Some, like Zito's Digital Pictures, are focusing on the home console market. Others are developing interactive movies that will be played on personal computers. All of them are working to make interactive movies more useful for home entertainment. None of them, however, seem to be developing interactive movies for television. They simply can't compete with the medium's current state of graphics technology and the limited screen size.
The invention of the home-video medium has fueled an unprecedented amount of creativity in the entertainment industry. Everything from movies to TV to music is represented in every home. But they all come from the big Hollywood studios. Not so interactive movies.
As far as he was concerned, the technology of computer graphics and high-fidelity sound were far from being ready for mainstream consumers. But his dream of interactive movies was less a conclusion of technology than a conviction of form. The movie medium, he felt, is still what it's always been: a vessel for the most imaginative, most powerful, most exquisitely wrought entertainment that mankind has yet created.
Zito however, had a different vision for the future. His dream was to make every household in the industrialized world his own video-production studio with his own home-computer. He believed the time was ripe to do it with interactive movies. He knew his Medium was perfect for the task.
Zito is not the only one who believes that. In fact, since he began his revolution, his former competitors have joined the new wave, and the trend is likely to continue. A number of interactive movie companies are working on different aspects of the new medium. They represent the best talent in the video-game industry.
The company's strategy was to produce several single-feature-length films, each priced at about $19.95, and then make them available at a discount to retailers who would sell them to you for $9.99 to $14.99. In theory, you would buy several movies--say, five or six--at a given price and watch them all in a single sitting. And, of course, Digital Pictures also hoped you'd buy a few and watch them repeatedly at less than the retail price. This would keep their movies in your living rooms for years to come.
The only problem: No one would buy them. This wasn't for lack of interest on the part of the market. The problem was the movies were too expensive for the masses. The industry had cracked the code of the VHS tape; now it wanted to pull off the same trick with the DVD.
The concept was simple: The player could control the movie by selecting and playing the soundtrack and cues. The player could control the picture by stopping the movie at a preselected scene or by searching the movie for interesting shots or situations. And the player could control the sound by selecting and playing the soundtrack.
The idea of a home movie that was also a game was not as novel as it might appear. This idea was not completely new. The founders of Digital Pictures had released a game called Mafia in 1986 for the Apple II and a year later for the Amiga. 827ec27edc