News Of The Day 11/8/2010

Consumer debt declines, Tokyopop moves forward, Namco goes downhill . . . it's an up and down day in geeky news, let's get too it!

Consumer debt continues to decline. I consider this a good thing. Also, sadly, predictable and unavoidable so it may not indicate a long-term understanding of credit/debt issues. Is this a long-term habit or is it going to vanish with an uptick? I'm not sure but it'll be a factor in the future.

Anime and Manga:
The odd, colorful, and controversial creator of Star Blazers dies in an accident.

Smart. Tokyopop uses Print On Demand for some titles. An excellent choice for them and this has a number of potential advantages – less stocking, easy to print obscure titles, etc. Combined with other strategies they could really re-invent themselves. Seems we've got a lot of changes in manga – finally – and I look forward to what evolves.

A live Batman show? Not sure just what this is going to be. Or do. Or involve. It has probably been in the works for awhile considering, so I don't think this is a response to the Marvel/Disney integration. I'm also not sure if Live shows are a big thing anymore. Presented for curiosity – and I wonder if the end of Batman: The Brave And The Bold was due to this initiative kicking in.  I also wonder if the live show thing is a way of making money with one of the few experiences that can't be duplicated electronically . . .

Interesting. eByline raises $1.5 million. What is eByline? A place for news freelancers to show and syndicate their work. It also has some standards for entry to prevent it from being overloaded. Could this be a connecting point between blog and amateur work and pro work? Could this change journalism? Could they use help spending that $1.5 million and need your resume? Go and check them out. They're in LA.

Trends point at eBook usage growing enormously. A great bit of research and demographics that point out just what's going on. MUST READ.

E Ink's color displays may not be ready for big impressive shows but they are being used.

Kinect is not for games, Kinect is the beginning of a large-scale Microsoft strategy? I've been hearing similar ideas bandied about – I myself tend to agree there's something "prototypeish" about the Kinect. So has Microsoft found it's edge for a further dip into consumer electronics – read and see what you think? My guess – probably.

In case you haven't paid attention, Amazon is a huge multibrand empire. It's easy to forget how much they and associates do. Read this to get an idea, but also realize what they can evolve into as they grow and integrate.

Video Games:
A first-person shooter to teach people how to play them? Interesting idea, and a thought for you game developers – what kind of market will there be for tutorial games as gaming expands in the world? For that matter could you make a free tutorial with the more hardcore game being paid for . . . keep thinking!

Namco sales? Not so hot, and dragged down by 'Enslaved.'.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Tutorial games – is there a future here?

– Steven Savage