Now, this is rather odd. Taiwan-based OpenMoko is out with WikiReader, a palm-size, touch-screen device that lets you tote 3 million text-only Wikipedia articles around offline. Given that we're in the smartphone age, we're not quite sure who would jump for this thing.
It's no surprise Microsoft is flirting with the idea of jumping into the handheld market. While the company has found success with the Xbox 360, Microsoft has absolutely no portable presence.
With all this time outside of the market, Microsoft needs to identify what kind of portable system the company's handheld Xbox will be. We told you about rumors of a Zune-Xbox-cell phone hybrid, but such an ambitious device will be expensive and alienate those who just want a portable gaming system.
This is not for everybody, but if you have more than one handheld device (like me), you'd probably find this handy.
It's called a Charge4All portable charging mat and it can charge up to four handheld devices at a time from a single source of power. This means you won't have to fumble around to find wall sockets, especially if you share a place with another gadget hoarder.
The mat supports a large amount of (if not all) popular electronic devices, including iPhones, iPods, cell phones, MP3 players, Bluetooth devices, PDAs, digital cameras, portable GPS devices, and … Read more
Apple had its own E3 press conference at the beginning of the week, with its newest model in the iPhone line finally being unveiled to the world. The iPhone 3G S, while in some ways a modest upgrade, introduces significant improvements for gamers--some obvious, others not so much. Will it help even further cement their growing position in a handheld games market previously dominated by Nintendo and Sony? Read on.
Faster processor speed, more RAM. T-Mobile leaked the hard 3G S specs, and they're all-around zippier than the old 3G--which Apple confirmed when it promised overall speeds up to 2x faster. This will matter in particular with game load times and game crashes, both of which can tend to plague an overstuffed iPhone. While the spec bumps are relatively modest, the iPhone's game-playing prowess has already been more impressive than early pundits predicted, especially on recent releases like The Sims 3 and a PC-perfect port of Myst. The only thing missing now is...
Proper controller support. Sneaked in under the radar amid the iPhone 3G S news is the fact that the 3.0 software update allows third-party app interfacing with peripherals. While a larger focus on this functionality has been on medical devices, it's now possible for someone to make a clip-on control pad case and to have that controller be usable in any game. What should happen is that publishers gather to designate one universal controller that then gets adopted as the iPhone's "gamepad." The question is, who will make that accessory? For a while last year it was rumored to be Belkin, although it was unclear who would support the device. On consoles, the manufacturer usually settles these issues by making the controller themselves (except in the case of peripheral-driven games like Rock Band).
While it would be easiest if Apple made a gamepad, it's entirely unlikely. The whole appeal of the iPhone is its interface simplicity--too many plug-ins kill the minimalist chic. If a third party makes a controller, there's a likelihood that some publishers would support it, while others splinter off under some other controller accessory. Either way, someone should make sure there's a good consensus. Otherwise, soon enough we'll be buried in plastic miniperipherals, not unlike what's currently happening to (or plaguing) game consoles.… Read more
Could the disaster that was Sony's Connect music service have soured the international conglomerate on offering downloads at the PlayStation Network?
Rafat Ali over at the tech news blog PaidContent.org is reporting that not only has Sony scrapped plans--at least for the time being--to offer music downloads to owners of the PlayStation Portable, but the executive in charge of dealing with the labels has resigned, according to the report.
The 20th anniversary of the Game Boy's release (in Japan, anyway) was Tuesday. Today, a whole generation of kids will grow up with nary a clue about what the Game Boy is and how it affected our lives. But the rest of us look back fondly at the handheld, so I thought it appropriate to remember our old friend.
The Game Boy was created by Gunpei Yokoi, a Nintendo employee who had moved up in the ranks from being a janitor to working on product development. It was originally a simple device with a monochrome screen, four buttons (A, B, Start, Select), and a four-way directional pad. But over the years, Nintendo transformed that simple handheld into a full-featured gaming platform, complete with a color screen and outstanding titles.
Over 118.69 million units were sold (including Game Boy Color versions) around the world. And millions more were sold in future iterations. That simple mobile device transformed the industry. It became one of the world's most celebrated video game platforms.
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Artificial Muscle believes that when you touch your computer or phone, it should touch back.
The Silicon Valley company is working on putting haptic feedback in a variety of devices, from laptops to touch-screen phones. Though forced feedback isn't a new concept, the way this company is going about it is different. It showed off some of its technologies at the Interactive Displays 2009 conference here.
Instead of using the vibration motor in a phone to give feedback from a screen, the company has developed and patented an electroactive polymer that expands when it receives an … Read more
In conjunction with the launch of the Nintendo DSi in the U.S., the Japan-based video game console company commissioned artist Sean Kenney to create a large Lego sculpture of its latest handheld. And, boy, did he make one.
The details on this scale model are simply amazing, right down to the stylus slot and power connector. In fact, if it wasn't for the person standing beside it in the picture, it'd be hard to tell that this isn't just a pixelated photograph of the DSi. If you want to see it in the flesh, it's … Read more
The Nintendo DSi arrived at my house last week. After playing a variety of games on the handheld, here are my thoughts:Hands-on
Gaming Based on the games I played--a dozen DS titles--I don't see any difference between it and the previous DS Lite. The games and the experience are the same. The DSi's screens are larger and the sound is better, slightly improving the gameplay experience, but other than that, I'm hard-pressed to see much difference.
DS games on the DSi shouldn't be much different, but Nintendo says compelling DSi-specific software is on the way. The company claims those titles will fully capture the functionality of the new handheld. I haven't played any of those titles, so I can't make a judgment on whether they will. Right now, the DSi, from a gaming perspective, is a new, hobbled, more expensive, DS Lite.… Read more