Google launches animated mobile books
Yesterday, Google revealed Editions at Play, a platform that sells original, digital books in an animated, interactive format. "We sell books that cannot be printed," says the website, and the demo footage reveals that to be very true, showcasing visual flourishes and non-traditional text formatting.
The books are ideally read on phones, but also work in your web browser, and two books are available so far: Entrances & Exits by Reif Larsen, and The Truth About Cats & Dogs by Sam Riviere and Joe Dunthorne. Both are rated on the approximate time it takes to read (an hour for the former, 30 minutes for the latter), and offer free samples to check out before buying anything.
New Star Trek TV series details
This summer we get Star Trek Beyond in cinemas, but next year we'll get a brand new Star Trek television series, which will debut on U.S. network CBS before becoming an exclusive offering from its CBS All Access subscription series (international airing may vary). And now we have some very positive news on who's running the show.
The showrunner and producer will be Bryan Fuller, who most recently created the acclaimed Hannibal TV series, following well-received originals Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls. He also worked on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager. He's apparently been pushing for a new Star Trek series for about a decade, and back in 2008 said in an interview that the recent series "have lost the '60s fun, and I would love to take it back to its origin."
Good news? We'd say so. Look for the show in January 2017, although we'll surely get more details on cast and premise before then.
Final Fantasy IX released on mobile
As promised, PSone role-playing classic Final Fantasy IX is now available on both iOS and Android, and should be hitting Steam any day now (as this trailer promises). It's lightly remastered with crisper graphics, achievements, and optional boosters, and priced at £13 (or US$17) on both platforms.
However, Square Enix says a sale will run from today through 21 February and be 20% off during that span. So wait a few hours if it's not on sale when you read this. And what about the expected Android version of Final Fantasy VII, which hit iOS a few months ago? No clue - but this lower-profile entry is just as beloved amongst series die-hards.
Amazon has a game engine
Why would Amazon buy a game studio and acquire video game streaming service, Twitch? We might have an idea now: yesterday, Amazon released Lumberyard, an open-source, free-to-use game engine designed to create PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 games - and Twitch streaming tools are built right into it. Also, it's based on Crytek's powerful CryEngine, so it should be highly capable.
Amazon won't even take royalties from any games that use it, but there is one catch: if companies need a third-party service for cloud computing for the game, it must be Amazon Web Services, which costs money. However, developers could presumably run their own internal cloud tech and get around that. In any case, this seems like a move to build an ecosystem around game development and further promote its massively money-making cloud services platform, but developers of all sizes may benefit from it.