We hope you guys are ready, because while E3 may be quite a bit smaller this year, the announcements coming from all the game companies should still prove to be large. The Microsoft briefing is right about to start, and we expect to see and hear some fairly exciting announcements. Halo 3 anyone? Fable 2 FTW? Any unannounced exclusives? Check back here in 30 minutes for the full scoop.
UPDATE: Alright guys, hit the break for the news!
Steve Jobs is set to deliver another of his hypnotizing keynote speeches this morning from the 2007 Worldwide Developers Conference. We are here to bring you live notes, thoughts and commentary on all Steve has to say about the future of Apple and it’s products. Let’s jump in, as things are getting started:
- After another “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” skit, Steve takes the stage and begins to give us a few WWDC 2007 numbers. There are over 5,000 attendees at the event this year, which makes it the biggest ever. There are over 950,000 Apple Developer Connection members.
- We have just realized that the Apple Store has just gone down. New products for us today?
- Steve talks about the transition to Intel, and how seamless and fantastic it all has been. Intel CEO Paul Otellini hits the stage to accept a shiny award disc from Steve, and says a few words which can all be summed up by saying that Intel has enjoyed working with Apple. Steve says he is proud of the Macs they are shipping with Intel chips inside them.
Today’s GDC keynote presented by Sony’s Phil Harrison covered a lot of what Sony believes to be features of the Game 3.0 platform, centered mainly around the feature set that the company has laid out in the PlayStation Home service, but Harrison also talked up the downloadable content that will be available on Singstar for the PlayStation 3 and their big new game LittleBigPlanet. Some of those able to attend the event have been liveblogging the keynote, and are linked below.
Read More | 1up
Read More | Gamasutra
Read More | Mercury News
Read More | Joystiq
Steve Jobs has just announced that iTV has become Apple TV. For those keeping count feature-wise, this thing has USB 2.0, WiFi, HDMI, Component, digital audio, etc. It also has a built-in 40GB hard drive, allowing you to store content directly on the device. Steve made sure to note that the Apple TV is powered by an Intel chip, along with an 802.11 b/g/n wireless antenna. While we were hoping for 1080p support, we knew it was a long shot. However, we do get HDTV support at 720p. The Apple TV can sync with one of your computers, but can stream content from five others. The interface is very close to what you see in Front Row, but obviously upgraded. The Apple TV ships in February, and will retail for $299 USD - available for pre-order now.
Read More | Apple TV Product Page
9:00 AM: Dave begins by asking how many people updated their website in the past seven days. Of course, many of them have, since this is the Blog Business Summit. However, maybe 5% of site owners update at least weekly.
9:03: Google aims to provide good, fresh content. Same with all search engines. Since most info on the web is out of date, this is the dilemma of the search engines.
9:04: What is findability? When customers try to find your product or service, can they find it? This is what is critically important to your business - especially if they find your competitor instead of you. Every time someone finds someone else, they aren’t finding you.
9:05: No one really understands what the best practices of blogging really are - they are case by case. If you can’t be found, you’re already dead. If I ask my cellphone for the closest Chinese restaurant, and the Chinese restaurant across the street doesn’t show up as a search result, they’re dead.
So we all predicted it, and Apple made it real this morning during the keynote. The iPod nano is now available in it’s second generation form, sporting an aluminum casing with some great new colors. What’s nice about these are that they are even thinner than the original nano units, which is hard to believe because those things were tiny. The new 2GB nanos are available in silver for $149 USD. The 4GB model sells for $199 and is available in silver, green, blue, and pink. Finally, the 8GB $249 model is strictly available in black. Apple has even made the packaging for the nano smaller, resulting in 52% less material usage which makes it nice for the environment. The new second generation iPod nano is available today.
Read More | iPod nano Product Page
Earlier today in his Apple keynote, Steve Jobs unveiled the newly updated 5th generation iPod. The unfortunate thing, however, is that a 16x9 widescreen model was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the video iPod sees a capacity bump from 60 GB to 80 GB, along with a reduction in price by $50 each, $249 for the 30 GB model, and $349 for the 80 GB model. Yes, the 30 GB iPod costs the same as the new 8 GB nano. The screens on the new iPods are 60% brighter than that of their predecessors, and there is brightness control to boot. That should make viewing movies and video on these iPods a little easier. Battery life sees an improvement as well, with the 30 GB model enjoying 3.5 hours of video playback (14 hours for music) and the 80 GB version hitting 6.5 hours of video playback (20 hours for music.) Software updates include the ability to play games, better search abilities which allow you to type in your query, along with a better scroll experience. The new iPods are available now.
