We saw some fascinating cell phone innovations from Motorola at CES. First was the ROKR E8 phone, with its Modeshift technology. The phone doesn’t have keys. Instead, when turned on, “virtual” keys appear. When pressed you actually feel a vibration, confirming you‘ve pressed the button with a bit of tactile feedback. When you switch the mode to music player, all the cell phone keys vanish and a whole new set of buttons appear, specifically for the player.
Very impressive. Pricing and carriers are not yet available.
It’s great to see that not only are USB chargers becoming more accessible, but less expensive, too. This 4400mAh battery will charge iPhones, handhelds, digital cams, cellies, MP3 and CD players, PSPs and other electronic gadgets that the well-equipped techie has to have. At a size of 69 x 21 x 21mm and a weight of only 122g, it features an on/off switch, a 3-level LED indicator, and comes with USB cable for a price of $45.00.
Read More | Brando
Altech Lansing has come up with the T612 Digital Audio System for iPhone. The device will alert you to incoming calls and will pause so that you can answer. When your call is complete, simply redock and the music continues. The T612 features neodymium speakers and XdB bass-enhancement technology, and is also compatible with new-gen iPods. An aux-in jack provides other PMP access. A wireless remote allows power, track adjustments, bass and treble controls, song selection, play/pause, and more. Look for its debut this February at retailers for $199.95.
Read More | Digital Tech News
Bowers & Wilkins’ Zeppelin captured the Best Audio Component Award at this year’s CES. Compatible with nanos, 5G iPods, as well as other MP3 players, it will hold thousands of digital stereo tracks and looks kewl as well. It features a frequency range of -6dB at 47Hz, a 22kHz amplifier, and a power output 1x 50W (bass) 2x 25W (midrange/tweeter.) Connect with inputs of 30-pin iPod or 3.5 mini-jack or TOS link and output by S-video. At a size of 7.8 x 25.2 x 8.2-inches and a weight of 16.5 lbs, the Zeppelin is available at the Apple Store for $599.95.
Read More | Bowers & Wilkins
The holidays are right around the corner, and while we’ve been sharing our picks for what you should buy in our 2007 Holiday Gift Guide, we also feel we should drop some knowledge in video form as well. I mean, it’s what we do, right? Anyhow, in this one, we give you a look at the complete Apple iPod lineup that is available this holiday season. If you wanted a refresher on exactly what each iPod model has to offer feature-wise, this is the video to check out. We are talking about everything from the iPod shuffle, all the way up to the iPhone itself. Strap yourself in and check out the video, and if you plan on buying an iPod for someone special this year (or yourself), let us know which you choose.
A rumor began circulating yesterday that the full and final track list for Activision‘s Guitar Hero III was available. The problem with the list was that while it seemed credible it lacked several bands who had previously announced their involvement with the game, notably Atreyu and Velvet Revolver.
We followed up with one of the original sources yesterday and he confirmed that the list was accurate but perhaps not 100% complete, which would leave room for additional songs to be announced closer to the release date or perhaps even kept under wraps until the game ships. In any case, the selection is shaping up nicely with a few unexpected inclusions.
Read More | Aeropause
It took several years but the marketability of the popular console series Guitar Hero couldn’t go unnoticed by the PC side of gaming for very long and today Aspyr Media announced that it will be bringing Activision‘s Guitar Hero III to PC and Mac in time for the holiday season.
Dusty Welch, head of publishing at Red Octane, said in a statement to GameDaily BIZ: “Providing the option for our fans to play Guitar Hero at their desk or on a laptop on the go is incredibly exciting, and we’re thrilled to now offer the ability to rock out literally anywhere and everywhere.”
The PC version will ship with a USB guitar controller based on an as-yet unannounced Gibson model. Aspyr is planning on offering some type of download service but declined to reveal any specific details of how that would be handled saying, “We hope to have a very exciting announcement soon.” At this stage Aspyr is still conducting compatibility tests and hasn’t solidified the system requirements but stressed that they were aiming to make the game accessible to the widest audience possible.
The Official Xbox Magazine’s podcast has an interview this week with Harmonix co-founder and president Alex Rigopulos about their upcoming game Rock Band. In the interview he talks about the game bundles, although light on concrete details he does confirm a band-in-a-box bundle that will include a guitar, drum kit and microphone. However, he goes on to say that the PlayStation 3 version will include a wireless guitar controller while the Xbox 360 version will have to include a wired guitar because Microsoft‘s wireless technology is too expensive to make the bundle reasonably priced. Since the 360 also has only two USB ports, the 360 Rock Band bundle will also be packed with a USB hub.
Rigopulos goes on to discuss the game’s career modes a little, saying there will be both solo career mode that progresses in a linear fashion similar to what Guitar Hero players are used to, but they are also including a less linear band career mode. In this mode you traverse to various venues trying to build up your fan base and in some cases return to previously played locations to maintain your fame there. Also it’s worth noting that the solo career mode will not include a bass career track so your options are vocals, guitar and drums in solo career mode. But Rigopulos did reveal that the finale songs for each career path (and therefore likely the difficulty distinctions throughout) will be different for each instrument, and he even said that at this point the drum finale will be The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
Read More | KOXM Podcast
Okay, the game is Hannah Montana. But subtitled “Music Jam,” this game looks like a portable Rock Band including recording capabilities, four different instruments, wireless multiplayer and some really cool gameplay. There’s really no reason to be ashamed if you end up excited about this game. Except, you know, the teeny bopper license and the fact that any guy over 13 who buys this will get a lot of really suspicious looks from game store clerks.
Still, the guy demoing the game in the video is not a wuss and would totally beat you up, so if he’s comfortable playing it, you should be too.
Or, you could hold out and hope that Disney Interactive wisely re-brands this down the road with something a little less emasculating or at the very least a little less “middle school.”
Read More | Infendo
President of Tri-Crescendo, Hiroya Hatsushiba, based the curious concept of upcoming 360 role-playing game Eternal Sonata on a desire to bring the music of Frederic Chopin to a wider audience—in this case, gamers.
In the game, players exist in a dream world concocted by the composer as he lies on his death bed suffering from tuberculosis which took the life of the famed Polish composer at the age of 39. This dream world grants magical powers to those suffering from incurable illnesses. Chopin’s music is incorporated into the game as unlockable rewards for completing side quests.
Considering the recent “are games art?” debate being held publicly between the likes of Roger Ebert and Clive Barker, perhaps the inclusion of already established artistic work can help lend some weight to Baker’s pro-art arguments.
Read More | Silicon Era
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