Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Computer and Video Games

Why Microsoft Wants Activision

Why Microsoft Wants Activision

Business
Even as it looks to distance itself from Sony, Microsoft’s acquisition could also strengthen its position relative to other tech giants with deep pockets — like Amazon, Tencent and Google — that have signaled their intentions to invest more in the lucrative gaming business.Joost van Dreunen, a gaming investor, adviser and New York University professor who studies the business of video games, said buying Activision was “part defensive” because “you make it so the others can’t have it.”“They raise the bar regarding the cost of acquisition,” he added. “If you want to be at the table, you better bring your wallet.”Despite Microsoft’s initial hyping of the deal as a foray into the metaverse, it’s not clear how owning more shooter, role-playing and strategy video games helps Microsoft arrive the...
Gamers Greet Microsoft’s Activision Deal With Guarded Optimism

Gamers Greet Microsoft’s Activision Deal With Guarded Optimism

Technology
Activision’s track record with some of its games also became spottier. In November, it delayed new versions of Diablo and Overwatch. That same month, the newly released Call of Duty: Vanguard was widely panned as being boring and full of glitches.Parris Lilly, a video game streamer and co-host at Gamertag Radio, said Microsoft’s deal to buy Activision would not only help Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s video game subscription service, but also let Activision’s developers step off the treadmill. Microsoft’s purchase might permit developers to “take a well needed break” so they can improve games over time, rather than update them so frequently, Mr. Lilly said.He added that the acquisition could be an opportunity to fix Activision’s workplace issues under Mr. Kotick. Mr. Kotick declined to say in...
With Activision, Microsoft Bets on the Future

With Activision, Microsoft Bets on the Future

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns.Microsoft is making a big bet on video games, and even if you’re like me and don’t really play them, it’s worth taking notice.Microsoft said on Tuesday that it would buy Activision Blizzard, which makes video games including Candy Crush and Call of Duty. Microsoft will pay close to $70 billion for the game maker, a lot of money even for such a rich company. Activision slots into Microsoft’s other video game businesses, including the Xbox game console and video games like Halo and Minecraft.But Microsoft’s acquisition also shows that video games are not merely entertainment anymore. They have become weapons that today’s technology titans wield to try to shape our future in their preferred direction.I’m talk...

What’s All the Hype About the Metaverse?

Technology
Virtual reality is also somewhat advanced in video games. In 2016, Sony released the $400 PlayStation VR, a virtual reality headset that plugged into its PlayStation 4 console to play virtual reality games. This month, Sony said a second-generation headset was coming for the PlayStation 5, though it did not share a release date.But those were just steppingstones toward the complete metaverse, which is still taking shape. Technologists say that thanks to a number of things — fast internet connections, powerful virtual reality headsets and a large audience of gamers — it is now more possible to live in a richly animated, lifelike 3-D simulation.What Is the Metaverse, and Why Does It Matter?Card 1 of 5The origins. The word “metaverse” describes a fully realized digital world that exists ...

Microsoft to Buy Activision Blizzard for Nearly $70 Billion

Technology
SEATTLE — Microsoft said on Tuesday it planned to buy the powerhouse but troubled video game company Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, betting that video games will become an increasingly central part of people’s digital lives.The blockbuster acquisition, the largest ever by Microsoft and for the gaming world, would catapult the company into a leading spot in a $175 billion industry that is successful on virtually every kind of device, from bulky gaming consoles to mobile phones, and has reached even greater heights during the pandemic. Technology companies are swarming around the industry, looking for a bigger share of attention and money from the world’s three billion gamers.In an industry driven by blockbuster franchises, Activision makes some of the most popular titles, inclu...
Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Meet Their Match: Angry Gamers

Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Meet Their Match: Angry Gamers

Technology
So far, 10,000 digital wallets — tools that allow people to store their crypto assets — have been connected to the Quartz platform, even though Ubisoft minted just 3,000 NFTs in its first batch, Mr. Pouard said. That suggested an appetite for more NFTs in the future, he said.A Guide to CryptocurrencyCard 1 of 7A glossary. Cryptocurrencies have gone from a curiosity to a viable investment, making them almost impossible to ignore. If you are struggling with the terminology, let us help:Bitcoin. A Bitcoin is a digital token that can be sent electronically from one user to another, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin is also the name of the payment network on which this form of digital currency is stored and moved.Blockchain. A blockchain is a database maintained communally, that rel...
Crypto Enthusiasts Meet Their Match: Angry Gamers

Crypto Enthusiasts Meet Their Match: Angry Gamers

Technology
So far, 10,000 digital wallets — tools that allow people to store their crypto assets — have been connected to the Quartz platform, even though Ubisoft minted just 3,000 NFTs in its first batch, Mr. Pouard said. That suggested an appetite for more NFTs in the future, he said.A Guide to CryptocurrencyCard 1 of 7A glossary. Cryptocurrencies have gone from a curiosity to a viable investment, making them almost impossible to ignore. If you are struggling with the terminology, let us help:Bitcoin. A Bitcoin is a digital token that can be sent electronically from one user to another, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin is also the name of the payment network on which this form of digital currency is stored and moved.Blockchain. A blockchain is a database maintained communally, that rel...

Wordle Is a Love Story

Technology
Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, knew his partner loved word games, so he created a guessing game for just the two of them. As a play on his last name, he named it Wordle.But after the couple played for months, and after it rapidly became an obsession in his family’s WhatsApp group once he introduced it to relatives, Mr. Wardle thought he might be on to something and released it to the rest of the world in October.On Nov. 1, 90 people played.On Sunday, just over two months later, more than 300,000 people played.It’s been a meteoric rise for the once-a-day game, which invites players to guess a five-letter word in a similar manner as the guess-the-color game Mastermind. After guessing a five-letter word, the game tells you whether any of your letters are in the secret word and ...

The Video Games That Got Us Through 2021

LifeStyle
The year in video games was good, bad and everything in between. It remained difficult to purchase new consoles like the Xbox Series X, the Nintendo Switch OLED and the PlayStation 5. (One fine day, we’ll play Deathloop.) Cloud gaming continued to grow in importance and Roblox continued to dominate. And, as a result of lawsuits or employee unrest, game industry giants like Activision and Riot Games were forced to confront their terrible records on sexual harassment and gender discrimination.While the real world continued to oscillate between open and closed, video games remained a constant for some of us here at The Times. Below, a sampling of the titles that meant the most to us in 2021.New Pokemon SnapKellen Browning, technology reporterNew Pokemon Snap is probably not what you think it ...

Big Tech Journeys Into the Virtual Reality Reaches of the Metaverse

Technology
“We were giving away the hardware but making money on the data,” he said. “For every dollar of hardware, we were making three dollars on software and data sales.”This is why companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Meta are exploring similar technologies. For some, they might be a way of selling software and services. For others, they might be a way of selling ads, Dr. Bautista said.But experts say perfecting this technology could take a decade — if not more. Some augmented reality glasses are as small and light as ordinary eyewear, but they do not yet offer the computing power needed to generate the convincing but unobtrusive images that everyday use would require.“It sometimes feels like ‘10 years’ is code for ‘I have no idea,’” said Dr. Balram, who is developing augmented reality gla...