It's been online for a few days now, but I just spotted (via PaidContent) Forbes' article titled The iFlop (subhead: "Steve Jobs tried to design--and dictate--the future of television. Here's how he failed.") Author Scott Woolley calls the Apple TV "a flat-out" failure, claiming that it's sold less than 250,000 units in six months. Among the supposed sins of the product: the lack of a built-in DVR and a "parochial and proprietary approach" to online video content. He also highlights a variety of on-demand video competitors, including Vudu, TiVo (via Amazon Unbox), and Xbox 360 (which offers rentals and sales of TV shows via the Xbox Live Marketplace)--while glossing over many of their shortcomings. Still, is he right? Is the Apple TV dead in the water? … Read more
Halo 3, the much-anticipated Xbox 360 game that launched Tuesday, set the all-time record for most revenue earned in a single day by any entertainment property, Microsoft said Wednesday.
The company said that Halo 3, the third and final episode in the hugely popular franchise, netted $170 million in sales in the U.S. in its first day. If true, that would top previous records set by the motion pictures Spider Man 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
It goes without saying that in addition to a stellar reputation for academic innovation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is renowned for its geeky pranks. The best-known of these was perhaps the time when students decorated the campus' Great Dome to look like Star Wars robot R2D2 in celebration of the legendary film series' first prequel in 1999.
But Star Wars prequels are so last decade. These days, it's all about the much-hyped Xbox 360 title Halo 3. And why prank your own campus when you can pull a fast one on those snotty Crimsons next door?
Consequently, MIT pranksters … Read more
It's officially play time.
After three years of making do with Halo 2, eager gamers lined up at Best Buy in midtown Manhattan to be among the first in the nation to buy the third and final title in the series.
The companies--Best Buy and Microsoft--knew how to throw a party. There was lots of swag--T-shirts, caps, Mountain Dew, even hand massages--at a ritual quickly becoming the norm for any major launch these days. Sure, it's fun to be a part of the excitement and feel the energy of an eager crowd waiting for the clock to strike … Read more
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--For the marketing folks at Microsoft and at its Bungie video game studio, the next 19 minutes will be some of the most meaningful of their careers.
That's because, at 9 p.m. Pacific, midnight eastern, it officially becomes Halo 3's world.
Since the launch of the Xbox 360 in November 2005, everyone has been waiting for this: the one great game that will define the next-generation console era.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--The sounds of machine-gun fire is everywhere, coming in waves from all around me.
But this is Silicon Valley, not Iraq, and this war is just in the Halo 3 universe.
I'm at the Halo 3 launch event that Microsoft is hosting here at its Silicon Valley campus, and I'm in a room that to some hard-core gamers might be heaven.
That's because there are 21 large Insignia flat-screen TVs spread around the room in seven three-TV pods. And each screen is divided among four Halo 3 boxes. That means that in this one … Read more
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--With thousands of Halo fans lined up for midnight madness events in cities around the country, you might wonder why Microsoft is hosting a pre-launch event at its Silicon Valley campus here just hours before.
Well, according to Doug Free, the company's Silicon Valley public relations director, it's a chance to celebrate the developer community here and the theory that some of the most important coders in the region may also be serious gamers.
That was the concept, at least, behind planning this event--for which more than 700 people registered to attend.
"The whole … Read more
Leave it to Microsoft to turn the glitz factor up to eleven. The company that brought us interpretive dancers on bungee cords for its Vista operating system has brought in spotlights, prizes, NFL players, and rappers for the launch of Halo 3, the final installment of its hit first-person shooter trilogy, which launches at midnight on Tuesday.
They kind of need to do it. As Halo is a piece of software, not a harder-to-manufacture gaming console or handheld device, the way that Microsoft has drawn the crowds for this Xbox 360 release is with star power. If there weren't … Read more
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Right now, my colleague Caroline McCarthy is waiting, with the masses, in New York's Times Square. They're holding out for midnight when, at long last, the curtain will roll back on Halo 3, the latest iteration of one of the biggest video game franchises in history.
But, I'm here, in the heart of Silicon Valley, at Microsoft's campus here, and the small crowd here is waiting to get into the invite-only Halo 3 pre-launch event the software giant is hosting tonight.
Instead of thousands, there are dozens. But the anticipation on the faces of those in line is probably the same as those huddled up in New York, LA or Miami.
For me, there was a bit of a scare as it turned out I wasn't on the list to get in, but after a little bit of back and forth, the nice people at the entrance gave me the thumbs-up. … Read more
With Halo 3 hype soaring, people are already dreaming about fragging aliens, dual-wielding machine guns and taunting 12-year-old kids when they sneak up behind them and put one in their head in a massive online battle.
But what many may not realize is that tomorrow's release of Halo 3 could be a watershed moment for Microsoft and the Xbox 360. With a blockbuster title that will surely captivate millions across the globe, the Xbox 360 will be the most played video game console for the month of October and should catapult the system to the top of the video game world.
As we're all aware, Nintendo currently enjoys the top spot in the video game console war. With nearly 404,000 Wii units sold last month alone, Nintendo is hands down the most successful hardware company of this generation. And while Nintendo fans are quick to cite this number when their favorite console is under attack, they fail to mention how it compares to previous months.
According to The NPD Group, Nintendo Wii sales dropped 5 percent from July, while the Xbox 360, with 277,000 units sold, witnessed a sales increase of 63 percent from July. To round it out, the abysmal Playstation 3 sold just 131,000 units--a drop of nearly 18 percent.
Sure, the Nintendo Wii is doing well and it continues to sell better than the competition, but the main reason the Xbox 360 did so well last month was its software. Most notably, Madden. According to NPD, Electronic Arts sold 897,000 copies of the Xbox 360 version of Madden, representing the first time in years that a non-Sony console topped the Madden sales list.
I've said it once and I'll say it again--software and software alone will drive hardware sales after the initial hype dies down. And if the 5 percent drop in sales is any indication, maybe the Nintendo Wii's hype is finally dropping too.
Halo 3 will undoubtedly be the biggest game of the year. With millions already enjoying previous iterations, tomorrow's release could be the biggest we have ever seen. For many casual gamers, the release of Halo 3 means it's time to buy an Xbox 360. And it's this cadre of individuals that Microsoft has been waiting for.… Read more