Pro: E3 was tons of fun. Con: It served little-to-no purpose. Sure, the California-based trade show presented journalists with a relaxed pace and a civil atmosphere, but the only thing it served up for lay-gamers was a heaping plate of disappointment. No big announcements, no mind-blowing demos, and only one or two cases of easy fodder for the Internet's flames. We can only hope the show will see a drastic revamp soon, because it's quickly circling the drain.
But let's not dwell on the recent past; today has provided us with plenty of interesting stories, including Peter Molyneux's MMO aspirations, another new Sonic game, and, er, Michael Pachter's damning comments towards E3. Ok, so maybe the past deserves one more quick peek into the rearview mirror.
Either Charlie Demerjian is drinking some seriously spiked Kool-Aid, or The Inquirer reporter really is privy to what could turn out to be the hottest story this summer. According to the latest rumor (and this one's unconfirmed), two high profile Nvidia add-in board (AIB) partners are jumping ship. And by high profile, Demerjian's talking about XFX and Evga, two of only three Nvidia partners (BFG being the other) to offer a generous lifetime warranty on their videocards.
As if the rumor wasn't already unfathomable, it gets even more shocking. According to the story, which, again, hasn't been confirmed by any other source, not only have XFX and Evga already defected (The Inq claims "paperwork has been signed"), but they're not heading for the hills of ATI. Huh? That's right; the rumor says XFX and Evga aren't following Gainward's lead (yet another defection rumor), so if it turns out to be true, then where could they going?
Find out where XFX and Evga are rumored to be headed after the jump.
For the all the benefits organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) have to offer, high costs have kept the technology from becoming commonplace. And when OLED devices do emerge, they tend to command a premium, putting them out of reach for mainstream consumption. But while the world waits for a breakthrough to bring low-cost OLEDs into the marketplace, Toshiba and Matsushita (Panasonic) might already be there.
According to a report from Japan's Nikkei BP, the two tech giants say they are poised to become the first Japanese companies to mass-produce OLED screens. Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co. (60 percent owned by Toshiba and 40 percent by Matsushita) appears ready to churn out 1 million 2.5-inch organic screens per month by fall of 2009, and will target mostly handheld devices like mobile phones and GPS navigators.
The 2.5-inch screen size remains the sweet spot for many portable devices, and if the two companies' claims turn out to be true, we could see a deluge of OLED devices rolled out in a very short time period starting in late '09
Never mind choosing between a PC or a console, Dell says why not get both? And to show you its okay to treat yourself to a gaming extravaganza, Dell is tossing in a Xbox 360 Elite console with both its $3,000 XPS M1730 laptop and $2,000 XPS 630 desktop.
Exactly what prompted the as-yet unannounced promotion remains a mystery, and after initial reports indicated the bundle only applied to the M1730 notebook, John Blain, gaming liasion for Dell, clarified in a blog that the company is also running the same deal with its 630 desktop. "As one commenter to this article mentioned (Brian), you can never have enough Xbox 360s. I would wholeheartedly agree," wrote Blain.
This isn't the first bit of news involving Microsoft's gaming console, and the company just last week announced a partnership with Netflix that would bring the online video rental's streaming service to Xbox 360 consoles this fall. In addition, Microsoft was busy showing off a redesigned 3D Dashboard at this year's E3, also slated for a fall release.
Dell too has been busy shaking things up with its recently introduced Studio notebook line, and the company will pilot a PC repair program in select Wal-Mart stores in the Dallas area.
Like the American Idol finale and Superbowl Sunday, Shark Week is a hallowed American tradition that celebrates the special bond between a couch potato and his high-definition television. And in case you haven’t glanced at the big red circle on your wall calendar recently, the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is coming up next week. This year’s line up features hour-long specials including “Surviving Sharks” and “Mysteries of the Shark Coast,” but the highlight of the event for us is going to be the Mythbusters’ Shark Special. Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, and gang will hit the Bahamas this year to investigate shark myths (ie. Do dogs attract sharks? Does chili powder repel them?). The highlight of this year’s show has to be their 16-foot robo-shark (frickin’ laser beams not confirmed).
Click through the jump for some photos from the upcoming episode, set to air on July 27th at 9pm (PST).
PC enthusiasts have reason to grin these days, because never has the market been as price friendly as it is right now. Just a shade over $100 suddenly gets you an overclockable Core 2 Duo, and it's not just Intel slashing prices either. Videocards have dropped in price so fast that at least two suppliers (XFX and Evga) are giving early adopters cash back. Prefer an ultraportable over a desktop? No problem, Asus has your back.
