Netflix Suffers Price Rise Shock, Microsoft Confirms Xbox S Release… [Tech News Digest]
Netflix suffers due to recent price rise, Microsoft teases the new Xbox S, Netflix nabs the new series of Star Trek, become a Jedi using your Vive, and watch a live-action version of Futurama.
Netflix Users Reject That Price Hike
Netflix has discovered that consumers don’t like it when companies increase the price of services. The streaming media company has enjoyed huge growth for many years now, and recently expanded to cover the whole world . Unfortunately, its most recent earnings report revealed a major blip on the road to victory over its competitors.
Netflix actually gained 1.7 million subscribers in the three months to June, but that fell well short of the 2.5 million subscribers it expected to add. This is at least partly due to an uptick in the number of people cancelling their subscriptions, which seems to have taken Netflix CEO Reed Hastings by surprise.
In his letter to investors [No Longer Available] [PDF link] Hastings declared:
“Gross additions were on target, but churn ticked up slightly and unexpectedly, coincident with the press coverage in early April of our plan to un-grandfather longer tenured members and remained elevated through the quarter. We think some members perceived the news as an impending new price increase rather than the completion of two years of grandfathering.”
While Hastings may be correct in his assumption that people were confused by the timing and nature of the most recent price hike , a price increase is a price increase, no matter which way you slice it. We have previously argued that you should be happy to pay more for Netflix , but it seems not everybody agrees. The result? A precipitous fall in Netflix’ share price. Karma.
Microsoft Gears Up For the Xbox S
Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One S, the newest addition to the Xbox family, will land on August 2, 2016. That’s just two weeks away from today. The Xbox One S isn’t a new generation of hardware, it’s just a refined version of the original Xbox One . However, it does come with some significant improvements.
The Xbox One S is 40 percent smaller than the original model, and comes with a built-in power supply (so say goodbye to that gigantic power brick). This slimmer, more elegant design means it can be used vertically as well as horizontally. One of the three USB has also been moved to the front of the console.
For gamers who have upgraded to a 4K television set already, the Xbox One S supports 4K Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range (HDR) . It won’t be able to play 4K games, but it does support HDR games, which will make games such as Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, and Scalebound look better than ever. The new Xbox Wireless Controller also supports Bluetooth.
Only the 2TB model of the Xbox One S is launching on Aug. 2, with 1TB and 500GB models expected later in the year. The 2TB Xbox One S will cost $399 (or local equivalent), and initially be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Netflix Nabs New Star Trek Series
Netflix has struck a deal to stream the brand new series of Star Trek to viewers in 188 countries around the world. Basically, everywhere that has Netflix that isn’t the United States and Canada. North American Star Trek fans will have to pay for CBS All Access to watch the new series.
Netflix will have each new episode available to watch within 24 hours of it airing in the U.S. The company as also committed to having all 727 episodes of previous Star Trek series available around the world by the end of 2016. Just in time for the new series, which is set to premiere in January 2017.
This essentially means Star Trek fans outside of North America are getting a better deal than those inside the United States and Canada. The new Star Trek has been developed to help CBS All Access, which offers CBS shows on demand for $5.99-per-month,some traction in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Play a Star Wars Demo On the Vive
HTC Vive owners have a gift waiting for them, courtesy of Lucasarts… a free Star Wars VR demo called Trials on Tatooine. For the uninitiated, Trials on Tatooine drops you into the Star Wars universe with a lightsaber at your disposal.
OK, so Trials on Tatooine is only 10-minutes-long, but it IS free and does let you pretend to be a lightsaber-wielding Jedi. Which is the closest you’ll get to ever owning a lightsaber . If you have the necessary hardware, you can download Trials on Tatooine from Steam right now.
Behold This Live-Action Futurama Film
And finally, some bright sparks have decided to make a live-action movie of Futurama, and the results are creepy to say the least. This is just the trailer, but if the Fan-O-Rama website is to be believed, this will eventually be a full, fan-made film.
There’s one huge problem with Fan-O-Rama, which is that in an effort to replicate the look of Futurama as accurately as possible, all of the characters are monstrous abominations. With the notable exception of Bender, obviously, because Bender is Bender.
While we applaud the impressive effort that’s gone into this so far, we can’t help thinking Matt Groening’s beloved show should be left well alone. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you one of those people who cancelled Netflix because of the price hike? Are you likely to buy the new Xbox S? Will you be watching the new Star Trek on Netflix? If you’re an HTC Vive owner what do you think of Trials on Tatooine? Do you agree that Futurama should be left as an animated classic?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: Matthew Keys via Flickr