Xbox May Take Cable back to Square ONE

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Yesterday, Microsoft revealed its new gambit into the next console generation, the much lauded Xbox One. During the press event, the company showed off the new hardware’s array of heavy hitting features. Showing exciting demonstrations of the new console’s power ranging from turning on to playing games (action gameplay not shown), it seems like the Xbox ONE really has the market cornered. However, there was one huge focus during the press event that stood out to me. With the power of the new Xbox, you’ll be able to do something that’s never been done from a game console—watch cable television (cable television subscription required).

While the new box offers a slew of innovative and inventive options to view television in a whole new way (look up the Samsung Galaxy Peel app for all the details), I can’t help but see these features as a problem. The issue doesn’t lie with the console—god knows I want to my mother to call me on how to get “Say Yes to the Dress” favorited on the new cable recommendation box and explain to her how to use it—the problem lies more in how cable TV is evolving and how the Xbox One could push its evolution back several years just as we approach a breakthrough.

Mom finds browser history, is not pleased.

Let’s talk about Cable TV for a minute. Right now the industry is on rocky terrain. Many services are losing huge blocks of clientele to other services like Hulu and Netflix. These other subscription based services may not be as convenient as Cable, but they offer similar services for a much, much lower cost. Prices for Cable services like Comcast continue to rise while not offering more incentive. In the year 2011, Nielson reported that cable TV lost 2.9 million subscribers in the US. Furthermore, with an entire generation growing up with internet services, cable subscription rates are declining as the younger population grows up.

But this has been good for us. More options are becoming available as the cable giants see a decline in influence. There are more services now that offer television shows online than ever before, some of which charging as little as $8 a month. Services like Netflix have even started funding their own exclusive content like House of Cards, and they are bringing back shows that fans have been craving for years like Arrested Development. Television is moving into a new age where the average consumer can not only affect TV, but choose what channels they own. We’ve never been closer to an a la cart system. In fact, in 2013 Senator John McCain submitted a bill that would combat skyrocketing cable TV prices by making a la cart TV required. In as little as five years, we could have system that vents massive amounts of consumers on television habits and allows us to subscribe to seven channels instead of paying a premium for hundreds and only watching a few. This is where the new Xbox comes in.

John McCain loves the future.

The Xbox ONE has walked out on the side of the cable giant. By requiring a subscription to access half the features of the new hardware, they are setting the evolution of cable TV back 10 years.  The cable market is ripe for change, but giving power back to the providers is not the right direction. While assumed, the press conference didn’t even acknowledge if Netflix would be integrated into the system, instead favoring the idea of live TV integration through recommendation, favorites, and updated social media. The system itself doesn’t even offer anything to truly enhance the experience. There is no DVR functionality. There isn’t a pause or fast forward on Live TV. The only thing the Xbox does offer is a more complicated way to browse the internet while you slum it through commercials—something most of us have been doing for years with smart phones. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but the new focus seems fishy.

I haven’t even talked about Xbox LIVE, coincidentally neither did Microsoft. The service has long been a successful staple in recent console generations. The frightening bit of information on Xbox LIVE’s possible presence on the ONE is how it will integrate with the cable service. Will a consumer have to pay for LIVE to interface with cable and utilize all the features advertised? If so, that would further extend the billable amount required to access the ONE’s content. It’s odd that Microsoft would leave out something as important as LIVE integration. Perhaps they don’t have enough details yet, or perhaps they’d rather not cover it during the conference like they didn’t cover the lack of backwards compatibility or the on-disk restrictions for playing games on multiple consoles.

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We’ll have to wait to hear more of the story, but Microsoft’s sudden support for cable television is alarming. Maybe I’m looking into it too hard. Maybe it’s really nothing. Regardless of what you may think,  however, it is a blow to an organization that is on the cusp of a revolution. I have no doubt that the new Xbox will be successful. Honestly, the fantasy league calculators alone is an amazing new way to digest media (something DirectTV has implemented already). The picture I worry about is the one where progress is halted and we as consumers suffer. What I’m worried about is what happens when television’s progress is taken back to square ONE.

Achievement Unlocked

 For more articles written by Trevor Faulkner visit www.Elder-Geek.com.

The Cave Video Review

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The Lost Memory: Prologue

The Lost Memory

Hey everyone, thanks so much for getting The Last Memory Facebook page to 50 likes. As promised, here is a small snippet of the second book, granted while it is the unedited version it should still give you an idea of where things are going in book two. I hope you enjoy it, and stay tuned for more information on The Lost Memory–due out this spring (fingers crossed).

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Alt Cover Art

I realized today that I was going to post the rest of my alternative cover art and never did, so here are the other two.

 

The Last Memory art

This design was made to showcase the Chronographers. It turned out to be my wife’s favorite and it’s actually hanging on the wall. Click to enlarge…

 

 

 

 

The Last Memory Art

 

 

This one is inspired by tribal tattoos. I really thought about using this as the cover for a while but ended up thinking it wasn’t eye catching enough. Click to enlarge…


Star Wars Babies to premier on Disney Channel in 2013…

Disney Buys Star Wars

Source: Reddit.com

So it’s official. Disney has bought Lucas Films with all the blood money from their Blu Ray vault. Whether Mickey Mouse being in control of Star Wars is a good or a bad thing, I don’t know. Personally, I feel like nothing could be worse than the shattered ruin that my childhood Sci-Fi fantasy has become. Luckily, I had a chat with Landon St. Gordon and we figured out how far into the dark side it could go.

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Some Artwork

I’ll be posting some artwork for the next couple weeks. Here the first one.

It’s just an illustrative cover that I thought came out pretty good. See what you think.

The Last Memory Alt Cover

 

 

Need Write More

I seriously need to get one here more. I really have no excuse. Hell, I can totally write these things from my iPhone.

So I just watched The Princess Bride with my wife. T was her first time but I gotta say it still feels like mine too. I don’t know what it is about that movie but it has a purity to storytelling that just seems to get better as time passes.

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It really makes me want to watch Stardust again. That’s a grossly underappreciated movie that few have had the pleasure of seeing. Not only does it share an odd purity of story, but it also contains one of my favorite DeNiro roles to date.

Well, stay tuned for more writing and some info on he follow up to my first novel, The Last Memory. The second book is on its way to done, titled The Lost Memory… clever, right?

Snow in the Summer!

It’s easy to get jaded by the myriad of gray dessert options out there. If I had a quarter for every self-serve yogurt shop I’ve seen pop up in the last few years I’d probably have enough cash to open up my own self-serve yogurt shop. So I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I was skeptical about a little snow cone shop in Tallahassee, FL by the name of Big Easy Snowballs.

By the power of Frosty’s carrot nose those are some good snow cones.

In a small New Orleans themed alcove dug out next to Bella Bella on North Monroe street you can have your pick of the crazy amount of auditors available. Not to mention you can get your cone INJECTED WITH YOGURT!

It’s crazy good. I had a dream sickle cone with cannula transfusion and my wife got a Chocolate Mint cone that was beyond fantastic.

If you have a chance and don’t feel like having the same old dessert, check out a unique take on an old favorite at Big Easy Snowballs.

Release: The Last Memory

The Last Memory - Available now on Amazon

Well it’s been a long road. From an idea on a car ride, to paper, to print. Finally, a handful of years comes full circle.

My first novel, The Last Memory, is available for purchase on Amazon, Kindle, and on this site from Createspace.

If you’d like to find out what I’ve been working on for this whole time, or possibly just read a good yarn, buy my first book and leave me a review on Amazon. Tell a friend if you liked it and keep the word moving. My success is totally dependent on you  guys. Just know that for every person who smiles when they’ve turned the last page, one of my life dreams has come true.

Thank you all so much. Your love and support has kept me going, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Support Your Local Games

Believe it or not, kids, there was a time without the Internet. A time where we learned about the birds and the bees instead of the two girls and their one cup. And while I could talk about the Internet as a jarring sexual introduction to children, I’d rather talk about something dramatically less important. Couches.

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