Happy New Year! It's that time again; with the new year comes our new annual prediction post. I tackled this last year, and rather than do a bunch of crazy, pulled-from-thin-air predictions, I ended up with a link-filled research-fest for the year. It worked out pretty well, so that's what's on the docket for today. First though, I'll take a look and see just how many of last year's predictions and rumors came true, and provide some updates for the more important topics.
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).
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:
Google just sealed the deal with Twentieth Century Fox to brings its titles to Play Movies and YouTube. This means shows like Family Guy, Modern Family, Glee, and more; as well as movies such as X-Men, Ice Age, and Black Swan will all be making their way to the Play Store for rental and purchase. Yay!
To celebrate this new union, Fox released Prometheus in HD to Play Movies this morning - a full three weeks ahead of the movie's release on Blu-Ray and DVD.
Google TV is one of those products that Google tends to forget about most of the year. Today, though, the platform is getting some love as Sony Google TV devices are getting a firmware update to version 2.1.1. Included in the update will be the ability play movies rented via Google Play (about time) as well as watching movies via youtube.com/movies.
Logitech's update, on the other hand, is less straightforward.
At the beginning of April, Google sealed a deal with Paramount that would bring 500 additional movies to the Play Store. Now, the Roaring Lion has decided to join the ranks as well: MGM studios' catalog is now available on Play Movies. The iconic MGM lion has been around for many years, and is one of the most easily recognizable signs that cinematic enjoyment is coming your way. The addition of MGM means that Google now has five of the six major movie studios' offerings in the Play Store - leaving Fox as the only one that hasn't jumped on board.
In case you were wondering if a rebrand was the only thing Google was doing to set itself up as a content provider, rest easy. Google's still working at signing those content deals. Today's deal is with Paramount. You may remember Paramount as the company that likes to throw stars at you while you're flying over a mountain. This new content deal brings 500 movies to the Play Store, and surprise!