Read More | iPod Product Page
Here are the highlights from today’s Apple Keynote, titled “It’s Showtime”:
- Apple has announced a newly enhanced iPod. The standard iPod gets a 60% brighter screen with brightness control, 3.5 hours of video playback (up from 2 hours), gapless playback, and newly designed iPod headphones. The larger version of the iPod will do 6.5 hours of video playback. The
60GB30GB iPod will sell for $249, while the 80GB model will sell for $349. Available today.
- New games for iPod: The iPod now has purchasable games, which include Bejeweled, Cubis 2, Zuma, Pac Man, Texas Hold ‘em, Vortex, and more. They can be purchased in iTunes for $4.99 each. Games will also work on older 5th generation iPods.
- New software updates for iPod: There is now a quick scrolling feature using letters, which allows you to jump to anywhere in your library virtually instantly and with more precision.
- iPod nano: Second generation iPod nano announced. It looks more like a tiny iPod mini, with an aluminum enclosure for the $149 2GB model, while the larger $199 4GB model sports green, silver, blue, and pink. Finally, the $249 8GB model comes in black. All have a 24-hour battery life. There are also new chargers, lanyards, and armbands. All three iPod nano models are available today.
- iPod shuffle: The iPod shuffle also goes 2ng generation today. Sporting a 12-hour battery life, the shuffle now is about the size of the Apple Remote, making it the world’s smallest MP3 player. It has a metal body with a white click wheel, and a 1GB capacity. Available in October for $79.
- iTunes 7: Library now breaks up and separates different forms of media, and also provides sections for the Store itself and for devices. Apple will now provide album art for any music in your library, even if not purchased through iTunes. The 2006 NFL season will be available for purchase, and video resolution is now bumped up to 640x480 (up from 320x240) in H.264 encoding. Gapless playback is supported in iTunes 7. Even better, you can now sync you iPod content to a second computer!
- iTunes Movies: Apple is announcing that they are adding movies to the iTunes Music Store. Starting today, you can purchase films from Disney, Pixar, Touchstone, and Miramax (all of these are Disney owned.) Most titles will cost $9.99. You can pre-order new releases for $12.99 (or pay that price for the first week) - after that, they jump to $14.99. You can pre-order Disney’s Cars today.
Movies are at near-DVD quality in 640x480 resolution, and you can start watching the movie while it downloads in the background. As for sound, movies have Dolby surround audio. Parental control allows you to block or allow movies by MPAA rating. There are 75 movies available for purchase, and more will be added on a weekly basis. The Movie Store is strictly for the US store for now, but
will goApple hopes to take it International in 2007.
- One Last Thing: Wireless Set-top Box: In the first quarter of 2007, Apple will be releasing a wireless set-top box for the television. About half the size of a Mac mini, the box will have integrated USB, 802.11 wireless antennas, HDMI ports, optical audio out, and component video out. Apple is calling it iTV, although that name may not be final. Obviously, it’s meant to allow you to stream the video content on your PC to your television, using an interface that seems like an upgraded Front Row, controlled by the Apple Remote. Video startup is instant, and video looks great - close to DVD quality. Expect high-resolution artwork and movie text. The same videos will play on iTunes, your iPod, and now, your TV. The box also allows you to view trailers and other iTunes content directly from the Internet. Steve plays The Incredibles, which is curiously not in 640x480, but rather in widescreen high definition format. A sign of things to come? Apple says the device will work in conjunction with iTunes on both PC and Mac, and will sell for $299 USD, bringing Apple to your den, living room, car, and pocket.
- John Legend: Steve Jobs closed the event by introducing John Legend, telling everyone that without the artists, none of this means anything. Legend came out and sang for everyone.
That’s it! You can now see all the updates on Apple.com reflecting everything that was talked about today. New iPods, new iTunes, and a lack of Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros.
In case you hadn’t noticed, the iTunes Music Store has been down for a few hours. Of course, Steve Jobs is set to hit the stage in roughly five minutes or so for his September 12 keynote, where we expect to see a couple of iTunes upgrades. Disney movie downloads anyone?