Tag - NGP
Sony is holding its E3 press conference for E3 2011 on the USC campus tonight. The company is expected to formally rechristen the NGP as the PSVita, its main challenge to Apple and Nintendo in the gaming space. Visit our live coverage page from 8PM Eastern or 5PM Pacific for real-time updates as they happen.
Amid Sony's NGP-related announcements, the company has confirmed that its upcoming handheld will be compatible with PSP titles. Backward compatibility will be limited to digital releases available in the PlayStation Network, though the hardware differences will require many games to be reconfigured for the NGP's input options.
Sony is currently previewing select games that will be available when the company's NGP handheld arrives on the market. Ahead of E3, the company is holding a private event at the Sony Pictures soundstage in LA to show off the highlight title, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, along with other games such as Hot Shots Golf, Wipeout, Hustle Kings, Soundshapes, and Super Stardust Delta.
Multiple clues have emerged in the past day that the Sony NGP now had a final name. A photo leak and a working developer web domain, vita.scedev.net, have hinted that the quad-core gaming machine will be called the PlayStation Vita. The Sony Computer Entertainment site redirects to a portal but works with subdomains based on other device names, like NGP and PS3, while ignoring other made up addresses.
Sony's CFO Masaru Kato gave out clues in a Memorial Day interview that the NGP would be considerably less expensive to make than earlier PlayStations. He described the handheld system as less "investment heavy" than before. Among the options mentioned to the Wall Street Journal were farming out chip manufacturing to other companies or using off-the-shelf parts.
NVIDIA in another phase of its Computex show rollouts gave the first real demo of its quad-core Kal-El chip (below). A graphics and physics demo, Glowball, showed the future Tegra as the first smartphone-class chip of doing true dynamic lighting while still keeping a smooth frame rate, even with advanced physics for cloth and obstacles. Kal-El is the first mobile chip that can do this at a reasonable speed, NVIDIA said, and dropping to just two cores showed a dramatic slowdown.
Sony might be stripping down the performance of the NGP to better take on the Nintendo 3DS and Apple's iPod touch. A rumor late Thursday from France's 01net claimed that developers had been told the NGP would have half the main RAM, 256MB, and a similar cut to 128MB of video RAM. It may also drop the 16GB of built-in storage and shed the plain SD card slot in favor of a possibly more proprietary format with copy protection; whether that was Memory Stick or another format wasn't mentioned.
OmniVision in its quarterly results call Thursday night dropped clues as to its possible iPhone production plans as well as a key console deal. The camera sensor maker said it was transitioning much of its smartphone work to eight-megapixel sensors and was seeing strong orders from "key customers in the smartphone market" for the next few months ahead. It also clarified plans for its next-generation eight-megapixel sensor, the OV8830; it planned to ship the sensor to "premier brand name" smartphone creators when it was ready in the second half of the year.
Sony gave the first signs of the PlayStation 4 already in development through the earnings call for its latest results. The electronics giant's CFO Masaru Kato explained a rise in research and development costs by noting that "development work is already underway" for the PS3's future replacement. He couldn't say what it was or when it would ship in VentureBeat's recall of the event, although the timing made it unlikely it would be 2011.
Sony ramped itself up for the E3 show with two special deals to put sales over the top. A new Call of Duty: Black Ops Limited Edition PS3 bundle gives users both a 160GB version of the console but also the still-current first-person shooter and the new First Strike add-on pack. It ships on May 31, just a week before the start of E3, for $300.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE