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Entertainment Tech Trends: The Future Looks... Familiar

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The future of entertainment technology is not all that different from what we know today. | AP

Times are changing and they’re changing quickly. The best industry to see where this change is clearly taking place is the entertainment industry. Things like books, movies, phones and videogames that were once grounded in a particular way of business are now undergoing a big overhaul. That’s due in part to a recent slew of technological advancements and shifting consumer demand that have forced everyone from authors to Sony to rethink their products. Here are five trends that the entertainment industry is already taking note of and looks like they’re here to stay.

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Déjà Vu At The Theatre
If you’re getting a sense of déjà vu more and more with each time you step into a movie theatre then you’d best take your complaint to Tinsletown. The growing trend in Hollywood seems to be a heavy usage of what’ve been done before. ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘Judge Dredd’, ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘Total Recall’ were just some of the reboots of franchises as a means to reinvent themselves for an audience that was too young to appreciate the original flicks. And if you think this summer was the end of the trend, get ready for the next few years with remakes of ‘Superman’, ‘Robocop’ and ‘Gremlins’ coming your way.

And The Best Handheld Videogame Console Is Now… Your Phone?
Years ago, if you stopped by a toy or electronics store and wanted the latest and greatest in portable gaming, you only had a few options. But things have changed in the video game industry with mobile phone users who want to play casual games on their phone or mp3 players. The rise of games like Angry Birds, Temple Run and Cut the Rope has brought on a new wave of gamers who play just to kill time, rather than dash across multiple worlds to save a princess in a castle.

The Sum of Its Parts
Adapting a novel to a movie is tough work. Sometimes there’s just too much detail written within the pages that not even a two-and-a-half hour film could do it justice. The director could cut out the non-essential parts of the book but then fans of the novel would cry foul for a lack of detail. But keep too much detail and you’ll have critics saying the movie dragged on and on. So what’s a film maker to do? The answer: make more movies. As of late, many novel-turn-films have been split up into parts, becoming like acts of a play rather than films. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows did it, Twilight is doing it with Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Part 2 and now Peter Jackson has announced that his latest film, the Hobbit, will be split into three separate films.

Thin Is In But So Is Screen Real Estate
If the current crop of smartphones is an indication of anything, it’s that the era of phones with displays smaller than 4 inches is gone. Devices sporting screens up to and over 5 inches show that consumers are concerned far less about how easily it fits into their pockets and more with how immersed they can get into their entertainment. There’s also the thin and light aspect of the mobile market war going on, so while screens are getting bigger, the actual phone is slimming down. So far, the thinnest smartphone is a slender 7.1mm.

Why Watch When You Can Stream?
TV may have killed the radio star, but now it’s the internet’s turn to bring down TV – at least in the show and movie-rental category. With online streaming services like Netflix finding its way into the homes of Canadians, TV isn’t just what it used to be. And companies like Rogers, BCE and Shaw Media are taking notice. Rogers has its own take on Netflix with Anyplace TV which allows users to stream shows and movies to tablets, smart phones or videogame consoles. Shaw Media has released their own app with similar features called Shaw Go, while Bell is looking into doing something similar.

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