World Of Warcraft Streaming On IPad

David Perry is a big believer in streaming as a future for games, and his company Gaikai will look to house full retail copies of games, removing the need for users to do upkeep like applying patches and upgrading their machines. As an example, Perry today showed off World of Warcraft running off of an iPad.

We’re really interested to see what works well with streaming and will be trying just about every genre of game, on every device possible as we explore server-side computing, wrote Perry. This is World of Warcraft streamed from a Gaikai server over regular Wifi.

Perhaps we’re heading towards a brave new world where every game can be streamed to any device available with payment plans that might also include streaming/dynamic ads thrown in the mix.

Source: Kotaku

Iron Man App Expanding Marvel’s Mobile Ambitions

App Store releases are very common for blockbuster movie releases, and Iron Man 2 is no different. The Iron Man app is a great promotional tool, offering news, wallpapers, video clips, and links to other Iron Man content via iTunes including video material like movie trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and music videos; it also provides the ability to buy movie tickets.

The app, however, will be enhanced through the coming year with new content and features via app publisher Zumobi. An iPad specific version of the app is expected in the next couple of weeks.

“We have worked closely with Marvel’s digital team to ensure that we will always be curating and publishing compelling content related to the Iron Man character, not just the Iron Man 2 film, to maintain the app’s relevance to Iron Man fans well past the movie release window, said Ken Willner, CEO of Zumobi.

Zumobi also maintains apps for media properties like MSNBC, The Learning Channel and Better Homes and Gardens, so this isn’t new territory for them. Marvel hopes that they can drive interest in the app by emphasizing all parts of the franchise, including comics and the upcoming Avengers movie planned for 2012.

“This app is something fans are going to want to hold onto and be involved with,” said John Dokes, who heads integrated sales and marketing, publishing and digital media for Marvel.

This sort of app looks to buck the trend wherein most iPhone apps maintain their prime business for less than a month. Audi, Dr. Pepper and Burger King are already major sponsors of the movie and may be onboard as sponsors for the App.

Source: MediaPost

Google Making BumpTop The Future Of Android’s OS?

Google recently announced that it’s buying 3D desktop software BumpTop. While the company previously had their 3D desktop enhancement software working for both the PC and Mac, the fact that those are being discontinued means that their work might shift towards the Android operating system and Google tablet.

What BumpTop essentially does is turn a desktop into a virtual room, where icons can be placed on the wall or floors and stacked up. The neat little uses of BumpTop, ranging from having pictures cycle in a frame to bouncing items around the desktop, could give a nice amount of pzazz to a cell phone operating system.

Why am I so convinced that BumpTop will be used for Android Because there’s no point in buying it otherwise, writes Preston Gralla. Google certainly has no interest in entering the shareware business, and there’s really no reason for it to develop a Windows-based or Mac-based piece of desktop software. And the fact that BumpTop has a ‘multi-touch’ interface makes it ideal for a smartphone or tablet.

On the other hand, there are great opportunities in the mobile market, where Google is up against Apple. It needs something flashy (not to mention Flash-y) to compete there, and I’m betting that BumpTop will be the core of it, he continued. Also, expect BumpTop to be the primary interface for whatever tablet Google will eventually launch. It’s ideal for a tablet . . . in fact, even more ideal for a tablet than a phone because of the amount of screen real estate there.

Source: ComputerWorld

Yahoo! Patents ‘Reality Overlay Device’

Yahoo recently filed a patent for “Reconfiguring Reality Using A Reality Overlay Device.” U.S. Patent Application No. 20100103075 describes a device worn that displays both virtual and physical things.

Any virtual images would overlay on what is there in real life. An interesting twist allows for the environment to affect what is displayed, or as it is described, “information related to an environment proximate to the wearable device is determined.”

Possible uses for the device include pilot simulations, virtual worlds and Wii-type games. The device could also be complementary to another Yahoo patent from last year for virtual billboards, where wearers of the glasses might see advertising when they have the glasses.

Source: MediaPost

Apple Celebrates One Million IPads Sold

Apple officially announced today that that they have sold one million iPads as of Friday. The iPad reached the market in 28 days after its public launch on April 3.

One million iPads in 28 days that’s less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone, said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. Demand continues to exceed supply and we re working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers.

Over 12 million apps have been downloaded by iPad users along with over 1.5 million ebooks from the new iBookstore. Over 5,000 apps have been created specifically for the iPad, with nearly 200,000 other apps on the App Store also compatible with the tablet device.

Zynga Expanding Into Brand Engagements

Zynga has led the charge for social gaming, which has really grown in the past several months. Between popular games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, Zynga reached an estimated 225 million active users per month and is expected to earn $600 million in revenue in 2010.

With all of this achieved, Zynga is looking to work on an even larger scale and change into a media business. Working with ad network SocialVibe, they hope to reward users that do tasks for brands, like filling out a survey and watching a video.

“We have a product that allows brand marketers to have their own custom engagement,” said Michael Comerford, head of Zynga’s ad efforts (and a former Google sales exec). “I like to call this opportunity ‘on-game’ advertising as opposed to ‘in-game’ advertising.”

