Tuesday 25 June 2013

LOVEFiLM streams Star Trek and The Walking Dead

It's been a busy fortnight for LOVEFiLM, the Amazon-owned company, beginning with the announcement of an exclusive deal to stream The Walking Dead in the UK.

“Securing the exclusive streaming rights to The Walking Dead is another exciting development for us," said Chris Bird, director of film strategy at LOVEFiLM.

"It is seriously impressive that the show has become one of the most-watched drama series in basic US cable history, and a real testament to its quality. We are thrilled to bring this great content to our members, especially as we are the only subscription service in the country to do so.”

If zombies aren't your cup of tea. LOVEFiLM is also bringing classic Star Trek franchises to Instant starting with The Original Series and Voyager!

"We're excited to partner with Lovefilm and their terrific subscription service on an agreement that will bring their UK and German subscribers a range of CBS content that audiences around the world are very passionate about," said Amando Nuñez, president and CEO of CBS Global Distribution Group.

"This is another example of the growing licensing opportunities available for CBS' world class content in a dynamic global marketplace."

Perfect late night binge-viewing fodder.

Further to this. LOVEFiLM has rolled out a significant, and much-needed, app update across multiple platforms, including PS3, Xbox 360 and Sony Blu-ray players with Bravia Internet Video, in its escalating battle with Netflix.

The addition of a recommendation engine and Watchlist witnesses some regained ground. However, there's no in-app rating nor surround sound support - the latter is a major oversight.

The company has begun migrating customers to Amazon accounts. Presumably ahead of any possible rebrand and Kindle TV launch later this year. My money is on LOVEFiLM morphing into Amazon Instant Video.

What do you think?

I'm off to watch He-Man and the Masters of the Universe...

Friday 21 June 2013

Xbox One Eighty: has Microsoft done enough?

Has this week's DRM policy reversal changed your mind about Xbox One? It happened much sooner than many of us thought!

Microsoft interactive president Don Mattrick said the company had "heard loud and clear" from its customers.

"You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc," Mr Mattrick said in a statement posted on Xbox Wire.

"The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world."

The statement went on to backtrack fully on the controversial aspects of the company's DRM ambitions:

"An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games - after a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24-hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

"Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today - there will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360."

Monday 17 June 2013

David Tennant wins Emmy for The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars maybe ending, but the popular animated series is going out with a flourish!

Last night the series won two Daytime Emmys.

Dave Filoni released a statement on Facebook about the show's wins:

"Everyone, as you know tonight Star Wars: The Clone Wars won an Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Animation and David Tennant won Friday for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Series for his work as Huyang.

These awards represent the hard work of everyone who has worked on The Clone Wars' 5 seasons. Whether you worked on Clone Wars in the Bay Area, Singapore, Taipei, or Tokyo we all did this together.

Star Wars fans, your support and dedication to The Clone Wars helped champion our cause year after year. This win is for you as well, thank you from everyone at Lucasfilm, now let's celebrate!!"

Tennant will be reprising his role as Doctor Who, in the 50th Anniversary special, this November.

Filoni is currently working on the next Star Wars animated series, Star Wars Rebels, launching late 2014.

Tuesday 11 June 2013

EA announces Star Wars: Battlefront from DICE

A new Star Wars: Battlefront title has been announced for PS4 and Xbox One at E3!

The latest instalment in the popular franchise will be powered by EA's Frostbite 3 engine and a teaser trailer revealed an AT-AT lumbering through a blizzard as a stricken Snowspeeder crash lands on Hoth.

"As one of the world’s premier video game developers, DICE has the talent and expertise to deliver a Star Wars experience like no other, while pushing the boundaries of what is capable in a video game. The Star Wars: Battlefront series, which we know means so much to fans and gamers, is in good hands," a post on starwars.com reads.

Colour me excited, but which platform to play it on?

Monday 10 June 2013

JJ Abrams says shooting Star Wars in UK is insane!

During the LA-based Produced By Conference, JJ Abrams has revealed that shooting for the new Star Wars movie, which is filming in London, is set to begin in early 2014.

“That thing is so massive and so important to so many people," says Abrams. "I know from seeing the first film when I was 11 what that felt like. I think the key in moving forward with something like this is in honouring but not revering what came before."

“There's that deep feeling of infinite possibilities that I think was the ultimate thing I thought when I first saw Star Wars which I would - and probably will - give my left arm to try and come close to again.”

And with much of the shoot set to take place in England, Abrams will have to cope with a change in routine as well as the pressure of expectation.

“There was already a pre-arranged thing for them to be shooting in England which, really does make me insane,” confesses the director. “I've never shot a movie outside the US or out of L.A.”

“We are, most likely, if all goes ahead, going to be moving to London at the end of the year... There's a whole lot of stuff happening at home. It's not an easy thing.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to arrive in cinemas in May 2015.

What do you think of Abrams' plans?