It is officially official: The Palm Pre is launching on June 6th at $199.99 after $100 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract. The Sprint exclusive Pre will be available across the United Stats (yes, US-only for now) in Sprint stores, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and certain Wal-Mart locations. As far as plans are concerned, you can get the Palm Pre with Sprint’s Everything Data plan, or the Business Essentials with Messaging and Data plan. Of course, the Touchstone charging accessory will also be available for $69.99, which includes the $49.99 Touchstone dock and the $19.99 back cover for the Pre that’s required.
So there you have it, you’ll be able to get your Pre on in 20 days.
Read More | Sprint
We’ve waited for ages for Microsoft to give some answers on when they expect Windows 7 to launch, and they are finally talking. While they didn’t get too specific, they have officially confirmed that Windows 7 will be available for purchase by December 2009. Hey, at least it’s something, right?
This is no ordinary Bic. You can show everyone of your desire to either go into space or that you are horrifically bored at work with the Astronaut Rocket Pen. Push the ignition control button and it takes off up to a height of a whopping 36 inches. Space Shuttle and Titan Rocket pens are also available, each with a price of $8.94. We hope that helmet keeps the landing from becoming an inky mess.
Read More | Give Me Toys
Nintendo finally debuted its DSi yesterday and it will arrive in Europe this Friday. The 3rd generation game dual screen system has already sold over 2 million units since it was launched in Japan last November. Not only can you play games, there are two cameras, a microphone and tools that help create and share content. The DSi costs $169.99 while the DS Lite will continue to be available for $129.99. Their site offers games, including freebies if you buy the portable game system online, a club, newsletter and more.
Get ready, hard core WOW players. The new Wrath of the Lich King expansion will be officially available in stores tomorrow, but midnight madness has set in. Copies will go for $39.99 for PC or Mac one second after midnight. There are also official launch events in NY, SF, Austin and Anaheim where you can enter a contest to win a Blizzard Entertainment signed copy. A Collector’s Edition will be available as well. Get moving. You only have a few hours left to partake in the gaming merriment.
Read More | Digital Tech News
Now you can launch your paper airplanes electrically. Designed by Middlesex University by specialized teachers of teachers, the Kit can launch your plane at a speed of up to 31 mph. Included are the base plate, plastic discs with pulley, motors, battery box, 4 connecting sleeves, suction cups, screw driver, and hardware. Available for $14.95, we hope that the kit and its guidebook will finally teach us how to actually construct something aerodynamically launchable out of paper.
Read More | Online Science Mall
Robert “402” Bowling from Infinity Ward has posted about some upcoming changes to the Call of Duty 4 beta on his blog. The most significant announcement is the closing of the beta on September 30th, but he also revealed that two days prior the level cap, which has been at 16 for a couple of weeks after being lifted from the initial cap of 11, will go up to 25. That gives beta testers only two days to jump from 16 to 25 before the beta closes down in anticipation of the game’s release November 5th.
Part of the post hinted that CoD4 had gone gold, but Bowling refused to come right out and say it, saving the announcement for more official channels. He did say that Infinity Ward had received congratulations from the Sony of America and the Xbox 360 certification team, which leaves little room for doubt that the game is in the final stages before shipping.
The beta has been an excellent marketing tool for Infinity Ward since the strength of the game is quite evident from the limited, multiplayer-only test version. Even though the game is likely gold, the beta continues for developers to continue gathering data for the inevitable title upgrades and expansion packs. The raising of the level cap so close to the end of the beta is, speculatively, due to the launch of a certain multiplayer juggernaut a few days prior.
Read More | Fourzerotwo's Blog
In the midst of all the hype about the Halo 3 launch, one thing that is often overlooked is that not everyone who has a 360 is necessarily equipped to play the game in its entirety. Whether you’re staunchly against paying for an online service like Xbox Live or you just can’t afford it, for a few days at least it won’t matter.
Best Buy is sponsoring a three-day free-for-all granting all Xbox 360 users access to the Gold Service starting on September 25th and ending on the 27th. That means that Silver members get to experience Halo’s online multiplayer without charge for at least a handful of days after they pick up their copy of the game. Even if you’re not into the whole Halo thing, that doesn’t exclude you from taking advantage: Best Buy’s “the first hit is free” style promotion extends to all parts of the service so those without full access to Live could use the time to play some Gears of War online, check out the Call of Duty 4 beta (if it’s still up and running) or just use the time to play some free Uno.
Read More | Bungie.net
Microsoft has known how important Halo 3 will be to their success this generation since before they even announced the Xbox 360. Halo 2 sold $125 million on the first day, but then the original Xbox was just struggling for recognition in the wake of the PS2 juggernaut. Now the 360 holds a tenuous lead in installed base and isn’t selling the way Microsoft may have hoped. If it’s possible Halo 3 may have become even more important to Microsoft’s strategy than they originally hoped. Fortunately, they’ve been planning ahead.
In an article released today on Brand Week, the calculated ten-month marketing efforts behind Bungie‘s trilogy finale is dissected starting from the Starry Nights TV spot launched last November through the public beta this spring/early summer. They talk about the Project Iris viral campaign and the efforts they’ve gone to secure strategic branding partners. This has included the Mountain Dew Game Fuel limited edition soft drink that comes plastered with Halo 3 imagery plus a total of $5 million from Pontiac to help push the launch of the game on September 25.
And they aren’t done yet. Microsoft will begin the full blitz with the new Believe campaign that will lead up to the launch taking place at midnight in over 10,000 stores to give Halo fans a chance to grab the game as soon as possible. It’s an interesting read about the science behind building a monster.
Numbers are finally starting to come out in regards to how the iPhone performed at launch. While no sales figures were given, AT&T is reporting in it’s second quarter financial results that 146,000 iPhones were activated in the first two days that the product was on the market. While this number seems pretty low to us, we have to keep a few things in perspective. First, this accounts for June 29th and 30th. The iPhone went on sale at 6:00 PM on June 29th, so this is really a measurement of a 30-hour period rather than a full 48 hour one. Secondly, as we all know, iPhones are not activated at the point of purchase. We are sure plenty were bought as gifts or to be resold, and thusly weren’t activated right away. Last, it was widely reported that there were plenty of activation issues surrounding the iPhone launch. We got emails from people who purchased at launch and weren’t able to activate for over 24 hours - some even longer than that.
Another interesting tidbit about AT&T’s report is that 40% of the 146,000 activations were for subscribers new to the AT&T network. That’s a high percentage, all thanks to Apple‘s first foray into the mobile phone space. Very impressive.
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