Sitting here comfortably in 2014 I look back and can definitely remember a time before Facebook. LiveJournal was my social networking platform of choice but there was MySpace, which I loathed. Then, seemingly out of nowhere Facebook hit the scene. Sure it was similar to MySpace but the interface was a million times cleaner. That was ten years ago and a lot has changed since then. Specifically, the massive influence Facebook would have on the social media landscape. Even if you don’t like (or use) the service you can’t deny how integral it is to the internet as we now know it. Happy tenth birthday, Facebook!
Not to be out done in the tech world, Microsoft finally announced a new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer. Satya Nadella, a 22-year veteran of the company will take the helm. It’ll be interesting to see what direction Microsoft takes under Nadella’s leadership in the coming months and years. In the PC world Microsoft may have one less hardware partner to license its operating system to. Sony has announced plans to sell its Vaio PC line and will reform its TV division. The buyer of the Vaio brand won’t be known until March. Even as the PS4 performs well for Sony it is easy to forget the huge business is struggling in other areas.
Amazon is one huge business that is doing quite well despite some recent disappointments in the financial world. The giant retailer has dabbled into a number of ventures and the company is adding video game development to the list. Amazon purchased Double Helix Games, to the surprise of many, including Microsoft. The developer is best known for rebooting Killer Instinct for the Xbox One and is working on a new Strider game for Capcom. The acquisition has left many speculating on if Amazon will enter the console business.
On the Nintendo side of things the company is looking to buy back shares from investors. Among the takers is the family of the late former Nintendo CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi. As of this writing it is unknown if the Yamauchi family will sell all or just some of its shares to Nintendo. And what’s a mention of Nintendo without Sega? I admit, that might have been relevant 20 years ago. Nevertheless, the two companies still have a relationship. Namely, the series of exclusive Sonic games promised to Nintendo by the game publisher.
The third installment to enter the ring is quite a doozie. We have Sonic Boom, a game series being developed in the West by Big Red Button Entertainment for the Wii U and a 3DS counterpart being developed by Sanzaru. The character design changes caused quite a stir when they were unveiled. New looks aside, the gameplay could be interesting. Hey, if Big Red Button Entertainment could help direct the Uncharted series surely there’s hope for Sonic.
For a moment gamers became worried when the Watch Dogs trademark was seemingly abandoned by Ubisoft. Fortunately, the attempt to abandon the trademark was fraudulent and the game is still in development. Whew.
The US anime industry became a little smaller with the passing of dub Director Kevin Seymour. He was best known for co-founding US Renditions, one of the first anime licensors in North America. He also helped created the dubbing studio, Animaze. Some of Seymour’s direction on dubbed anime included Macross Plus, Ghost in the Shell (the movies and TV shows) and more recently, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.
I can’t end this roundup on such a sad note. So, we have cat cafes coming to San Francisco later this year and a video, of course. Imagine if Instagram was invented in the 1980s: