Pocket PC gamers can now play without using those teeny, tiny buttons on their pocket PCs or cell phones. The Century Sutra 1688 is a two-handed clip-on game pad that almost simulates the buttons on a Nintendo Gameboy, Advance, or Gameboy Color. It may look a little awkward, but then this NES Emulator has to be one step up from remembering what finger is supposed to go on which letter on keypads. No news yet on price, although our imperfect Babelfish translation led us to believe that it would be an affordable JPY 1,500 (~$12.52.)
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has just released the results of a study they conducted in February, and the word from them is that the average American household spends about $1,200 per year on gadgets. It appears that televisions are the biggest piece of the pie, as 92% of American homes have them, and 25% of those homes own HDTV sets. Mobile phones are also way up there, not surprisingly, owned by 76% of all American households. Focusing on more recent times, it seems that network hardware components are the hottest sellers right now, as American households are integrating more personal computers into the mix, requiring routers and wireless access points. Along with DVRs, network equipment purchases rose by 8%.
“Many of the top owned products have enjoyed mass-market saturation for years and will likely see growth based on upgrade and replacement sales,” said CEA senior research analyst Elena Caudle. “Some of the more intriguing categories are those that still occupy niche markets, such as mobile CE devices like GPS systems and satellite radio, which have seen healthy growth in the past few years.”
Even more interesting though, is that it was determined that the average teen spends about half of their total income on consumer electronics and gadgets. Households with teenagers exceed the national purchasing average of $1,200 by up to $500.
Of course, to readers of this site, this is nothing new. In fact, we bet that many of you, like us, can spend upwards of $5,000 a year on gadgets or more. Are we right? Let us know in the comments, or hit up the forums. How much do you spend on gadgets on an annual basis?
Research in Motion has so far denied comment when asked about its massive e-mail service outage that occurred on thousands of users’ Blackberries in North America. Experts believe that the crash, which took place Tuesday night through Wednesday morning, is a technical problem that still has some glitches.
TD Newcrest analyst Chris Umiastowski stated, “RIM won’t tell us what caused the problem, although they do tell us they know what caused it. We were told to expect a technical explanation to come out shortly.”
We know how addictive e-mail is and how we feel when occasionally we are denied access, and our sympathies go out to those “CrackBerry” addicts that had to suffer through the brief withdrawal.
Read More | Yahoo
If you are totally addicted to the Bejeweled original or its second edition, EA Mobile and PopCap Games are planning to introduce updated versions of the game later this year. They will have enhanced graphics and audio effects, and will allow for multi-player access in North America. According to their data, the puzzle game has been a top-10 seller since EA purchased the title in 2001. Originally developed for Internet play, the title has been expanded to include cell phones, PDAs, PMPs, in-flight systems, and video game consoles. Just don’t let us catch you playing Bejeweled when you are stuck in rush hour or we might want to challenge you to a showdown.
Read More | PopCap
Google has announced that it will be paying $3.1 billion to purchase DoubleClick, giving them even more status as king of the Internet. The New York based company provides corporate banners in richer graphics, which is currently about half of all online marketing. At this point, Yahoo has been the forerunner in that field. This means that instead of seeing boring old Google text ads that want us to spend our money when searching around the Web, we will be able to view garish ones that will probably be twice as irritating. It also allows us to look forward to their future expansion into print, radio, video, mobile and television ad markets. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
Read More | Reuters
In order to promote the launch of their new video game “Burnout Dominator,” Electronic Arts has teamed up with AOL to offer an online poll asking what music gives people road rage. At present, over 1,700 voters have responded with tracks such as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell,” and Feeder’s “Buck Rogers.” The game is available for PS2 and PSP for $39.99. We don’t know why the Hoff’s “Jump In My Car” didn’t make the top ten because, quite frankly, that pushes us over the edge.
If you’re a gamer, you know that Sony’s Playstation Portable has an incredible amount of uses: UMD movies, music player, photo viewer,
internet access, and, oh yeah, video games. Well, instructors at Holyhead Secondary School in Birmingham, England are about to test a new use: teaching aid. Over the past 2 months, Holyhead teachers have been learning how to create podcasts, download media, upload pupils’ schoolwork, and more with the PSP. Lorna Diprose, whose departure from Sony Marketing to teach French at Holyhead led to this test run, feels the PSP is “...just like a mini-computer…you can use it to tailor-make lessons for pupils who need support or stretching.” The PSPs start their new job right after Easter break and will last until the end of the school year.
It’s finally official. After rumors as far back as last August, Sony Company Entertainment America has announced a price drop on its PSP, from $199.99 to $169.99 in honor of it’s second anniversary of existence. The company claims that 25 million units were sold worldwide in 2006, with over a million being bought in December alone.
SCEA also says that “Daxter” and “The Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror” will soon be available for the game system at a MSRP of $19.99, as part of its “greatest hits” collection. Future titles will include “God of War,” “SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs,” and “Ratchet and Clank.”
Read More | Sony
Since we last reported how to prepare for Daylight Savings Time, Gary Beach, publisher of CIO Magazine, said there were very few problems. But we are not quite out of the DST woods yet. There may still be a mini-Y2K this Sunday night, when those who didn’t upgrade may find themselves off-kilter. If you have an older computer or other electronic device, keep a close watch, for it may still change by an hour. If you are starting to get a bit panicky, contact the manufacturer of your device, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Read More | USA Today
Paul Notzold has created TXTual Healing with large speech bubbles projected on flat surfaces such as walls outside an art gallery. They are arranged near windows and doors and participants are encouraged to SMS dialogue with the bubbles after they receive a flyer with a cell phone number and instructions. It is even possible to direct responses to specific ones with the users’ own bubbles.
Going one step further, there are also images inside the gallery such as “One of You Will Betray Me,” which allows the audience to create dialogue on an image of The Last Supper. Currently on display at the Contemporary Museum of Baltimore, check out this demo, then contact Mr. Notzol for his future travel schedule.
Read More | Paul Notzold
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