CNET Targets gadget buyers offline

This holiday season, go into your local Target and you’ll see CNET reviews alongside digital cameras, tablets and other electronics. Target and CNET’s partnership is designed to help undecided shoppers make purchasing decisions, but it could also help prevent showrooming.

Nintendo’s Wii U bets big on second screen TV

Nintendo’s Wii U won’t just come with Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant video. It will also tap into your TiVo library and even deliver game stats, tweets and other info to the second screen while watching a sports event on live TV.


Envisioning future strategies for Sony’s success

Sony remains one of the most important brands in the world, synonymous with quality rich media and the devices that present it. The problem is that, despite a tagline that states “make.believe,” the company is, in a sense, simply playing make-believe with its business. However, the company’s recent agreement to pay Ericsson $1.47 billion to buy out Ericsson’s position in their joint smartphone venture could vault Sony into becoming one of the major players in mobile and wireless.

Netflix on Wii just got kids-friendly

Kids can now browse Netflix movies and TV shows without accidentally stumbling across NC-17-rated content, thanks to a new children-friendly interface launched today. The roll-out of Netflix for kids marks the beginning of a wider expansion of a children-friendly interface across connected devices.

How Netflix uses WebKit and HTML5 for TV devices

Netflix has spent the past few years trying to get its streaming service on as many devices as possible, including TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, streaming set-top boxes, mobile phones and tablets. Its secret for doing so? Building experiences based on WebKit and HTML5.

Point-and-click will revolutionize your TV remote

Not only will your our TV remote soon get smarter and more usable, but it will also feel more natural to use. With controls based on gestures rather than directional buttons, the new controls will change the way viewers find and interact with content.

Nintendo will lead innovation again; just not with the 3DS

Is the 3DS the device to lead Nintendo into another decade of growth and profitability? Probably not. With the gaming industry focusing more and more on tablets, smartphones and touchscreens, the company will almost certainly have to rethink its slightly antiquated business model to remain relevant.

The Wii U will help make video chat mainstream

Video chatting from the couch might no longer be some Jetsons-esque fantasy: New technologies are beginning to appear in game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect and Nintendo’s new Wii U that could make video chat services available to the wider mass market.

Nintendo’s Wii U takes its cues from the iPad

Nintendo unveiled its next-generation console today, with the Wii U, which features a tablet-like controller. We couldn’t help but think that Nintendo, far from innovating in this instance, borrowed liberally from the iPad and the way people use it for gaming and watching TV.

Sorry, Mario: Smartphones Are the Hot New Game

Mobile gaming on smartphones is tied for the fifth-most used activity on a handheld. Some thing the handheld gaming market is different from that of smartphones, but that’s old school. Cheaper software that can leverage connectivity for social or multi-player gaming is earning high scores.

So What Should Cisco Really Have Done With Flip?

This week, Cisco restructured its consumer business, which included, shockingly, killing off its Flip video camera. Whether or not it was the best choice in the long run is up for debate, as clearly there were other possible strategies f0r Flip that Cisco could have picked.

Smartphones Sucking Dollars Out of Portable Games

Despite the best efforts of Nintendo and Sony, mobile games are taking a bigger chunk out of the portable gaming market, with one in every three dollars of U.S. portable gaming revenue going to smartphone and tablet games, according to new analysis from Flurry.

Nintendo 3DS vs Smartphone Gaming: Which Wins?

Nintendo has released the 3DS, the next generation of its mobile gaming console and successor to the immensely popular DS, at an interesting time for mobile gaming, adding 3-D capability, better graphics and a 3-D camera to the proven dual-screen format of the Nintendo DS.

The 3DS, the iPad, and the Future of Gaming

While the Nintendo 3DS didn’t generate the kind of hype Apple product launches normally see did when it debuted in the U.S. on Sunday, by all accounts it’s still doing very well. But can it compete with iOS devices? No, nor should it try.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Connected Consumer Q4: New Platforms and OTT’s Dynamic Duo Dominated

The online video marketplace continued changing rapidly during the fourth quarter. Much of the action centered around the proliferation of new connected entertainment platforms and Hollywood’s rising awareness of the long-lasting impact of Netflix and premium streaming on traditional home video business.


5 Connected Consumer Companies That Ruled 2010

In 2010 we saw immense change in a number of connected consumer segments. TVs began to morph from dumb islands to smart, connected content hubs, the iPad created an entirely new computing category almost overnight and e-books went from curiosity to white-hot sensation. With so much happening in the space, here are a few companies that deserve special recognition for moving their markets in 2010.

First Look: Netflix Wii Streaming Without A Disc

Netflix streaming on the Wii now works without a disc> Users simply have to download an application, which can also be stored on an SD card. The new UI also enables search and browsing of the entire catalog. Chck out our video for a first look.

Search Is Coming To Netflix On The Wii

The UI of Netflix on the Wii is going to get a major revamp: Netflix has started to send out new Wii discs to a limited number of subscribers that feature, amongst other things, search and browse buttons to explore the entire Watch Instantly catalog.

Nintendo 3DS – A Broken Business Model

On Monday, well known gaming industry analyst Michael Pachter released a research note proclaiming the forthcoming Nintendo 3DS would “revolutionize the gaming industry.” But as discussed today at GigaOm Pro, the device is doomed, and it has Apple’s iPhone/iPod Touch to blame.


As Millions of Videos Come to TV, How Will We Choose?

Freedom of choice is great… until there are too many choices. And the Internet-connected televisions headed to market will soon open up millions of TV-watching options. Right now, most folks use the standard TV grid to scroll through channels and programming. But the move from linear TV to a new world of on-demand broadband television will require a fresh, more elegant user interface for navigating through an ocean of viewing options. “If a user sits down and says ‘nothing’s on,’ we have failed,” says Tom Woods, director of user experience for Rovi (formerly Macrovision), “I guarantee that out of hundreds of channels, Internet content and premium services, there is something of interest to them.” But finding what’s of interest is the key, and future TV user interfaces will need to rely on a combination of search, recommendations, content-centric thinking and better design.


Virtual Worlds: Trends and Opportunities

In recent years, virtual worlds (also known as massively multiplayer online games, or MMOs) have shown tremendous growth in terms of user numbers and revenue. However, the market for them is currently in tremendous flux, with the most well-known sub-genre — the subscriber-based fantasy role playing games (MMORPGs) — suffering a growth plateau, due to the dominating success of World of Warcraft. At the same time, user activity in “freemium” virtual worlds continues to explode, most especially in the tween/adolescent market, which is likely to reach a market saturation point soon, though monetization prospects for all but the established players remain uncertain. The explosion of social networks, which share numerous traits with virtual worlds, have created a new potential audience for this genre, while the mass adoption of web plug-ins and smartphones like the iPhone have opened up new markets for the genre.

In this transitional period, many of the best investment and growth opportunities to watch are not the worlds themselves, but the solution providers offering developers the means to better monetize their existing MMOs. Opportunities also exist in niche MMOs that appeal to consumers seeking entertainment outside the established fantasy and kids social MMO space. However, new players that would enter this already crowded market must foster a community of users by rewarding user-created content and continued engagement, while also being architected with multiple revenue streams and play platforms.

Is Nintendo Headed For A Rough Patch?

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Tuesday Afternoon Vid-Biz Headlines

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