The week in gadgets

6 Sep 2010

A look at gadget, game and geek happenings in the week ahead.

Hot Sony tech announced

Sony has announced the release of up coming gadgets, including the VPL-VW90ES, a 3D projector, and the availability of Qriocity in Europe.

The VPL-VW90ES allows viewers access to 3D entertainment at home, based on Sony’s active glasses technology.

The projector is equipped with Sony’s Advanced Iris3 technology, which allows for a dynamic contrast ratio of 150,000:1.

It can project 3D in Full HD 1,080p and features an upgraded SXRD 240Hz panel, minimising image distorting or “crosstalk.” It can also take 2D video and simulate 3D images for older films.

The VPL-VW90ES also allows for customisation, allowing viewers to personalise the project depending on the content they are showing and the size of the room they’re in.

It will be available across Europe in November 2010.

Sony also announced that ‘Video On Demand powered by Qriocity’, its premium streaming video service, will be available in five European countries in autumn.

Consumers from France, UK, Germany, Italy and Spain will be able to choose films from 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, MGM Studios, NBC, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Disney and Warner Bros, as well as popular local studios.

It will be available in Ireland soon, however, no official release date has been given.

Movies are available in HD and SD and can be rented on Sony’s 2010 models of network-enabled BRAVIA TVs, Blu-ray home theatre systems and Blu-ray disc players.

Sony will also introduce ‘Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity’ by the end of the year.

It offers a cloud-based digital music service and will allow consumers to access millions of songs through BRAVIA TVs, Blu-ray disc players, Blu-ray home theatre systems, VAIOs and PS3s.

Duke Nukem Forever: 2011 release?

The infamously long delayed Duke Nukem Forever may finally get released.

The irreverent first-person shooter had been delayed for more than 10 years before its studio, 3D Realms, shut down in 2009, seemingly extinguishing all hope for the game to see the light of day.

However, Gearbox Software has taken over development, promising a 2011 release. CEO Randy Pitchford said it has been completing the game since late 2009.

“Clearly, the game hadn’t been finished at 3D Realms but a lot of content had been created,” he said.

“The approach and investment and process at 3D Realms didn’t quite make it and it cracked at the end. With Gearbox Software we brought all those pieces together. It’s the game it was meant to be.”

The game was at PAX 2010 at the weekend, allowing attendees to try out the long-awaited return of Duke Nukem.

Ping Users reach more than 1 million within 48 hours

Apple has announced that more than 1 million users have joined Ping, just 48 hours after its release.

“One-third of the people who have downloaded iTunes 10 have joined Ping,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice-president of Internet Services.

“As many more people download iTunes 10 in the coming weeks, we expect the Ping community to continue growing.”

Ping is a social network that allows users to follow their favourite artists in order to see what they’re doing, to check their photos and videos, to find out their tour dates and to read comments about other artists and albums they’re listening to.

Users can also post their own opinions on their favourite albums, songs and which gigs they will be attending.

British music industry called to form truce with tech firms

CEO of lobby group Feargal Sharkey has asked for the music and technology industries to set aside their differences and work together to make Britain “the largest source of repertoire and artistry in the world” by 2020.

Sharkey has campaigned against music piracy online and has said technology and creativity were now inseparable.

“It’s now time for ISPs and tech companies to sit down together and possibly for the first time have a broad adult conversation,” he said at the Westminster Forum.

“Our future is now totally dependent, totally entwined, totally symbiotic.”

In April, the controversial Digital Economy Act was passed in the UK, sanctioning the removal of people’s internet connections if they were suspected of sharing music online illegally.

Sharkey has praised this, saying it was a stepping stone towards the music industry’s goal of having musicians “remunerated for their talent time, effort and ability.”