The UpStream

Mobile Phone Games Are Cutting Into Other Handheld's Sales

posted Saturday Nov 12, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Smartphone gaming is not a new concept. If you don't at least have Angry Birds Lite front and center on your device, then you are one of the few who practically does no mobile gaming (if you are, don't feel bad, I'm part of the 1% as well). What's interesting is how the landscape of mobile gaming has shifted from 2009 until now. Flurry Analytics and the NDP Group have released some statistics that show a dramatic increases in smartphone game sales for the iOS and Android platforms and corresponding decreases in Nintendo DS and Sony PSP game sales.

Even just 2 years ago in 2009 the Nintendo DS was a monster in the mobile gaming industry drinking in 70% of total mobile game sales. The PSP was clinging to 11% of the market and iOS/Android owned the other 19%. The projections for the end of 2011 tell a much different story. iOS/Android are starting to look more like Pacman on the pie chart as they consume the DS's 36% and the PSP's measly 6% to attain 58% of mobile game sales with a nice little cherry on top. iOS/Android are expected to round out 2011 with $1.9 billion in sales and the PSP/DS are expected to bring in around $1.4 billion. Read on after the break to find out if iOS/Android games will turn DS and PSP games into power pellets that will be swallowed up with the rest of the market.

AT&T Aims to Implement 3G/4G in Your Next Ride

posted Saturday Nov 12, 2011 by Jon Wurm

AT&T Aims to Implement 3G/4G in Your Next Ride

When AT&T is not focusing on eliminating T-Mobile or capping your data, they are working to position themselves in emerging markets with high growth potential. In this case, they are transitioning their communication services into the third fastest-growing mobile device, your car. Audi is already experimenting with its implementation in their 2012 A7 and Glenn Lurie, President of AT&T's Emerging Devices division is working with Ford, Nissan and BMW to see their technology roll out with these car manufacturers in three to four years.

Vlad Sejnoha, the CTO of Nuance, a company who has developed speech recognition software for many auto manufacturers, gives his take on how the technology will be implemented.

Apps will reside on a built-in computer…a local computer, powerful, with a lot of memory, and it will include communication capability so it can connect to a server at any point. That server might include some data, some natural language processing, and the user will just simply be aware they are talking to the system. It can select media from the entertainment system, switch radio channels, you can ask for the nearest gas station. It will allow drivers to respond to their SMS texts that can be read outloud using synthetic voice. And a lot of these guys will also make it possible to connect to your smartphone for an app or music. But they won’t rely on the phone for the wireless connection.

The real question is, why would you pay extra for something your smartphone can already do with it's own 3G/4G connection that you are already paying for? Audi gives their take on that after the break.

GameStop Dips it's Toes into Android Tablets For the Holidays

posted Sunday Nov 6, 2011 by Jon Wurm

GameStop Dips it's Toes into Android Tablets For the Holidays

At the end of September, Tony Bartel, president of GameStop, announced they would try to market a "GameStop-certified gaming platform" that involved tablet devices. As we inch closer into the holiday season, GameStop has announced that 200 of their U.S. stores will be sporting a variety of Samsumg, Acer and Asusteck Computer Inc. Android tablets. According to GameStop's CEO, J. Pauls Raines,

Customers have been telling us that they like to game on multiple devices. We believe there is a gaming opportunity on tablets.

Along with the tablets, GameStop is offering a package of 7 games that will be included with the purchase of the device. They also have a specially designed controller that you can pick up for an additional $39. The purpose of the controller is to allow gamers to play 4 of the 7 games from across the room, assuming that you can send the video to your TV, or that the tablets are about 27". You'll also be able to access the Android Marketplace and GameStop's own mobile app store, Kongregate Arcade. How much will one of these tablets set you back and will all that in-store credit you've racked up do you any good? Find out after the break.

Nook E-Reader Gone Tablet

posted Sunday Nov 6, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Nook E-Reader Gone Tablet

It looks like Barnes & Noble didn't want to take the chance of getting burned by the Amazon Kindle Fire this holiday season. Some internal documents surfaced that revealed a November 15th release date for the their new Nook Tablet device. From the image it is nearly impossible to tell the Nook Color apart from it's younger brother but according to Barnes & Noble, the differences are mainly on the inside.

- 8.1- x 5- x 0.48-inches

- 7" color VividView IPS with 1024x600 resolution

- 16GB of flash storage

- 1G of RAM

- SD card slot

- 802.11b/g/n WiFi

- 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP4 processor

Hit the break to see if you can tell the Nook Tablet and Nook Color apart and to find out how much you can expect to drop for this device come November 15th.

Kinect's One Year Anniversary Comes Complete with Commercial SDK Announcement

posted Saturday Nov 5, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Kinect's One Year Anniversary Comes Complete with Commercial SDK Announcement

This week marked a year since the Kinect took effect on the Xbox 360 and made a world-changing impact on gaming and life itself. Since the Kinect entered the market before the holidays last year and set records across the globe, we've seen tons of new games at E3 and more and more creative ways to use Kinect.

What we've also seen is professional and amateur developer teams alike come up with so many different ways to "hack" and use the Kinect that Microsoft decided to embrace the community and come up with fun things like Kinect Fun Labs.

However, there's been some interesting things brewing up on the Microsoft side as well and in 2012, we will see the fruits of their labor.

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