In this episode, coming to you straight from E3 2008, we chat with Xbox’s Heather Snavely about all the news that Microsoft announced during their Xbox Media Briefing. We have keynote clips here as well, in case you missed it and want to see all that went down, while Heather gives us a bit more detail and answers a few questions we had about some of the specific announcements.
Specifically, Heather tells us a bit more about the new Xbox 360 Experience dashboard, answers a few questions we had about the Lips game and the motion-based microphone controller, as well as Xbox avatars and questions we had about the future of Gamer Pictures on Xbox Live. All in all, a nice look at all the new details uncovered at E3 in relation to Xbox 360.
We’ve entered the auditorium here in the West Hall, and are currently waiting for the E3 2008 Xbox Media Briefing to begin. Very nice setup in here, by the way. Bunch of stage lighting, high definition displays, and…oh, even a mock living room setup. Snazzy. Anyhow, keep it locked here, as we will be bringing you live updates from the keynote as it happens. Any predictions on what we will be seeing announced today?
Oh, as for images, we will update the post with a bunch of those after the keynote ends. We wanna focus on bringing you the text updates for now, mkay?
We start with some Xbox 360 Street Talk, where apparently Microsoft went around town and interviewed people off the streets, and asked them about what they like about Xbox 360. Obviously, all good comments here. Now we get answers for questions like “What is a noob?”, “What does it mean to be ‘pwned’?”, “What does melee mean?”, “What does RPG mean?”, etc. Basically, what do average people know about video game terms. This is kind of like sitting through the advertisement trailers in the movie theater, the ones that come before the actual trailers.
Check out the rest of the keynote after the jump:
In just about five minutes, Steve Jobs will be taking the stage to give his WWDC 2008 keynote. We are monitoring all the news, and will be bringing you updates on everything going on, live, as it happens on stage. In case you’ve been summering in Antarctica, we are expecting the new 3G iPhone to be launched (and not expecting it to be as radical as others think it will be - no front-facing camera, no iChat video chat - just some 3G and GPS goodness), Snow Leopard should be given out to developers to take home with them in anticipation of the launch of OS X 10.6 at MacWorld 2009, and the new .Mac replacement we’ve all been hearing about, Mobile Me, should be announced and shown off to the masses.
Well, it’s just about time. Let’s get started…
Apple has finally made iTunes movie rentals official, as Steve Jobs made the announcement in his MacWorld 2008 keynote address. The studios taking part in the festivities include Disney, MGM, Touchstone, Miramax, Lions Gate, Warner Brothers, Fox, Paramount, Universal, and Sony. Rentals will be available starting today alongside an iTunes 7.6 update, and you can expect 1,000 movies to be available be the end of February. Rentals will cost $2.99 USD for a standard movie, $3.99 for new releases. If you want the HD version, it will cost you $1.00 more. You have 30 days to begin watching the movie, and once you’ve started, you get 24 hours to watch it as many times as you like. Rented movies can be transferred to a video-capable iPod or iPhone, and can also be viewed on Apple TV.
Read More | iTunes Movies
During this morning’s MacWorld keynote, Steve Jobs announced the new MacBook Air notebook. We’ve all been expecting some sort of Apple sub-notebook, and this one looks amazing. Apple it touting this as the “world’s thinnest notebook”. The MacBook Air is 0.16-inches to 0.76-inches. The thickest part of the Air is thinner than the thinnest part of a Sony TZ series notebook. That is impressive. The device features an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive, with a 64 GB SSD drive as an option. It ships standard with 2 GB of RAM and a 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo chip, with the option to switch to 1.8 GHz. Other features include a 45-watt MagSafe, 1 USB 2.0 port, a Micro-DVI port, and audio out. There is no Ethernet port (otherwise they couldn’t have gotten it this thin) so you will have to rely on the built-in 802.11n WiFI and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. The MacBook Air also leaves out the optical drive, but you can purchase an external SuperDrive accessory for $99 USD. It also ships with software that allows it to “borrow” the optical drive of another Mac or PC. Expect 5 hours of battery life out of this one - or more if you opt for the SSD drive. The MacBook Air will hit retail in about two weeks, and will cost $1799. Pre-orders start today.
