3D technology is on fire, a bushfire on steroids in fact, down under in Australia. Media Man, Gambling911 and readers don the 3D glasses and look and see what's cooking in Aussie sports, movies, casinos, poker and more...
It's all about entertainment, eyeballs, and the entertainment dollar. 'Entertainment' is something that PartyGaming, Virgin Games (and Media Man and Gambling911) are big on. What's the point in advanced technology if its not fun and entertaining to the punter or consumer at large? Content producers and platforms have largely also realised that a product or service for gamblers, gamers or combo, needs to be compelling, or they won't come back and will find another game, website, live event or whatever. Have you checked out the Gambling911 forum or Media Man YouTube lately?
With that in mind check out the huge amount of entertainment on now, and coming up for gamers, gamblers, sports punters and even tech heads and geeks...
FIFA World Cup in South Africa
SBS has announced it will form a three-way partnership with Sony and Harvey Norman to bring Australian soccer nuts the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 3D.
The partnership means up to 15 matches throughout the World Cup tournament will be available on a dedicated 3D channel in addition to SBS’s coverage – including Australia’s opening match against Germany.
FIFA will provide a 3D broadcast feed of matches throughout the tournament, which will then be broadcast live by SBS and then repeated on a "loop" until the next 3D match is made available.
"The Australian Communications and Media Authority has been working with us on a spectrum solution and we will be using our digital transmission network for the broadcast," said SBS’s chief operating officer Richard Finlayson.
Australian Socceroos Catch 3D Fever
The Socceroos 2010 World Cup team anthem will feature what Sony music claims as the first 3D music video in Australia. The video clip for the Rogue Traders new single, Hearts Beat as One, will be shot in 3D as the official Qantas Socceroos team anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
"The potential of movies, sports and gaming in 3D is already evident and as the hype around 3D continues to build, Sony remains at the forefront of delivering unique experiences from the lens to the lounge room," said Carl Rose, Managing Director, Sony Australia and New Zealand.
3D technology in Australia continues to generate unprecedented hype in Australia with SBS to trial 3D TV broadcasts for the duration of the 2010 World Cup, Channel 9 screening the State of Origin in 3D, and Foxtel strongly hinted its intention to start broadcasting in 3D later this year.
Major television manufacturers including Sony have also been pushing 3D technology hard after the widespread theatrical success of Avatar in 3D.
Sony expects the 3D music video to premiere in early June.
Google TV To Including Gaming And Lots More
Internet king Google is out to expand its kingdom to the living room with an new service that lets punters mesh television viewing with surfing the web.
Google TV, developed in partnership with technology big shots Sony, Intel and Logitech and launched in the US overnight, fuses the freedom of the internet with television programming.
Google executives vowed their TV platform would succeed where offerings such as Apple TV have foundered and hopefully capture some of the $US70 billion ($85 billion) American TV advertising market.
Google TV product manager Salahuddin Choudhary said in a blog post that Google TV will allow TV viewers to get "all the (TV) channels and shows you normally watch and all of the websites you browse all day.
"You can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the Web," Choudhary said.
"This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the Web," he said.
"With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV - it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more," he added.
Google is not the first technology company to attempt to unite the TV set and the Internet and a number of electronics manufacturers are already offering Web-enabled televisions or digital set-top boxes.
Choudhary said the Internet-enabled televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes from Sony and Logitech, which are powered by Intel Atom computer chips, would be available soon in the U.S via Best Buy stores. No dates for Australia yet.
A wireless computer keyboard and box were used during the on-stage demonstration here of Google TV, which uses traditional search to find TV channels or websites.
Sony chief executive Howard Stringer described it as "a very big deal."
"I can't stress that enough," Stringer said on stage. "When you put all this, as we've done for the fall, into the world's first Internet television, the opportunities are, in a sense, just mind boggling."
Google did not announce pricing for the TV sets or the set-top boxes.
Not to be outdone, PartyGaming's PartyCasino has released the Circus Slot, more a 2D experience, but is understood to be the world's first interactive role playing online slot game. Party insiders say to expect "Avatar" type technologies with the Sly Stallone name coming up in Chinese whispers. Rocky or The Expendables? Who knows, but its going to be even bigger and better than Evolution Gaming 'Live Dealer' we hear. 'Rambo' is already available at Party, which is a good sign of substance to the buzz.
Richard Branson's Virgin Games is expanding globally, with virtual world platform, AWOMO (A World Of My Own) to be a major focus. Think Tomb Raider: Underworld ... in 2D, maybe 3D at some stage. Whatever the case, its going to be out of this world, fast and value for money. How long till Aussies and Americans can get the downloads remains to be seen, but Branson is to hard launch the product at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles next month.
PKR Poker, Casino And Now Sports Betting
Yep, world famous 3D poker rooms, PKR, now not only offers poker, but also casino games and sports betting. The virtual reality live poker remains their main drawcard, however they smartly realised that poker players generally also like a bit of casino games and sports punting on the side
Understood to have done a considerable deal with Playtech. Casino and poker is on the menu Sega style. Media Man is not impressed yet...with the technology, however, that's not to say that we won't be in coming weeks and months. Next...
