Sony Salvage the PlayStation Vita?

Before its release, the PlayStation Vita was touted as the next big thing in portable gaming.  Boasting impressive specs and features like a large touchscreen and solid controls, the Vita was supposed to be Sony’s answer to the strong smartphone and tablet gaming movement.  Unfortunately, sales have been lackluster.  Is there any way that Sony can salvage the PlayStation Vita?

In the wake of Kaz Hirai’s admitting that Vita sales were on the “low end,” of projections, it has many wondering if the Vita has been a failed attempt on Sony’s part.  The potential is there, but the results haven’t been.  With sales failing to impress, and a lackluster game library, what can Sony do to remedy the situation?  Flydrs has long called for a PS3 / Vita system bundle.  A PS4 / Vita bundle would also work, but might be more difficult to pull off given the higher price and demand of the PS4.  Priced reasonably, a system bundle would accomplish what’s most important; getting the Vita in the hands of the PlayStation faithful.  That alone, however, isn’t enough.  Quite simply, the Vita needs better games and more cross-play with the PS3 and PS4.

The number of quality games on the Vita is depressingly limited.  Games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified have been criticized for poor controls and execution.  If a game like Call of Duty doesn’t sell well, it has to make you wonder about the likelihood of success for the Vita.  Cross-play with PS3 and upcoming PS4 games would be one way that the Vita could augment its library.  The lack of quality games further highlights the need for the PS3 and Vita to be bundled together and have their respective gaming libraries compliment one another.

As a whole, the Vita has been largely disappointing since its release.  Even the most devout PlayStation fans would admit there is room for improvement.  The price certainly hasn’t helped, considering that for the cost of a Vita you could pick up a PS3, 360, and nearly afford a Wii U or be well on your way to PS4 / X1.  Couple that with a severe lacking in the quality games department, and it’s no wonder that Vita sales have been lackluster.  What do you think Sony can do to improve Vita sales and salvage the system?

Robert Birmingham is Editor-in-chief at flydrs.com

Godzilla – Extended Look

Godzilla – Extended Look

With all the attention super hero movies are getting, the action movie that is sort of getting lost in all the hype is Godzilla.  Which is a shame, considering how iconic the franchise is, and how amazing this reboot is looking.  An extended look will hopefully convince you that this is a film worth seeing.

Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston headlines the cast.  Godzilla stomps into theaters May 16th.

Robert Birmingham is editor-in-chief at flydrs.com

Official Destiny Strike Gameplay: The Devil’s Lair

Official Destiny Strike Gameplay: The Devil’s Lair

The number of quality games on PS4 and X1 is rather limited right now.  Even with the recent releases of Infamous Second Son and Titanfall, it’s still pretty much slim pickings on either system.

This fall, that will change, however.  There is a slew of great games coming out, one of which is Destiny, the next major release from Bungie.  Some gameplay footage has been released here and there, and from what we’ve seen so far it looks like a killer game.  The most recent gameplay released features Strike gameplay.  Take a look.

Be sure to preorder Destiny to gain access to the upcoming beta.

Robert Birmingham is editor-in-chief at flydrs.com.  

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Trailer

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Trailer

Activision and Sledgehammer games recently said they were going to reinvent the Call of Duty series, which to be honest has grown a bit long in the tooth.  Despite some rumors of going back in time to the World War I period, it appears the makers of the next COD have gone in a different direction.  A leak revealed the next Call of Duty will be titled Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and will be released on 11.4.14.

Shortly after the leak, a trailer for the upcoming game was unveiled.  In the trailer below, which has a Modern Warfare meets Crisis meets Halo meets xyz FPS vibe to it, you get a sense of what you’re in store for when Advanced Warfare drops this November.  To quell any fears about how the game will play on X1, the trailer explicitly states the footage you see was recorded with Xbox One.  Phew.

What do you think – does this look like it will reinvent the series?  I personally think it looks pretty awesome, and am looking forward to extended gameplay footage.

Robert Birmingham is editor-in-chief at flydrs.com.  

New! Trailer: Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

gosling pines

A new crime drama from Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance is out and boy does it look good. Ryan Gosling is a tatted up stuntman robbing banks to provide for his kid and Bradley Cooper is a good cop mixed up in some bad dealings trying to do the right thing. Throw in Eva Mendes and the best line I’ve heard in a long time at the end of the trailer and we’re hooked. The Place Beyond the Pines is crashing into theaters March 20th. Continue for the trailer!

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New! Trailer: Steve Carrell in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

The-Incredible-Burt-Wonderstone

A new trailer for the magic comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone has been released. The movie pokes fun of guys like Criss Angel and David Blaine doing ridiculous illusion and endurance challenges. I don’t know how this hasn’t been made yet, but am glad it’s being made now with legendary funny people Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Alan Arkin and Olivia Wilde. Wonderstone will appear in theaters March, 2013. Continue on for the trailer!

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The Walking Dead Season 4 Confirmed, Mazzara AMC Part Ways

The Walking Dead Season 4 Confirmed, Mazzara AMC Part Ways

There is still half of Season 3 to go, and Season 4 of AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead has already been confirmed for Season 4.  Shaking things up, the network and showrunner Glen Mazzara have agreed to part ways.  Mazzara has been the showrunner for Season 2 and 3, replacing original showrunner Frank Darabont.  AMC and Mazzara released a joint statement clarifying the change:

“Today, AMC announces the season 4 pick-up of “The Walking Dead. “

AMC also jointly announces with Glen Mazzara today that for future seasons, the two parties have mutually decided to part ways. Glen guided the series creatively for seasons 2 and 3. AMC is grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success.

Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways. This decision is amicable and Glen will remain on for post-production on season 3B as showrunner and executive producer.”

The-Walking-Dead-Season-3-Cast

There hasn’t been an announcement on his replacement, but like I said we still have part 2 of Season 3 to look forward to!  It’s gotten crazy for Rick and pretty much everyone else this season, and with the way that the midseason finale ended, fans are chomping at the bit for the show to resume.

Robert Birmingham is Editor-in-chief at flydrs.com

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