There was no announcement, but Engadget reports the Eee PC 1000H can now be had for $100 less than just one week ago. And they're right. A quick jaunt to Newegg verifies the price drop, though it's currently out of stock until Friday. Could this be a sign that the ultraportable market is heating up for a price war?
Good news for system builders and upgraders alike: Intel has cut processor prices (PDF) by as much as 31 percent. And these aren't price cuts on chips that nobody cares about either, but they include some overclocking favorites in both dual and quad-core trim:
Q6600, $224 to $193 (14% drop)
E8500, $266 to $183 (31% drop)
E8400, $183 to $164 (11% drop)
E7200, $188 to $113 (15% drop)
A handful of Xeon processors have also been marked down, but the real treat here is for overclockers. All four desktop processors have become extremely popular chips in the overclocking community due to their reputation for ramping up in clockspeed with minimal effort, and save for the E8500, each one could have been considered a bargain before the price cut. Now the price-to-performance ratio looks even better, enough so that those holding out for Nehalem may be tempted to pull the trigger now rather than wait. But on which one? Here's a refresher if you've been out of the loop for awhile:
Q6600 (2.4GHz, 8MB, 1066MHz, x9 multiplier)
E8500 (3.16GHz, 6MB, 1333MHz, x9.5 multiplier)
E8400 (3.0GHz, 6MB, 1333MHz, x9 multiplier)
E7200 (2.53GHz, 3MB, 1066MHz, x9.5 multiplier)
Prices represent 1,000 unit trays, so expect to pay a little bit more at your favorite vendor. Still, who can complain, and at these price points the question of the day is, build now or wait?
Yahoo and Carl Icahn have called off the proxy battle for control of the company. They reach a deal in which Yahoo’s board is expanded to 11 members. The current 8 members stay in place and Ichan and two other nominees from Ichan’s list join the board. Ichan has agreed to withdraw his slate of alternative directors.
It isn’t clear how they reached such a deal, considering that both side’s exchanges were close to becoming personal. Things seem to be all warm and fuzzy right now.
"While I continue to believe that the sale of the whole company or the sale of its search business in the right transaction must be given full consideration, I share the view that Yahoo!'s valuable collection of assets positions it well to continue expanding its online leadership and enhancing returns to stockholders.", Ichan said.
What this means for any possible deal between Microsoft and Yahoo remains to be seen, but further discussion on the matter is certain to be behind closed boardroom doors.
Not a fan of Vista? You're not alone, but you might be outnumbered. Microsoft claims it has sold over 180 million Vista licenses since launch, and while the significance of Vista sales have always been a point of contention, Microsoft has some other numbers it can now throw around that aren't so easily disputed. These include:
$60.42 billion (revenue for fiscal year ended June 30, 2008)
18 percent (revenue growth over one year ago)
$15.84 billion (fiscal fourth quarter revenue)
$5.68 billion (operating income, representing 42 percent growth over same period last year)
$0.46 (operating income, representing 48 percent growth over same period last year)
With Linux making headway as a viable alternative to Windows, it might come as a surprise to see Microsoft doing so well. But not only did Microsoft have a "strong finish in the fourth quarter, which capped off an impressive year for the company," but Chris Liddell, CFO at Microsoft, expects "another year of double-digit revenueand earnings growth in fiscal year 2009."
Anyone that has used a smart phone for browsing the internet knows that those little screens are just too small to be really comfortable to use. We also know that we don’t like to tote a notebook PC around on the chance that we need to use the internet for something.
The industry has known we needed something between a notebook PC and a smartphone sized device. It has taken several stabs at it, but nothing has quite stuck until a new breed of device has started to hit the market, called netbooks. These power sipping, devices are made primarily for checking email and surfing the internet at a low cost, some selling for $300. The PC industry is set to sell tens of millions of these devices. Good deal for the PC industry, right?
Maybe not. The NYTimes.com reports that industry analysts say that the emergence of this new class of low-cost, cloud-centric machines could threaten big market companies like Microsoft, Intel, HP, or Dell. “When I talk to PC vendors, the No. 1 question I get is, how do I compete with these netbooks when what we really want to do is sell PCs that cost a lot more money?” said J. P. Gownder, an analyst with Forrester Research.
Why are these tiny PCs a threat? Make the jump to find out!