FOXTEL - Microsoft Xbox LIVE deal (not gambling, but speculation)
FOXTEL has signed a deal with Microsoft to deliver 30 channels of pay TV over the internet.
FOXTEL and Microsoft today announced a new partnership offering Australians a brand new way of receiving FOXTEL – over the internet and direct to television sets through Xbox 360’s online service Xbox LIVE.
FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE will allow Xbox 360 owners in Australia to access FOXTEL channels including FOX Sports, Discovery, Nickelodeon, Disney, MTV, and other leading channels via their Xbox 360 entertainment console.
FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE will also provide a wide range of Video-on-Demand (VoD) services, including television series and movies. When the ground-breaking service launches later this year it will enable Australians, for the first time, to access FOXTEL without the need for a FOXTEL set-top-box.
FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE will be accessible in FOXTEL areas across Australia to all homes with a broadband internet connection. All you need is an Xbox 360, an Xbox Gold subscription and a FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE subscription.
The agreement brings together two of Australia’s most recognised and respected brands combining each company’s profound entertainment and consumer offerings.FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE provides Australians a new way of enjoying FOXTEL, and cements Xbox 360 as one of this country’s leading innovative social entertainment platforms. Xbox LIVE connects more than 23 million people across 26 countries to an ever-expanding world of games, movies, TV, music, sport and social entertainment.
FOXTEL Chief Executive and Managing Director, Kim Williams AM said, “This is a very exciting new frontier. FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE will provide our 1.6 million subscribing households, as well as new customers, a transformative way of receiving and enjoying FOXTEL over the internet. We will offer FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE with various packages and prices and under flexible agreements. It is an exciting new way of exploring FOXTEL’s universe of content for a new generation of customers.”
Rumors persist that as different countries get their communications laws up to speed that SecondLife.com may once again offer pro active virtual casinos as part of their offering. The parent of SecondLife is Linden Research, and Linden Labs is understood to be where the "cool kids" hang out. The virtual currency is the Linden dollar L$
Network Nine Underbelly And NRL State Of Origin In 3D
Nine advise they will carry Rugby League's 'State of Origin' clash in 3D on 26th May. It's forecast to cost the network $10 million to broadcast, and Nine have flown over technology experts from the United States to make it happen.
Underbelly continues to drive forward the crime genre, and not just on TV. Wires are reporting that at least 3 Australian crime shows are due to be released over the next 12 months, quite likely soon, such is the current appetite of Australian audiences.
The next series of Underbelly, featuring the Gold Coast - up Surfers Paradise way, will be shot, pardon the pun, in 3D. The rumour mill says some scenes and footage is already "in the can" (also Aussie for in jail)!
Free Gaming VS Paid Gaming - Trends Summary
The US currently leads the world in online business revenues, but general belief is that the EU and other territories will continue to grow gaming revenue.
"These free options are definitely broadening the appeal of video games among older and female demographics, and a lot of these consumers don't actually consider themselves gamers at all," Michael Cai, vice president of video game research at Interpret.
"Without casual gaming portals like Pogo, Real Networks, and Big Fish Games, many older female gamers would have never paid for gaming content."
Interpret discovered that 21 per cent of the US population, or over 46.1 million Americans, play social network games. Over 11 million Americans only play social network games. The median age for social network gamers is 38.8, versus 30.9, which is the median age of console gamers.
Cai found that 12 per cent of these social network gamers plan on buying a Wii, which would be their first game console.
More console game makers are offering consumers free play, including downloadable game demos through Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and Sony's PlayStation Network Store.
"Handing over free content to gamers can be tremendously beneficial to developers and publishers, even if it comes in the form of a short playable demo of a game that's not spectacular," said Patrick Shaw, features editor, GamePro Magazine.
Gaming on Facebook is becoming more popular, and players like to check out games on YouTube before signing up for accounts at game portals and online casinos. PartyGaming PartyCasino 'Pay For Free' (before 'Play For Money') option continues to be mega popular. Media Man has quizzed the powers that be on this matter, and has some data to prove this is the case. YouTube remains the king of internet streaming for the masses, and owned by Google, it can afford for it to be a loss leader if need be.
Censorship In Australia - Online, Offline and Everywhere
Richard Branson's Virgin and Google's 'Google Guys' remain in the long list of new media entrepreneurs seeking clarity on Australia's censorship laws, both current and upcoming. The current guidelines are an absolute mess and out of line with laws in other development countries such as the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
The Aussie government initiative to filter the internet down under is currently due to be actioned in 1 to 3 months, depending upon what report and source you choose to believe. Govt legal eagles and policy makers are still deciding what to do as far as policy relating to video game ratings that are sold off the shelf, and technologies such as AWOMO (A World Of My Own) are likely to also be effected from Australian censorship laws (even if some quarters of the Australian government doesn't want to call it "censorship", we know better!
Media Man International TV Not (YouTube)
Check out games, poker, even the 'Sin City' expo on Media Man YouTube! Go on, we know you want to
So, gamers, gamblers, square eyes, couch potatoes, or whatever is your poison.
There's a universe of 2D, 3D and interactive entertainment coming up.
We know your already in information overload, so just wait until you check out the above mentioned new big boys toys. Know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen industry sectors they cover.
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