Nintendo on Monday put its latest shot across the bow of Microsoft and Sony when it officially launched WiiWare, its new online repository of downloadable games.
Ostensibly a service where Wii gamers will be able to shop for new, independent games, WiiWare seems to be Nintendo's answer to Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and its XNA Studio and to Sony's PlayStation Store.
WiiWare is launching with six games: Square Enix's Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, Frontier Development's LostWinds, XGen Studios' Defend your Castle, Nnooo's Pop, High Voltage Software's V.I.… Read more
Recently, I've noticed two interesting changes at my local Apple Store, both evidence of Apple's mastery of retail.
A few months ago, they remodeled to get rid of the large screen and seating area they used for in-store workshops. I liked the few classes I happened in upon during the weekend, but most of them were sparsely attended, and the workshops I really wanted to take--like Garage Band--were during normal work hours. In place of the demo area, they more than doubled the size of the Genius Bar, Apple's in-store customer support desk. The end-result: a mass … Read more
A patent filing by Apple is prompting speculation that the Mac and iPod maker could be getting ready to open up Apple stores in the virtual realm--perhaps in Second Life.
On Thursday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Enhancing online shopping atmosphere," filed in September 2006. The PTO's action was first noted by the Mac news site MacNN.
That's tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 19. Your day to celebrate the old way of buying music, where you got into your car and drove to a local store and talked to the clerk and sifted through the racks and maybe experienced the delight of finding an old CD you'd forgotten about, heavily discounted or expensive and rare. Or maybe you heard a great tune spinning in the background and bought it, like I did with The Monochrome Set's Strange Boutique and PiL's Second Edition and Wilco's amazing live CD (their best album, in my opinion), Kicking Television. … Read more
Sony wasn't kidding when it said the next PS3 system update was coming in mid-April. Just in time to take the edge off tax day, the version 2.30 of the PlayStation 3 system software is now available for download. As revealed last week, the software update adds DTS Master Audio decoding (to deliver the best audio from compatible Blu-ray movies), as well as a major overhaul of the interface for the PlayStation Store (as explained in the Sony video walkthrough shown above).
The question is: what do you think? Does the DTS upgrade make the PS3 an even … Read more
Sony has announced the details on the next PS3 firmware update--version 2.30, coming mid-April--and the big news for home theater fans is that the PS3 is getting onboard DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding for Blu-ray movies. Home theater fans have long lamented that the PS3 could not decode the new DTS soundtracks at their highest resolution, especially since movie studios like Fox have opted for DTS-HD Master Audio on many Blu-ray releases. Without getting too technical, DTS-HD Master Audio offers 7-channels of lossless audio at 96K sampling frequency and 24-bit depths--which means that the sound sent … Read more
Apple has confirmed data leaked from an internal memo showing that it has become the largest music retailer in the U.S.
Earlier Thursday, Ars Technica reported that certain Apple employees had received an internal e-mail with the results of a study conducted by The NPD Group. NPD initially declined to comment on the data, citing the fact that it was leaked from Apple, but Apple distributed a press release Thursday afternoon confirming the data from NPD's MusicWatch survey.
Apple didn't include its market share in the release, but Ars reported that Apple had 19 percent of overall … Read more
Tech blog Ars Technica says they've got their hands on an internal Apple memo that shows iTunes has topped Wal-Mart Stores in total global music sales.
The data in the memo cites a report from the month of January conducted by The NPD Group, a market research firm. NPD's numbers show the iTunes Store leading overall music sales for the first month of 2008 with a 19-percent share, followed by Wal-Mart with 15 percent, Best Buy with 13 percent, and Amazon with 6 percent.
The NPD Group, which reserves certain data for paying customers--like Apple, Wal-Mart, and others--and … Read more
For some reason, the only TV cabinets that aren't black or silver are often limited editions that come at a premium price even when they're just white. And more often than not, they come only in pink.
That makes no sense when there are outfits that will do custom paint jobs on just about anything for a fraction of the cost. A service called "Hu" from the Home Technology Store is trying to fill that need not just for custom-color TV sets but all their home theater accessories, including speakers, amps, and even brackets, according to … Read more