Disney’s big bets on sports, streaming, and Fortnite | The Vergecast

Disney’s big bets on sports, streaming, and Fortnite | The Vergecast

Disney, ESPN, and Warner Bros. Discovery Joint Venture

  • Disney, Warner Brothers Discovery, and ESPN are collaborating to launch a new sports streaming service.
  • The service will feature live TV channels from ESPN, Fox Sports, ABC, TNT, and TBS, as well as on-demand content from ESPN+, Bleacher Report, and other sources.
  • This move aims to address the challenges sports fans face in subscribing to multiple streaming services to watch their favorite teams.
  • The joint venture is seen as a response to the growing influence of tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google in the sports streaming market.
  • By combining their sports content, Disney, ESPN, and Warner Bros. Discovery aim to create a more comprehensive and competitive streaming service.

Disney's Investment in Epic Games and the Metaverse

  • Disney announced a $1.5 billion investment in Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite.
  • This investment aims to build a persistent universe tied to Fortnite, expanding beyond its original shooting game format.
  • Disney sees potential in Epic's ability to become a dominant player in the gaming industry, similar to Roblox.
  • The partnership leverages Disney's characters and storytelling expertise to enhance Fortnite's appeal and attract a broader audience.
  • Disney's move signals a significant bet on the metaverse concept, despite previous skepticism about its viability.

Apple TV+ and the Vision Pro Headset

  • Apple TV+ is being compared to HBO, with both platforms offering high-quality content but reaching different levels of cultural relevance.
  • Apple TV+ excels in science fiction and modernist takes on historical women's stories.
  • Despite its higher average quality, Apple TV+ shows lack the same cultural relevance as HBO shows.
  • The podcast recommends the show "Criminal Record" on Apple TV+ for its engaging first five episodes.
  • The Vision Pro headset has an incredibly high pixel density, but it still falls short of delivering the clarity needed for a truly immersive experience.
  • Field of view is also a crucial factor in VR headsets, and the Vision Pro's field of view is a significant limitation.
  • The initial excitement and awe of using a VR headset often fade as users encounter various issues and limitations.

Blue Sky Social Network and AI-Generated Voice Clones

  • Blue Sky, a new Twitter-like social network, has opened up to the public after a year of private testing.
  • Blue Sky has a different vibe and norms compared to other social media platforms, and it remains to be seen if it can attract and retain a large user base.
  • The FCC has declared that AI-generated voice clones in robocalls violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which is relevant as the election season heats up.
  • Companies in Texas were found to be making phone calls pretending to be Joe Biden in New Hampshire.
  • Spam calls pretending to be Joe Biden have been circulating, urging people not to vote.
  • Deepfake technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated, raising concerns about its potential impact on elections.

Ford's Skunk Works Team and Apple's Foldable Devices

  • Ford has created a Skunk Works team to develop low-cost EVs, led by former Tesla employees.
  • Apple is reportedly developing flip phone and foldable iPad prototypes, signaling a potential shift in smartphone design.
  • Foldable devices are seen as the next evolution of smartphones, offering a more compact and versatile form factor.
  • Apple may be struggling to develop a foldable iPhone due to the need to maintain parity with existing iPhone models and the challenges associated with rethinking components and software for a new form factor.
  • Foldable devices, such as the iPad, may be a better fit for Apple's first foldable product, as they are less essential to daily life and allow for more experimentation.

The Vergecast Podcast and Casey Newton's Guest Appearance

  • The Vergecast podcast is moving to The Verge's YouTube channel starting next week, with full episodes available there and clips and extra content on the Vergecast channel.
  • Casey Newton was a guest on a recent episode of Decoder, which is now a twice-weekly podcast.
  • The Vergecast is now released on Tuesdays and Fridays instead of Wednesdays and Fridays.

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