The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt comes out tomorrow, one of the must anticipated games for XBox One, PS4, and PC. You’ve seen the trailer. It’s sunset, and a young woman in a bonnet sprints through a field of wheat, trying to outrun a vicious griffin. The griffin beats its expansive wings, opening its beak right as the young woman stumbles and turns around. A man with white hair down to his neck blasts the griffin away using an electric bolt from his hand, and it crashes into the ground, only able to crane its neck around to watch the man plunge a sword into its back.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, spoke at the George Washington University’s (GWU) graduation ceremony this morning on the National Mall near the base of the Washington Monument. After receiving an honorary degree, Cook delivered the commencement address to all of GWU’s students.
Cook’s message was a strong one, pushing on equality, social justice, and building careers with professional goals of helping others in mind. To make the case, he used personal anecdotes, including his first meeting with the infamous segregationist and former Alabama Governor George Wallace, where he noted, “…shaking his hand felt like a betrayal of my own beliefs. It felt wrong–like I was selling a piece of my soul.”
In contrast, Cook said meeting President Jimmy Carter shortly after (thanks to winning an essay contest in high school), impressed upon him a clear contrast of right and wrong between these southern neighbor-stated politicians and their world views.
“I was one of the lucky one who got to shake his hand…” Cook said of Carter.
Of course, Cook wasn’t all serious. After telling the audience administrators wanted everyone to silence their phones, he threw a quick jab to iPhone competitors, saying: “If you don’t have an iPhone, just pass it to the center aisle. Apple has a world-class recycling program.”
Cook told GWU his idols included Martin Luther King, Jr., Amelia Earhart, and others known for fighting against inequality in the United States. Further dipping into current affairs, Cook even name-dropped Apple for helping bring social justice to the spotlight with the availability of iPhone cameras in consumer pockets.
Later, he brought up his admiration for the late Steve Job’s conniving attitude against impossibility in engineering and business, suggesting it was a character attribute that helped shape how Cook chose to pursue a career in technology with meaning, one with an aim of helping people connect with each other around the world, as well as helping the disabled engage with it period.
“It has been 17 years and I have never once looked back.”
Overall, the speech was timely, pertinent, and arguably quite politically influential considering Apple’s placement as one of the most valuable businesses in the world. Cook’s final note encouraged the Class of 2015 to find the good cause in their work, saying (paraphrased), “Doing well and doing good do not have to be mutually exclusive.”
Verizon Communications, Inc. has announced a deal to purchase AOL, Inc. for $4.4 billion this morning. According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon has said the deal will help its ambition to sell more mobile ads via web video marketing.
At an early morning investor conference, Verizon’s President of Operations John Stratton was quoted as saying, “Certainly the subscription business and the content businesses are very noteworthy. For us, the principal interest was around the ad tech platform.”
The cash deal sells AOL’s shares at $50, and at market open this morning (at press time) it was up to $50.18, down from $50.28 during premarket trading. The deal is an interesting one for the technology sector, especially due to AOL’s ownership of technology publications including Tech Crunch, Engadget, and of course The Huffington Post.
The deal is a first of its kind for a well-established wireless carrier, and it appears to be a strategic move to continue Verizon’s increasing market share over other wireless telecommunications companies including Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Verizon was tied with AT&T at 34% of the market share last year.
Source: Verizon Wireless
New pictures have debuted of the 2016 consumer version of the Oculus Rift. Oculus released the photos on its Oculus VR blog suggesting the product will be released in the first quarter of 2016. The virtual reality gaming headset is not another prototype or developer version. The jet-black unit is lacking the positional tracking dots seen on the most recent Crescent Bay prototype and appears more slick, shapely, and beautiful than previous Development Kit models.
The next installment of the Silent Hill series, Silent Hills, has been canceled.
Silent Hills was a collaboration between Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, with a playable teaser released last year for the PS4. Del Toro was quoted on Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival about the game, stating that the game “is not gonna happen,” which was then retweeted by del Toro’s assistant. Norman Reedus, who was to be a major character in Silent Hills, confirmed del Toro’s statement on Twitter a day later.
Konami was reluctant to reveal the status on the collaboration, but the gaming giant officially announced Silent Hills’ discontinuation on Monday. Konami stated the reason was the expiration of Reedus’ contract, but it seems like there’s more to it than that. Our guess is issues between Konami and Kojima, with Kojima and other upper management employees leaving the company after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Konami had changed its contracts with Kojima and others, having them work as contractors rather than employees of Konami itself. There may have been other changes that have occurred since then, causing the break-up. Kojima won’t share his side of the story because of his breach in contract, but the Kojima Productions labels have been removed from social media, official Metal Gear art, and even the Konami LA office listing. It looks like the severance is pretty final, and we may get an official statement from Kojima in December, when his contract ends.
Metal Gear Solid V and Silent Hills, both manned by Kojima, were the only projects Konami was producing. Only one will be produced, and especially after all of the anticipation built by the playable teaser, it’s a big missed opportunity for Konami. If Konami was willing to lose a game that would surely turn profits, this may be the beginning of Konami’s downward spiral. Will the gaming company allow the next developers any freedoms?
As for the Metal Gear series, Konami announced that Kojima Digital Entertainment “will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products,” but it may not ring true in the future. However, new Silent Hill projects are being developed, according to a second statement by Konami. Even with these supposed new developments, Konami has no scheduled releases for the rest of the year with the exception of the next installment of Metal Gear Solid. There may be a new Pro Evolution Soccer game as well, but there have been no announcements for a new edition. For now, Konami will have to cash in on The Phantom Pain, which is slated for a September 1 release, and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, the playable trailer has been removed from the PS4 network as of April 29th. In case you missed it, check out a trailer of the Silent Hills‘ teaser, P.T., below.