Sony's strategy of interoperability between the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita is starting to look like it'll turn out poorly for the Vita. While on the surface the strategy has its perks, for the consumer, it can be prohibitively expensive. How many people really believe that a second-screen gaming experience is worth buying new hardware for? Look at PlayStation All-Stars — it's the same game on PS3 and Vita, and allows you to play seamlessly on the couch or on the go with a save file that lives in Sony's cloud. It should be obvious that there are few fans enthusiastic enough to buy two copies of All-Stars so that they can play on the road with the same save file. This speaks to a worrying trend where the Vita ends up subordinated to the PS3, rather than enjoying a dedicated software library enabled by its truly unique hardware.
I am exactly the person who should be excited about Google's "social" media player: I have room in my life for a streaming media gizmo — right now I lean on my Xbox 360, but have always been Roku curious — I use an Android smartphone as my primary device and I'm always in the market for innovative gadgets. That, and it simply looks like a gadget you want to own. I was immediately taken with it. With its round body and bold LED stripe, it looks like a cannonball fired out of the world of Tron. Yet, painfully, I find myself the opposite of excited. Make no mistake, the Nexus Q is one hot little piece of hardware. It does a lot of amazingly smart things. At the same time, a few key choices by Google has effectively knock the legs out from under Q, and put a wall up between user and device. So, yes, that's not a typo: here are the zero reasons why you should plunk your money down for the Nexus Q.
Who among you have been lucky enough to have won the Verizon FiOS lottery? Okay, perhaps the metaphor isn't quite precise since one cannot choose to win the lottery while one can choose FiOS over a local cable monopoly or satellite TV service. But unlike cable or satellite, FiOS isn't available everywhere, only to around 15 to 18 million homes — and mine isn't one of them. That makes those of you who can choose FiOS the aforementioned lucky lottery winners (now you see the accuracy of the metaphor), and the estimated 4.4 million of you who have chosen FiOS for your TV service and 5 million for broadband connectivity smart lottery winners. And not being a FiOS lottery winner makes me angrier than, well, someone who plays the same numbers in the lottery every week — except the week that number actually comes in. And my anger — and perhaps that of all non-FiOS lottery winners — is unlikely to be sated given the recent Verizon/FiOS news.
Just as the inevitable presidential candidate gaffes promise to make this summer a paradise for late night comics ("Amercia"? Classic!), the pending triangular smartphone battle between Google, Apple and Samsung is making tech reporters cackle with delight.
While watching The Daily Show the other night, I saw a commercial (I hadn't had a chance to DVR past it) for the impending release of the Denzel Washington starrer Safe House in a Blu-ray combo pack. According to the ad, the combo-pack gives you three ways to watch, anytime, anywhere: a Blu-ray disc, a DVD and a digital copy "PLUS all-new UltraViolet." Uh, wouldn't that be FOUR ways to watch anytime, anywhere? While Universal's viewing arithmetic may be faulty, what may be even more off is the fourth billing given UltraViolet. What's UltraViolet? Possibly the future of all home video — if the powers-that-be can smooth out some start-up kinks.
Editor's Note: Author Rusel DeMaria recently turned to Kickstarter to fund the third edition of his book, High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games. Here, we turn to him as co-author of The Crowdfunding Bible for tips on how geeks without funding from Silicon Valley can make their dreams come true through crowdfunding. "Simply put, crowdfunding is the process of asking the general public for donations that provide startup capital for new ventures." — The Crowdfunding Bible Speaking as a grateful recipient of crowdfunding and contributing author of "The Crowdfunding Bible," I want to speak to you directly. My name is Rusel DeMaria. I had an idea. I needed money. I turned to Kickstarter and I got the money I needed and more. How did I do it? I'll offer some hints on how I did it, but first, let's talk about you. What's your idea? Do you have a product, invention, event or vision you want to realize, and all you need is money to make it so? If your answer is no, read on anyway. You might get inspired to change your answer.
Since way before the iPhone was a gleam in Steve Jobs's eye, back when the Motorola RAZR was the mobile phone du jour, financial institutions, mobile handset makers and carriers have dreamed of turning your cellphone into a mobile wallet, to use your smartphone the same way you use a credit or debit card. Finally, this year we may finally reach this near field communication (NFC) nirvana, of simply waving our smartphone over a retail payment terminal instead of a credit or debit card to pay for our copiously consumed commodities. There's only one problem. Using your smartphone as a credit or debit card replacement may be more trouble than it's worth.