Microsoft's iPod rival, is not having its finest hour these
days. Holiday sales nosedived by a whopping 54%, eating into
profits from the entire Entertainment and Devices Division. Pre-holiday price
cuts didn't help move Zunes off the shelves, and Apple's stellar iPod holiday sales helped cement Zune's
destiny. If Microsoft doesn't come up with a better business plan - one that
should call for a touch-based model that could actually be a rival to iPod touch, and an App
Store-like model with third-party applications - then Zune could easily never
recover from this disaster.
If you own a PlayStation 3, it is important to note that the firmware update is now live. Sony has released the update mainly for the improvement of the PlayStation 3's media capabilities. Among other things, it allows the user to wield a new set of tools for sorting through and displaying their personal collection of digital photos.
Sony's Computer Entertainment chairman, Kazuo Hirai, has expressed strong feelings and opinions regarding the gaming console industry. Hirai feels that the PlayStation 3 is well on its way to outselling and thriving better than the Xbox 360. He says Sony will "continue official leadership in this industry."
For years the music industry has been making great strides and taking extreme measures to prevent pirates from illegally copying and downloading its content.
On Thursday, YouTube announced the launch of the YouTube for television portion of the website that has a new user interface designed for simplified viewing on television screens. The service will be enabled in beta by users with either Wiis or PS3s.
The concept of having one set-top box which is capable of delivering to your television set newly released video and film is very appealing. Companies such as Apple have shown that delivering a service of this caliber is almost impossible today, at least until better technology is developed. Even though this type of service might be a far cry from being fully developed, companies are still attempting it - and most recently Blockbuster.
According to NPD Group's statistics, in 2008 Nintendo managed to sell 10.17 million Wii game consoles in the United States, breaking sales records. Nintendo's DS handheld game device also sold 9.95 million units last year, the success of which is largely attributed to the DSi's delay in this country.
IGN has started a rumor that the successor to Nintendo's DS Lite, The DSi, will hit U.S. store shelves in April for $179.99. The devices have already sold more than one million units in Japan for the equivalent of $211.
Late last week at CES, Andy Parsons, president of the Blu-ray Disc Association announced that 2008 was a banner year for Blu-Ray sales. Surpassing the adoption rate of DVDs, CDs and HDTVs (as well as several other common household technologies), Blu-Ray sales topped 28.6 million in the 4th quarter alone (up from 9.5 million a year earlier). Top seller was Dark Knight.
Apple's DRM-free iTunes service is proving to be completely DRM-free, meaning any player can play new music downloaded from iTunes in the AAC (.m4a extension) iTunes Plus format. However, the DRM-free versions still have internal tags which link the music purchase back to the purchaser.
I personally have always felt that free thinking should be encouraged and condoned. I love to hear the opinions of tech geniuses, and gadget gurus as to what the future in technology holds for me. Even if the concepts are off the wall, outrageous, or ridiculous it’s still fun to ponder, right?
Today, Nvidia unveiled 3D Vision for GeForce. Designed to operate wirelessly with high speed shutters and selected 120 Hz frequency monitors, the gaming, photo and movie industry can now go fully 3D out of the box with little or no modification.
Microsoft’s Robbie Bach provided some updates on Xbox 360 content at
CES. Halo Wars received a new release date and Kodu will allow users to
create their own games.
Netgear is taking this week's Consumer Electronics Show to unveil two new Internet-connected set-top boxes for those looking to enjoy online video content. These are the Internet TV Player (ITV2000) and Digital Entertainer Elite (EVA9150), priced around $200 and $400, respectively.
One of the most impressive product demos on the first day came from
Mitsubishi. It showcased Nvidia 3D technology on one of its 3D-enabled
TVs. You will be able to buy this stunning product for $200 next month
(TV not included, of course).
Remember last year when EMI was the only big music label that
offered its music on Apple's iTunes free from the dreaded digital rights
management (DRM)? It now appears that the remaining three labels have
given up trying to build an iTunes rival. They've done this by now giving everyone DRM-free
tracks, including iTunes.
The upcoming mandatory switch from analog to digital TV has been known about for some time. Projections were made, estimates were budgeted, and everything was to proceed smoothly. Except, nobody counted on a recession. As a result, digital TV sales are down, fewer consumers are switching to cable/satellite, and converter box sales are up causing the government's coupon program to run out of money. It was a plan well executed!
Apple is relaxing some App Store rules to make room for a broader range
of official applications for the iPhone. The download store now has
applications like iFart Mobile and Pull my Finger that do exactly what
their names suggest. However, porn and sexual content is still off
limits, at least officially, as the iBoobs software was kicked out.
Most developers greeted the much more liberal approach to approve
applications, but some believe Apple should make even more changes –
especially to allow the sale of third-party software that competes with
Apple's own applications.
Chicago - Rolando has finally hit the App Store as the most anticipated game for iPhone and iPod touch this holiday season. Great use of tilt and touch controls, unique idea and smooth gameplay make this a must-have iPhone game that numerous reviewers already describe as killer gaming app and a potential system-seller that Apple has been waiting for. Combined with a $9.99 price tag and a digital distribution model, Rolando also demonstrates the advantages of Apple's platform. The fact that gaming content on the App Store is becoming a big business should get Sony’s and Nintendo’s attention. EXTRA: SLIDESHOW
While Blu-ray player and disc sales apparently are climbing, movie
executives repeatedly said that the Blu-ray has been a rather
disappointing business so far. HD DVD may be dead, but movie streaming
is developing into a serious rival for the Blu-ray disc and we hear
that this Christmas is considered to be a make or break event for the
technology. A new Blu-ray/DVD hybrid disc brings new hope that more
Blu-ray media will be sold. Is it enough?