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What if: Apple designed a handheld gaming system?

650°
358w ago - Earlier this week it was revealed that Apple has filed to extend their trademark protection to include "toys, games and playthings, namely, hand-held units for playing electronic games; hand-held units for playing video games [and] stand alone video game machines".

While this does seem like a clear sign that Apple is planning to develop and release some form of video game console, a trademark filing does not positively ensure that such a device will become a reality. Companies do this sort of thing all the time, extending their reach to include products and services that they may never actually produce, but want to stake a claim to, just in case.

Here, however, there is some strong evidence to suggest that Apple might be planning to develop a stand-alone handheld gaming device. In previous What If columns, we examined what some other companies' offerings might look like, if they were actually built. Today, we speculate on the features that would likely be included in an Apple handheld, in light of this intriguing news.

Overall Look and Feel

Given Apple's emphasis on design, any handheld system they released would have to look beautiful as well as play games. The company has followed a broad, mass-market stretegy with their previous devices, and they would probably want...
 

Opinion: PS3, Blu-Ray, & Sony As Global Infant

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358w ago - In a fiery opinion piece, game designer/author Ian Bogost examines NPD chart trends to suggest that Sony's lack of unified message on PS3, Blu-ray and the 'average consumer' is rendering ineffective its pitch to users.

Sony is a global conglomerate which is significantly different from its hardware competitors in the video game industry. It makes consumer electronics ranging from telephones to computers to GPS units.

It publishes video games, movies, and music. It also maintains an army of support businesses, including banks, insurance providers, facility management companies, staffing services, and packaging providers.

The business strategy makes sense: control as much of the market for both electronics and the media we use them for. That's why Sony purchased CBS Records and Columbia Pictures in the late 1980s; they wanted to own part of the content people played on their Walkmans and VCRs.

The problem is, Sony's corporate subsidiaries don't work well together, on a scale far worse than other multinational conglomerates. The company is more feudal state than networked global multinational.

Sony, Divisions, & Co-Ordination

I'll give you just one example from a previous life consulting for Sony Pictures Entertainment. The first installment of Spider-Man...
 

GDC 2008 Predictions

50°
358w ago - With the Game Developer's Conference of 2008 get ready to launch on Monday, it's a busy week ahead. With that in mind we've decided to bring you the predictions and expectations:

- Insomniac Games "Special Presentation" (possibly Resistance 2)
- Dark Sector (first look and hands on with multiplayer)
- Interstellar Marines
- Echochrome
- GT5 Prologue
- Secret Agent Clank
- God of War Chains of Olympus
- New Warhawk DLC
- Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
- King of Fighters XII
- Star Wars Force Unleashed
- Prototype
- Street Fighter IV

And that's just for starters. Some other things readers can possibly look forward to include EA's Mirrors Edge and Battlefield Bad Company, as well as Steel Monkey's 2 Days to Vegas and Fantasy Lab's Danger Planet.

However I do have some disappointing details about GDC that may ruin some of the excitement for you. Apparently Sony will be keeping a low profile this year at GDC. This means that people can expect such games as Killzone 2, The Getaway, Motorstorm 2, and possibly even Home to not make an appearance.

When I spoke with SCEA, they told me that they were not planning any full-scale media events for GDC, however their plans were not 100% nailed down yet.
 

Microsoft's online, mobile phone chiefs depart!

50°
358w ago - The software giant says the management shake up has nothing to do with its proposed buyout of Yahoo.

Microsoft Corp. announced the departure of several executives Thursday, among them a Silicon Valley veteran recruited to help fix its unprofitable Web business and one in charge of marketing Windows Vista, and the promotion of more than a dozen others across the company.

The changes come just two weeks after Microsoft offered to buy Web portal and search competitor Yahoo Inc. for more than $40 billion, a move industry watchers broadly see as an admission that Microsoft's own Web strategy had failed.

If the proposed Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) takeover is completed, Microsoft is expected to make more radical changes as it blends the two companies into a more formidable challenger to Google Inc., the dominant player in the lucrative Internet search and advertising markets.

Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos said Thursday's announcement is unrelated to the Yahoo negotiations.

Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of Microsoft's online business group, will hand off his duties to three insiders: Satya Nadella, currently in charge of search and search advertising engineering; Bill Veghte, a Windows marketing executive; and Brian McAndrews, formerly the chief executive of online...
 

NVIDIA iPhone-busting handset

50°
358w ago - At the 2008 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, NVIDIA has surprised everyone by announcing a processor for mobile devices that combines a CPU with a GeForce GPU into a single chip. The processor is aimed at next generation smartphones powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile.

NVIDIA claims the APX 2500 is "the world's lowest power, high-definition computer on a chip," providing 10 hours of 720p HD playback and 100 hours of audio, the ability to decode, encode 720p video and support up to 12 megapixel camera sensors. It can ouput 720p video via HDMI and up to SXGA (1280x1024) for LCD/CRT support. As you'd expect, it can handle all types of movie, image and audio files and formats

Video can be seen below:



 
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