Read More | MacBook Air Product Page
This morning, Steve Jobs demoed the iPhone 1.1.3 firmware, which looked strangely similar to the one we showed you guys a few weeks back that many were calling fake. Well as it turns out, the leak was real, but we did miss a few things, such as chapter options and language compatibility in iPod mode. The 1.1.3 firmware also features lyrics support for music. Rounding out the features are all the things we showed you in our iPhone 1.1.3 video - Web clips (web bookmarks on home screen), Maps with location finder, Home Screen customization, and SMS multiple people.
By the way, if you are looking for an excellent program to create custom ringtones for your iPhone, check out iPhone RingToneMaker.
Read More | iPhone 1.1.3 Video Walkthrough
During this morning’s MacWorld keynote, Apple announced a brand new router specifically meant for those of us running Leopard on Apple notebooks, called Time Capsule. Basically an Airport Extreme NAS, the Time Capsule router allows those running Leopard while connected over WiFi to run Time Machine. Currently, unless you use a back-end hack to enable WiFi backups, you have to plug and unplug your laptop to an external drive to run Time Machine backups. Time Capsule removes that requirement, thus making WiFi Time Machine backups simple. Of course, it comes at a price. A 500 GB Time Capsule retails for $299 USD, which a 1 TB version costs $499.
Read More | Time Capsule Product Page
Gear Live’s live coverage of the 2008 CES keynote! Refresh this page to keep track of the announcements!
6:39 The lights are up, and Bill has walked on stage!
6:40 Bill is talking about the last decade. Photos and music have made a huge transformation from analog to digital. “Information anywhere” seems to be a major theme.
6:42 Lots of partners have contributed to this digital decade - While this is Bill’s last CES keynote he thinks technology is just getting rolling
6:44 Video spoof of Bill Gates last day at Microsoft - Bill driving a Chevy Malibu to work and cleaning out his desk. Very funny stuff!
Check out the rest of the coverage after the jump
Continuing with all of today’s iPod announcements, Apple has announced the new third generation iPod nano. This time it gets a complete redesign, starting with the size - just 6.5mm thin. It also sports a new 2-inch QVGA 320x240 screen that is 65% brighter than the second generation nano, and is 204 dpi - the highest pixel density screen that Apple has ever shipped. The new iPod nano also has a new UI which includes Cover Flow, has support for playing videos, and ships with three games as well (Vortex, iQuiz, and Klondike.) Battery life has been extended as well, as Apple says the nano will play music for 24 hours, and video for 5 hours. It will be available in five colors: (PRODUCT) RED, light blue, black, pastel green, and silver. As far as price goes, the 4GB model (only available in silver) will retail for $149 USD, while the 8GB version will sell for $199. Both will be in stores by this weekend.
We’ve heard it was coming, and today Apple made it official - the iPod touch is now a reality. Those of you hoping for what would essentially be an “iPhone without the phone” have gotten your wish. The iPod touch has the same 3.5-inch screen size and resolution as the iPhone, and even has WiFi built-in. Safari is included as an application, as is YouTube. It even has that multitouch goodness we’ve come to know and love. As for the differences between the iPod touch and the iPhone, those are more hardware related rather than software related. The iPod touch is just 8mm thick, down from 11.5mm for the iPhone. It also comes in two storage capacity sizes - 16GB and 8GB - which means you get double the storage that you’d get on the iPhone if you go with the top model. You will be able to pick up a 16GB iPod touch for $399 USD, while and 8GB version will sell for $299. It ships “in a few weeks” and will be available worldwide. No more waiting until Apple finds an iPhone distribution partner to get your multitouch on!
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