Hey guys, have you heard that 2012 is almost over? Yep! The new millennium is about to be a teenager. It's exciting. (No, the year 2000 is not included, you mathematically remedial cur.) The past twelve months have been fantastic and we'll be hearing more about that later, but one of the things we felt the need to talk a bit more in-depth about is the Play Store. You know the one.
Chances are, even if you haven't heard of Vudu (though that's a little hard at this point), you might just own some piece of content that can be used with the service. Vudu is a digital movie locker that allows users to rent or buy movies online and have them streamed to their computers, or a number of set top boxes and Blu-Ray players with internet connectivity. This is all pretty standard fare.
It seems like we can't go more than a week or two without hearing that one of Google's content services has rolled out to a new country. Today, Russia is getting in on the action with Play Books and Movies now available throughout the country. You can purchase books like normal, and movies are available both for rental and purchase.
Prices for movie rentals start at around 49 rubles (USD$1.60) and purchases start at 99 rubles (USD$3.22).
After the successful launches of Play Music in Europe, Magazines in Canada, and Movies in a handful of countries, Google has made another step in its international Play crusade, today bringing Movies and Books to Brazil.
Android users in South America's largest country will now have access to thousands of Brazilian titles from Google's collection, along with movies and TV shows. Interestingly, Google's own international availability page hasn't been updated at the time of writing to reflect the expansion to Brazil, but just the same, users can access the store and look for their favorite titles.
In times past, there have been concerns about Netflix' ability to continue acquiring rights for streaming video content. The more users the company gets, the more pressure there is to get high-profile content. After the loss of the Starz deal, there was some doubt, but today there is a renewed hope for fans of Netflix and Disney at least: the two just inked a deal that will bring first-run movies from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and Disneynature to the streaming service in 2016.
As any aficionado of fine martial arts movies knows, Ong-Bak is a pretty sick film. It has won praise for its snappy visuals and beautiful cinematography, which makes the news that it's becoming a game all the more exciting. According to developer Studio HIVE, Ong-Bak Tri is coming to PC and smartphones very soon. That more than likely means Android.
Ong-Bak Tri is going to be built on the Unity3D engine, which means it will have great lighting and animations.
If you're a Comcast subscriber, there's a good chance you're already using the Xfinity TV Player app. The problem is, though, if you're not around a Wi-Fi connection and want to watch something, you're just out of luck. Well, you were out of luck anyway - the app was just updated to allow certain content to be downloaded and viewed offline. That's awesome.
Among the downloadable content, you'll find TV Shows and movies from Showtime, Starz, Encore, and MoviePlex.
Today, in a post to the Official Google TV Blog, Google announced officially the new functionality offered by the YouTube update we covered yesterday, along with a few other treats set to hit Google TV users starting with LG devices "this week."
First among the enhancements is the addition of Voice Search, allowing users to "simply speak to watch anything." Voice Search recognizes commands for opening apps, playing YouTube videos, visiting websites, and even finding channels or specific TV shows.
We know a lot of our international readers have been eager to get their hands on the Play Store's content ecosystem. It turns out Google is just as eager for that as you are. In addition to movie rentals, users in Canada, the UK, France, Spain, and Australia will be able to purchase movies outright and watch them forever.
Said Google on the matter:
One of the most common questions users have regarding Google's various content offerings is "Why isn't it available in [insert any number of countries here]?" Google has been working to change that, offering more and more of the Play Store's non-app content abroad. In that spirit, today it announced that Google Play Movies is now available in Korea (where we saw Eric Schmidt having some Gangnam style fun earlier this week).