Sorry. I don’t get the drama around having an ‘always online’ console. Every device now is ‘always on’. That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit
Archives For Gaming
As my most recent Xbox 360 (4GB model) has been collecting dust, given its noise pollution and annual tax, I’ve been contemplating switching the hardware up for another PS3 or handheld PS Vista ($250). And that was my plan when I arrived at Gamestop to redeem their $50 PS3 or Xbox 360 console credit bonus. While Gamestop rarely offers great trade-in values, it’s always extremely efficient. But the extra 50 bucks brought my $200 console up to $125 — which is quite reasonable considering how long I’ve had it, including the last year it’s been banished to storage. Yet, before the helpful clerk could bring my new PS Vita Assassin’s Creed bundle out from the back, I noticed Gamestop now offers a healthy selection of tablets including the 32GB Nexus 7 and entire range of Kindle Fires.
My current iPad 3 hasn’t been able to replace a laptop and I find it too bulky to comfortably use on the couch, so my plan has been Continue Reading…
Nintendo has announced availability and pricing of their upcoming Wii U console. While the Wii successor finally brings the HD and bundles a 6″ touchscreen tablet-esque controller, I figure Nintendo’s hardware days are numbered… and the sooner they pull a Sega and go software-only, the better. But before we ever get our hands on iPad Metroid or Xbox Zelda, we have the Wii U to contend with this fall — landing November 18th at $300-$350, dependent upon configuration.
Following in the footsteps of Sony and Microsoft, the new Wii U expands their video offerings under the “Nintendo TVii” banner — featuring access to a variety of content and meta data. And, given that Wii-pad, not only do you get a remote control, you’ve acquired a “second screen.” In addition to the requisite streaming services, like Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant, the Wii U appears to go real time with a guide and sports stats. Perhaps less relevant, in sheer numbers, but way more interesting is Nintendo’s new relationship with TiVo.
Details are scarce at the moment, as neither TiVo nor Nintendo care to discuss the specifics. However, we know Continue Reading…
If the FCC is any indication, JBL’s compact “Soundfly” Bluetooth speaker should be hitting store shelves in short order. Unlike the rechargeable and portable Jawbone Jambox ($200), the Soundfly essentially mounts directly onto an AC outlet. I can’t imagine the Soundfly produces killer audio given its diminutive stature, but could make a nice kitchen or travel accessory for streaming tunes from our smartphones… Assuming it clocks in at a reasonable price point. And, related to cost, I’m hoping for the best as JBL has dropped Apple AirPlay capabilities (with associated licensing fees) since printing up their CES flyer (which had indicated a “spring” launch).
The company’s eco-friendly line of High Efficiency LED bulbs are recyclable, do not contain mercury and boasts a glass-free design to prohibit shattering. With the longest lifespan of any source, including incandescent and CFL, VIZIO’s LED light bulbs last up to twenty-five times longer than incandescent bulbs. While LED light bulbs are known to be efficient, long lasting, cooler running, silent and do not emit UV rays, VIZIO’s new High Efficiency LED lighting line will boast additional benefits. The High Efficiency LED give off a warmer hue of light, reminiscent of a natural source, compared to many other LED options. Additionally, VIZIO High Efficiency LED lighting has tripled the lifespan of CFL bulbs, with up to 25,000 usage hours.
The line of bulbs was expected to launch in mid- to late-2011 at “a Vizio price” but has yet to materialize. Vizio’s press representative will neither confirm nor deny the initiative is dead, responding with “we have no update at this point.” A bummer really, as we’re posed to re-enter the housing market this summer with plans t0 geekify the new pad. Any reasonable alternatives to suggest?
Dave threw the gauntlet down back in 2006(!) when he suggested the Xbox was a Trojan Horse, designed to be activated in the future as a central device in the connected living room. Today, that reality has, in many ways, come to pass. According to Microsoft exec Russ Axelrod, more than 20 million Xbox homes are connected to Xbox accounts, and of the total time users spend on their Xbox consoles, 44% is dedicated to non-gaming activities. Analyst firm SNL Kagan points out that in addition to those 20 million Xbox-connected homes, there are also 30 million homes in North America connected to PlayStation Network accounts. That’s 50 million households with connected game consoles. Not a shabby number considering there are roughly 120 million households across the entire US.
Yet despite the growth of connected platforms, the world of distributed entertainment is still limited, at least where TV is concerned. The Xbox can be used as a set-top, but Microsoft has shed its ambitions to become virtual MSO thanks to the high cost of content licensing. And while cable industry veteran Jeff Baumgartner thinks that change is coming, there are still a lot of messy battles to be fought where streaming rights are concerned. The soldiers have emerged, but the war for the connected living room is far from over. It may be several years yet before the victors are decided.