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Trends With Benefits

Aug 5, 2016

Topics: Streaming Olympics and VR Content, Facebook "Area 404", Xbox, Nintendo NX and retro-gaming, China unveils the bus of the future.

On today's show we're joined by a special guest. Andrew Mayer is a 25-year game development veteran, who has some fantastic insight into today's topics. He regularly contributes to Digital Trends and you can check out his page at Level Up Design!

The Olympics get started on August 5th with the opening ceremony and there is a lot more than the Zika virus to grab our attention. Comcast has promised 6000 hours of footage via their X1 box, comprising both traditional cable/On-Demand coverage and streaming content. The Gold Zone in particular will allow viewers to hone in on the award ceremonies themselves. 

Virtual Reality will also play a huge part in Rio for the first time, as Samsung will be delivering a plethora of content. They are partnering with the NBC Sports app to provide VR highlights, Basketball, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and a number of other events. Will viewing the activities in VR, be enough to bring you into the fold and watch more of the games?

Facebook has made it clear that it intends to invest heavily in Virtual Reality, Drones and a myriad of other technology. They made a step to foster that growth, by opening up a 22,000 square foot facility in Menlo Park, called "Area 404". Combining Oculus, Aquila and even a secret R&D group called Building 8 (headed by former Darpa director Regina Dugan) they feel that each group will be better served, by working together.

The Gaming Industry has been going through an interesting trend of new console releases, while at the same time fomenting nostalgia with the re-release of classics. Microsoft's Xbox One S is looking to be a great example of some modest gaming improvements with a GREAT 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray player. The goal of Microsoft seems to heading toward eventually aligning PC Gaming with console gaming.

Nintendo is also preparing to release the NX system before the end of this year. This system seems to more readily align a console with mobile gaming. How it will all work is left to a bit of speculation, but with Nintendo being the "wildcard" of gaming systems, they could pull it off. The initial releases for the system will be new versions of Mario, Zelda and Pokémon.

On the retro-gaming front, the Nintendo Classic will clearly be a hit this winter, with 30 classic games being readily available. Disney also made a partnership with GOG to bring Aladdin, The Lion King and The Jungle Book 16-bit games to PC's. The price is $9.99 per game. Will the nostalgia factor be enough for you purchase one of these?

Finally, we take a look at a......Chinese Bus! However, it's no ordinary bus. Looking more like something straight out of a SciFi movie, the bus is designed to carry 1400 passengers OVER regular traffic. The electric bus straddles two lanes of a road, towering at 7 feet tall to allow traffic to pass underneath. It's pretty cool looking, but do you think this is actually feasible as a solution to traffic woes?


Today's episode features Andrew Mayer, Nick Mokey, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

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