Nintendo is trying hard to build interest in the Nintendo 3DS handheld game system. The company dropped the price of the 3DS from $250 to $170 last month, and has now announced that it will be getting 3D video recording, an optional add-on secondary analog pad, and two new Mario games by the holiday season.
The Nintendo 3DS has been able to take 3D photos since its release, but an update will add video functionality to the system. The free update, planned for this November, will let users record 3D video, which can then be viewed in 3D on the device's screen.
Samsung isn't new to the tablet game, but the company's newest offering - the Samsung Series 7 Slate - may be exactly what buyers have been waiting for in Windows tablets. We went hands on with the new Series 7 Slate, and we were pleased with what we saw.
The Samsung Series 7 Slate has a spacious 11.6-inch display, with 1366-by-768 resolution and an eye-popping 16 million colors. It should even look good outdoors, with 400-nit brightness coming from Samsung's sharp-looking SuperBright LED backlit display. That extra inch of real estate for the screen also helps to alleviate one of the biggest problems we've seen with Windows tablets, namely the fact that Windows icons become miniscule on a smaller screen. The touch screen is capable of registering up to 10 fingers at a time, or it can be used with a digital stylus for more precise selection or handwriting recognition.
The Series 7 Slate is also light, weighing 1.96 pounds - lighter than many smaller 10-inch tablets we've seen, like the Acer Iconia W500-BZ467, which weighed in at 2.1 pounds. It's thin too, measuring less than a half inch thick. The back appears to be brushed aluminum, and the rich texture of the cool metal surface leaves you feeling that the slate, though thin and light, is still substantial.
Since HP decided to leave the webOS hardware game and discontinue the TouchPad, the only thing left for it to do is slash the price deeply and liquidate the hell out of 'em, and that's exactly what is happening. HP has cut the price of the 16 GB TouchPad to $99 - a $300 price drop. The 32 GB model is also slashed down to $149, a $350 price drop. Even better? You save an additional $15 with promo code: save15hp - an $84 webOS TouchPad? That is a freakin' steal.
Read More | $99 HP TouchPad
The Nintendo 3DS has not been selling as well as Nintendo had originally hoped, which is a definite change from their previous handheld console releases. It could be that the advertising just can't get across the experience of playing 3D games like holding it in your hands can, but it could very well be attributed to the fact that Nintendo is charging $249 for the console. Well, if it was the price that was holding you back, Nintendo hopes to remove that barrier with a major price cut on the 3DS. On August 12, the price for a new 3DS will go from $249 down to $169. That's a deep price cut, and brings the price much closer in line with the Nintendo DSi. Users who paid $250 will be granted 20 free virtual console games that won't be released to the public--10 NES games and 10 Game Boy Advance titles. That's nice and all, but I'd bet those people aren't thinking that's enough.
Read More | Nintendo 3DS on Amazon
This week's "iPhone 5" rumors focus on the carriers. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Chris Larsen, via CNET, the "most noteworthy" change to Apple's next-generation iPhone is that it'll be offered by Sprint and T-Mobile, on top of existing carriers AT&T and Verizon.
In May, another analyst said an iPhone "4S" was launching on Sprint and T-Mobile in time for the Christmas holidays.
Meanwhile, ChipHazard reports that the next-generation iPhone is being field tested on AT&T's networks, according to a "well-placed sources in AT&T Mobility." The tests include signal reception and connectivity, and once they pass the tests the prototype will be given to manufacturers.
As for phone specs, there's an endless amount of speculation. Some of the more recent rumors include a completely revamped iPhone 5 with wireless juicing, a "baby iPhone" for developing markets.
The increase in U.S. adults who own e-readers is outpacing the growth of tablet owners, according to a new phone survey by the Pew Internet Project.
Adults who owned ereaders like Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook doubled from 6 percent of the U.S. adult population in November 2010 to 12 percent in May 2011, according to the survey of 2,277 respondents aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish.
Over the same period, the share of adults who said they owned a tablet such as Apple's iPad grew as well, but by just 3 percentage points. About 5 percent of respondents in an earlier Pew survey from November of last year said they owned a tablet, while 8 percent said they did in the most recent one, conducted between April 26 and May 22.
It's been years since the original Luigi's Mansion game hit the scene, but Nintendo is finally set to release a sequel. At its E3 2011 media briefing, Luigi's Mansion 2 was announced, and it'll be a Nintendo 3DS exclusive. No release date was given, but it certainly looks like a title that'll highlight what the 3DS can do.
Quick update for you mobile gaming fans - the Nintendo DS Lite is now $99. Nintendo announced the price drop today, ahead of next weeks E3. It's a great price for a fantastic portable console, but we have to wonder--does this mean we might see a Nintendo 3DS price drop next week? It's no secret that the sales on Nintendo's new flagship console have been less than stellar.
Read More | Nintendo DS Lite
Today, Barnes & Noble unveiled their revamped Nook e-reader, which they are calling the Simple Touch Reader.
The $139 device is available for pre-order immediately and will be in stores on or around June 10 at Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples.
The Android-based, e-reader measures 5 x 6.5 inches and weighs less than 7.5 ounces, which is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the first Nook. During a New York launch event, B&N CEO William Lynch promised the "longest battery life of any e-reader," or up to two months on a single charge, and 80 percent less flashing on the 6-inch touch screen; the white-out that occurs when flipping pages. There is 50 percent less contrast than the first-edition Nook.
The device has built-in Wi-Fi and will feature 2GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 32GB with microSDHC. It runs Android 2.1 and a 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor.
Read More | Nook Simple Touch Reader
Barnes & Noble is readying an updated e-reader, the company revealed in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
"In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble ... indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device," the notice said.
The company provided no other details about what the updated e-reader might entail. The last major Nook upgrade was the Nook Color (pictured above,) which started shipping in November. The Android-based device includes a 7-inch touch screen and access to more than 2 million titles, as well as an extra-wide viewing angle intended for sharing. The screen boasts 1,024-by-600 resolution and 169 pixels per inch. It comes with 8GB of storage, expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card.
In late April, Barnes & Noble pushed out a major software update to the Nook Color, which included its own app store, an email client, the ability to play Flash video, and enhanced books. It also added support for Android 2.2 "Froyo" and Adobe Flash video.