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Manga Entertainment Gets Added to Xbox LIVE, Finally

posted Friday May 18, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Manga Entertainment Gets Added to Xbox LIVE, Finally

If you haven't been keeping up with what the Xbox has to offer, you've been missing out on some quality entertainment options. After all, Xbox has been all about entertainment since E3 of last year. Back in October, Xbox LIVE announced a new video lineup and we couldn't wait to get all of the 40 world-class TV and entertainment providers on our consoles. Unfortunately, it took a long time to get all of the channels actually added to LIVE. Up until December, we were missing over half of the providers and we had to wait all the way through April to get all of them except two, those two being Bravo and Manga Entertainment. For those keeping score at home, the guys here at the show have been very excited to get Manga on Xbox LIVE and it felt as though Microsoft was listening to our show, noticing our excitement and were just simply playing with our emotions by delaying its launch.

This week, however, we can all rejoice as Manga Entertainment finally steps foot onto the Xbox 360 consoles. When the email arrived in my inbox, even I shed a slight tear of joy.

Manga Entertainment on Xbox LIVE enables fans to watch full length episodes, movies, and clips of their favorite anime from the Manga Entertainment catalog included with their Xbox LIVE Gold membership at no additional cost.

Did you smell that sweet price of $Free.99, too?

Manga's joining of Microsoft's entertainment family comes after MUZU.TV and IGN both made quieter appearances onto LIVE in the past month. This brings the total number of different channels to 25. For my Bravo fans though, you all are still waiting for your weekly editions of Pregnant in Heels and Tabatha's Salong Takeover to become available for Xbox LIVE Gold Members. It's okay, from what I hear the shows are emotionally draining.

I, for one, am just pleased that almost every one of the channels finally showed up on the Xbox just shy of eight months since the announcement. I don't know what happened between Microsoft and the partners but I think to announce something like that and have us expect it by the holiday season only to have to wait until the following summer doesn't bolster much confidence in the company. It comes down to Microsoft having to lay out a deadline and if it's not met, then the content doesn't show up, ever. Of course, that's just my take on the matter.

At any rate, I'm excited now and am off to go watch some Street Fighter Alpha. Who's with me? I've heard that more and more people are watching shows and movies on Xbox lately.

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Valve: No New Hardware or Software Announcement at E3

posted Sunday May 6, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Valve: No New Hardware or Software Announcement at E3

Being so close to E3 2012, it wouldn't be right if there wasn't any gaming talk. Unfortunately, Valve says there won't be product announcement talk at E3. I guess we have to wait some more to hear more news about the Steam Box, as expected. We had hopes though and now I have to return the disco ball I rented for the celebration of new products being announced as Valve confirmed the news this week.

Valve rep Doug Lombardi said this week that, "We have no product announcements planned for this year's show."

While we shouldn't be too surprised by this, it still is unfortunate that they aren't a huge player at E3. Last year, they were seemingly nowhere to be found and the year prior was used only to show us another glimpse of Portal 2. We have to trek back to 2009 and the Left 4 Dead sequel in order to see Valve in the limelight.

For now, any hope of Half-Life news also goes down the drain. Valve will maintain the silent treatment about anything regarding the title which is apparently still going through "twists and turns."

There is a glimmer of good news, though. Valve did confirm they will be presenting some of their known projects like DOTA 2, Counterstrike: Global Offensive and Steam's living room project, Big Picture Mode. I'm personally excited about Counterstrike and I really hope Valve makes their presence felt this year. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some Left 4 Dead game-playing to do.

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Verizon To Provide Text-To-911 Nationwide Solution

posted Sunday May 6, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Verizon To Provide Text-To-911 Nationwide Solution

While Sprint may have secured a deal with 15 states for four years, things are also looking up for Verizon. We've known the United States has been working on being able to text in your 911 emergencies for quite some time now and Verizon has stepped up to help build the nationwide text system for the Next Generation 911 upgrade project. The company has selected TeleCommunication Systems Inc to assist them with the build out, which will include upgrades that will also increase the accuracy of the location data the 911 dispatchers receive for the calls.

How are they positioning this project? Learn the details after the break.

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Nickelodeon Down, Netflix Up - Viacom Doesn't See Connection

posted Sunday May 6, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Nickelodeon Down, Netflix Up - Viacom Doesn't See Connection

Since Netflix and Hulu started streaming content, both new and old, to your computer, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii and more, for a very low cost, the future of appointment television has been bleak. In fact, Piltch Point host and Online Editorial Director of LAPTOP Magazine, Avram Piltch listed it as one of the 15 modern technologies his son will never use. While those of us with computers know what is obviously coming, there are others who do not understand it.

Viacom, the company who took on YouTube, and has famously not understood the Internet, feels that it has had no impact on their flagship kids network, Nickelodeon. Nick has experienced a MASSIVE drop-off in viewership over the past few years, especially over the past 12 months, but this 30% loss has nothing to do with Netflix, according to CEO Philippe Dauman.

What does he attribute the lack of success to? We have his explanation after the break.

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Could a $100 Xbox 360 Revitalize Hardware Sales?

posted Sunday May 6, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Could a $100 Xbox 360 Revitalize Hardware Sales?

It is no secret that gaming hardware sales are down. Nintendo posted its first ever loss this quarter but, in large part, to lackluster hardware sales. They sold just under 10 million Wii consoles compared to 15 million this time last year; that is a 33% drop in hardware sales. The sales numbers on the 3DS are, at this point, legendary, and it is difficult to recover from.

In addition to Nintendo's sales problems, Sony's PS Vita has not had the sales that executives expected. A large part of the problem for handheld gaming is the proliferation of smartphones and the amount and quality of gaming available on those platforms. For example, the Asphalt 6 that came with with the BlackBerry PlayBook OS2 upgrade is on par with any racing game available on the 3DS or Vita.

While sales for dedicated gaming hardware seem to be slipping, and Nintendo and Sony seem caught off guard by this slip, Microsoft seems to have had a plan in place to deal with it. Their plan has been to emphasize the media aspects of the console. In fact, they affected statistics for consoles with this strategy.

While it has been a winning strategy until now, it won't last forever. Will a cheaper console be their next move? Hit the break to find out.

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AT&T Helps You Protect Your Phone from Theft, Lockdowns Coming Soon

posted Sunday May 6, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

AT&T Helps You Protect Your Phone from Theft, Lockdowns Coming Soon

AT&T decided this week that it's a good idea to help eliminate cell phone theft. The company has launched a new section of their website that not only helped customers be better informed on protecting their devices, but will also, in time, be able to shut down the stolen device. The site, att.com/stolenphone first tells all users to put a password on your mobile device and change it often. It also has information on the security apps available and features a tutorial on how to back up contacts on a SIM card.

The AT&T Stolen Phone program launched shortly after the FCC came together with the wireless providers to work on building a list of all stolen devices. For more on the program and what this list will do, check after the break.

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