Amazon could be getting another alternate history show of the likes of The Man in the High Castle. A series called Black America is under development and it’s centered around a reality where southern states were granted to African Americans as reparations for slavery. Set in the present day, the sovereign nation of New Colonia — made up of what was previously Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — is outpacing a rapidly declining US, a country it’s had a tumultuous relationship with over the past 150 years.
Universal Studios Japan recently released the first trailer for its in-construction Super Nintendo World attraction, and now Disney has gone one better by building an actual physical model showing off its upcoming Star Wars Land (unofficial title). Due to open in 2019 at both Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, the new area “will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet” — which just happens to look like every weathered, forgettable world characters from the films briefly touch down on to get a ship part or intel or what have you.
Sony was late to the vinyl resurgence with a new turntable of its own, and it’s going to be later yet with its effort to jump back into pressing records. Nikkei reports that thanks to demand, the perpetually tardy tech company will first start putting Japanese music (and some modern hits) to wax, with production starting next March. In fact, the company has already outfitted a recording studio with a press so it can produce masters in situ. If there’s a roadblock, it’s that Sony is apparently having a hard time finding engineers to help guide the pressing process.
Facebook is very serious about its original programming ambitions — $3 million per episode serious. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the tech giant is courting Hollywood agencies for original scripted TV shows, in some cases offering up to $3 million per episode. It’s also keen on procuring less-expensive productions that would cost hundreds of thousands each episode to make. The Journal’s sources said that Facebook has set late summer as a tentative launch window, and that it hopes to reach audiences aged 13-34.
The Nintendo Switch had a strong showing its first E3 (Metroid Prime 4!, three new Mario games!), for sure, but nothing quite like what Fuze Technologies is showing off. The company has announced Fuze Code Studio, which looks like a simple way to code your own games for the console on the Switch itself. You can use a USB keyboard or Joycons to enter code, audio and graphics will be packed in, you can make 2D and 3D games and Fuze’s language is supposedly simple enough to pick up that you don’t need any previous coding experience.
It’s a tragic time for both music and technology. Ikutaro Kakehashi, best known as the founder of Roland Corporation, has died at 87. The engineer turned corporate leader got his start making electronic drums and rhythm pattern generators, but it was after he founded Roland in 1972 that he hit the big time. His company quickly became synonymous with electronic music effects, and the machines built under his watch didn’t just become popular — they changed the cultural landscape.
Slowly, movie studios are putting the pieces in place for reducing the time between a film’s theatrical run and when you can watch it at home. The latest step toward this is news that Warner Bros. would be cool with people watching its movies as soon as 17 days after theatrical debut, according toVariety. That privilege would come with a $50 price tag — the same price Napster founder Sean Parker proposed over a year ago for his Screening Room service.