Zynga was criticized for some of its ad offers last year, but now they’ve relaunched them at a higher quality, they believe. While certain specialty offers (like buying flowers for Mother’s Day) are temporary and limited, other brand engagements can happen every day. “The opportunity is orders of magnitude larger in the brand space than the direct-response space,” said Comerford.

While Zynga had some success running a promotion for Public Enemies in Mafia Wars, generating 55 million brand interactions, it can be hard to rate the medium. Weaving a brand into a game is also difficult to scale and there are no universal metrics to share with other ad companies.

“The work it takes to do a custom integration is fairly intensive,” said Comerford. “We’ve only had a few instances where the opportunity met that threshold for investment.”

Early results are promising for Zynga, with over 80 percent of those who start a brand engagement completing it. Café World promotion let users write a review of a local business found through, with a cost per completed review at less than a quarter compared to other online marketing programs.

“If we can transfer [people’s] passion of playing games to advertisers, then they’re totally engaging with the advertising,” said Joe Marchese, president of SocialVibe. “That attention transfer is not something most digital advertising systems can do.”

Microsoft has even looked towards snagging FarmVille users by offering Farm Cash in exchange for becoming a Facebook fan of Bing, netting 425,000 fans. Still, the time consuming nature of these games has some wondering how long they will remain appealing and the value of these incentivizing campaigns is still unclear.

“That’s a question that’s open right now,” Comerford said. “We can bring them an audience that’s willing to listen. If the engagement is quality, they’ll be able to convert a high percentage of those.”

Source: AdWeek

Conan O’Brien Talks Depression And Redemption

Conan O’Brien indicated in an interview with 60 Minutes that he was depressed initially after leaving NBC. He noted, however, he now has no regrets leaving the network and is doing fine.

“It was like a marriage breaking up suddenly, violently, quickly, said O’Brien, And I was just trying to figure out what happened.”

He noted that his Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour helped him put himself together. “I started to feel better almost immediately,” he said. “There is almost no better antidote to what I’ve just been through than to do this every night.”

Soon after NBC decided to put Jay Leno on at 11:35 and shift O’Brien back to 12:05, O’Brien indicated that negotiations took on a sour tone. “It just felt like the tone went very quickly from, ‘Take your time, we understand this is a tough decision,’ to [snaps fingers] you know, ‘Let’s go.’ And that probably helped me a little bit feel like, ‘You know what This environment doesn’t feel right . . . I really don’t like the way this is going.'”

The subject of Leno came up specifically, and O’Brien noted that both parties handled things differently and it’s hard to say who came out ahead. “I’m happy with my decision. I sleep well at night. And I, you know, hope he’s happy with his decision,” he said.

O’Brien was upbeat in his final message. “I’m doing great. I hope people still find me comedically absurd and ridiculous. And I don’t regret anything,” O’Brien said. “I do believe, and this might be my Catholic upbringing or Irish magical thinking, but I think things happen for a reason. I really do.”

One thing’s for sure – TBS must be ecstatic about the young demographic that Conan attracts.

Source: Seatle PI

Flash Already Trailing H.264 Video Format

An open letter sent from Steve Jobs about Flash recently prompted a tacit show of approval from Microsoft over agreement on the H.264 video format. The opinions of two of the largest hardware manufacturers certainly means something, and it may be tipping the scales away from Flash and towards H.264. indicates that in the past year, H.264 format went from 31 percent of all videos to 66 percent. By contrast Flash VP6 and FLV made up 69 percent one year ago and now represent only 26 percent of all videos.

“The formats can be confusing between containers and codecs,” said President Jeff Malkin. “FLV is the Flash container with the old H.263 codec. Flash VP6 is the Flash container with the VP6 codec. H.264 is a codec that is utilized in a number of different containers (.FLV, .MP4, .MOV) and on Apple mobile devices and when deployed by browsers for HTML5. Microsoft just announced that IE will use H.264 as the default codec for HTML5. And, Google will be soon offering the VP8 codec as open source which will add another formidable flag in the format wars.”

Source: Tech Crunch

Test Drive Unlimited 2 Races Out In Debut Trailer

Test Drive Unlimited mixed an open world with street and off-road racing together with a high-lifestyle fantasy. Test Drive Unlimited 2 looks like it incorporates all the elements of the original, as shown in this trailer that features cars, women in bikinis, and techno. Atari and Eden Games definitely look to be pushing the “cool factor” in the game and its promotional materials.

Batman Coming In 2012

Today, Warner Bros. confirmed that a third Batman film is coming from director Christopher Nolan. Set for July 20, 2012, the movie’s initial story is being worked out with David Goyer (who worked on the previous two Batman films with Nolan); no official title has been decided.

The darkly serious take on the Batman mythos by Nolan limits the potential villains Christian Bale could face, but possibilities might include the powerful and devious Bane, the criminal mastermind Black Mask, the manipulative Hush, the crafty Riddler or the cunning Catwoman.

2012 will be a busy year for comic movies, with the third Nolan Batman film being joined by The Avengers and the Spider-man reboot. Comic book movies really have seen a resurgence in the last several years, and both DC and Marvel have done a great job marketing their stable of IP. We’ll no doubt see further video game tie-ins as well.