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Friday - August 24, 2001
- GameCube Launch Delayed
- Animated Interactive TV Characters
- The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Offers BA in Digital Media
- News Link of the Day - Two More Harry Potter Films Planned

GameCube Launch Delayed
(by Last week there was speculation throughout the video game industry that Microsoft was going to delay the launch of its Xbox gaming platform due to a motherboard problem. Microsoft denied the claim and was likely surprised when rival Nintendo this week announced a two week delay for its GameCube system. Nintendo was originally going to deliver its gaming system three days before Microsoft, on November 5, 2001. The GameCube launch date is now November 18 with the delay being attributed to a desire by Nintendo to not have a shortage of units on launch day like Sony had last year with the launch of Playstation 2.

According to Peter Main vice president of sales and marketing for Nintendo of America, the change of date was, "really was to make sure we avoided somebody else's misstep. We're noting the misfire that occurred one year ago when somebody came to market with 400,000 units."

Nintendo claims it will have 700,000 units available for sale on November 18. However the company doesn't address the strategic advantage it lost by giving the earlier release date to Microsoft which will have a 10 day head start with its Xbox.

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Animated Interactive TV Characters
(by Spiderdance, Inc., a leader in interactive TV programming, and Nearlife Inc., developers of interactive entertainment, are teaming up to create animated interactive TV experiences driven by their combined technologies.

"Imagine participating in an iTV experience in which you can create a 3D character, interact with it in sync with a television show, and then actually see your character appear in the TV broadcast," said Tracy Fullerton President of Spiderdance. We're looking to develop iTV experiences that are full of imagination and inspiration, and Nearlife's combination of great technology and creative talent will help us achieve that goal."

A unique opportunity exists for creating animated and live action TV properties with interactive characters that allow viewers to participate in real time with the broadcast and to see their characters appear in the show. Spiderdance and Nearlife believe this ability is the next step in the evolution of interactive programming.

"Together we will provide television studios and networks with an innovative, well-tested, and low cost way to add creative audience participation to their programming," said Tinsley Galyean, Nearlife founder and C.E.O. "With characters they can create and manipulate, viewers become immersed in the TV show as never before, increasing audience retention and loyalty. We think this is the future of interactive TV, and Spiderdance and Nearlife have the technology to deliver it today."

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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Offers BA in Digital Media
(by The Art Institute of Pittsburgh has announced that it will launch a new Bachelor of Science degree program in Digital Media Production this fall. Applications are now being accepted for enrollment for classes beginning on October 1, 2001.

Digital Media Production was created to expand the school's traditional associate's degree program in Video Production. The bachelor's degree program offers graduates the opportunity to enhance their earning power and expand career opportunities in industries such as electronic and broadcast journalism, advertising and entertainment. Digital Media Production aims to prepare graduates for entry-level employment in a broad variety of positions including video editor, audio engineer, lighting technician, production coordinator and broadcast graphic designer. Students enrolled in Digital Media Production will also learn to integrate video into Internet-based applications.

"Digital Media Production offers an expanded curriculum with an important concentration in advanced technical knowledge and business of production courses," said George Pry, President of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. "Another important feature of the program is a cross-curricular system of electives that accurately reflects the industry's trend toward the convergence of many skills."

Demand for the bachelor's degree program was determined by a faculty curriculum committee and a professional advisory board of industry experts.

"We feel that the Digital Media Production program is firmly rooted in the digital use of video and film as a business communications and entertainment medium," said Don Gabany, Digital Media Production faculty member. "We encourage students to explore the creative artistry of filmmaking, but the core of the program is on the practical application of technology and the study of real-world communications."

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh offers bachelor's degree programs in Media Arts & Animation, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design and Multimedia & Web Design. Associate's degree programs are also offered in Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Multimedia & Web design, Photography and Video Production.

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News Link of the Day - Two More Harry Potter Films Planned

According to Nine MSN:

"Three months ahead of the launch of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Warner Bros is already negotiating a third sequel to it, according to media reports.

Scriptwriter Steven Kloves is to be paid a seven-figure sum to come up with a script for the third film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban..."

Click here for the full story.

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