Nintendo 3DS Launch Date Confirmed

Just a day after German tabloid Bild made a bold speculation about Nintendo launching their new 3DS console on November 11 this year, the official date is out. And Bild is wrong by a big margin. According to the official statement released today, the company shall be launching the new 3D-capable portable gaming console in Japan on February 26, 2011. That’s quite sometime away. The statement also noted the price of the console in the domestic market as 25,000 yen that is close to a $299 price point.

There is no word on when the consoles will make their way out to the other countries. Nintendo has said that they will make separate statements regarding the launch of Nintendo 3DS in USA and Europe and given earlier speculations, that should be close to March 2011.

The console was earlier believed to be launched in Japan by November 20 after a product designer revealed that his designs for the 3DS were launching on that day. Hopefully, the latest statement from the company has put these speculations to rest.

Facebook Video Chat And Voice Calls Coming Soon?

Facebook, the world’s largest social network with over 500 million registered users is said to have signed a deal with Skype; the world’s largest VoIP calling network with more than 560 million registered users to bring together a feature that will let users to send SMS, make voice calls as well video chat with their Facebook friends. The new functionality is expected to be available in the new Skype 5.0 that is all set to be made public in a couple of weeks from now.

Facebook login on Skype

What is interesting is that the feature is confirmed to be available on the Skype application interface but it is unclear if a voice-calling functionality via Skype shall be made available over the Facebook web interface. That would have been a much more disruptive offering considering that Facebook has a much larger user interaction. Nevertheless, this is a good beginning and it will be interesting to see if this functionality will be made available on the mobile apps as well.

Firefox App For iPhone Not Coming, Says Mozilla

If you are one of those loyal Firefox users, then here’s some bad news. Mozilla Firefox is not coming to the iPhone anytime now. This is despite the fact that Apple has eased its earlier restrictions on the kind of third party apps that they would approve for the App Store. In a recent statement, Mozilla has said,

“We are working to bring as much of your Firefox experience as possible to Firefox Home. People have asked about adding more browser-like features to Firefox Home, but there are technical and logistical restrictions that make it difficult, if not impossible, to build the full Firefox browser for the iPhone. We are focused on building Firefox Home as a rich, cloud-based application and making it a valuable product that people will continue to love and use.”

So, there you go. Mozilla has not refused to build a full fledged browser out of any strategic reasons. Instead, it appears to be technical; at least for the moment. Of course, Firefox Home app for iPhone will give you a good browsing experience given its integration with the Firefox platform. But in case you are looking for an iPhone app that’s better than the native Mobile Safari on the iPhone, then you could probably check out Opera Mini. That’s your best bet for now.

Second iOS 4.2 Beta Version Available For Download

You must be already aware that the next version of iOS – version 4.2 is scheduled to become available for public consumption in November of this year. As we move towards the official launch date, Apple has been releasing beta versions of this new mobile operating system for developers who will need it to format […]

You must be already aware that the next version of iOS – version 4.2 is scheduled to become available for public consumption in November of this year. As we move towards the official launch date, Apple has been releasing beta versions of this new mobile operating system for developers who will need it to format their applications to be compatible with the new platform.

Two weeks after the first beta release of iOS 4.2 was made, we now have the second beta of the upcoming iOS software released to the developer community. To get started, you need to log in to your Apple developer account here and find the appropriate link for download.

The upcoming version of iOS brings a number of new features like AirPlay and AirPrint to the iDevice. Besides this, the new version will also let iPad users get access to multitasking, folder management and threaded email access. The enhancements made in the latest beta release is not known as yet. Keep looking out for the same, though.

Steve Ballmer On Facebook – “I’m On Facebook Every Day”

It’s not often that you have corporate CEOs admit to visiting social networks every other day; at least if they are not Mark Zuckerberg. Apparently, Microsoft head, Steve Ballmer does. In an interview to the Seattle Times, not only did Ballmer admit to having a Facebook account that he visited every day, but also agreed to the problem with fake accounts. On being asked if he was one of those several Steve Ballmers on Facebook, the Microsoft CEO said,

“Yeah. I do, but I don’t want to tell you which one it is because I don’t want to get those friend requests. There’s about 11 of them (Steve Ballmer pages). Not as many as there are Bill Gates, but there are a few Steve Ballmers.”

Ballmer later also admitted to being a frequent visitor. He said,

“Every day. Oh, absolutely. I’m on Facebook every day.”

That doesn’t sound surprising. But I really don’t think he goes there to check on his crops. What do you think?

HP Tablet To Be Called PalmPad?

The headline of this post can be a little misleading in the sense that this is not actually a new thing. Hewlett Packard filed for the trademark for ‘PalmPad’ back in July this year that have got us speculating that this could be one possible name for the upcoming webOS tablet. However, the rumors just got a major boost when Todd Bradley, an Executive Vice President at HP seemed to confirm the news. In a statement over the company’s upcoming products, Bradley said,

We’ve already announced the expansion of our future product portfolio well beyond smartphones. We’ll have a webOS-powered PalmPad that will be set for release early in 2011.”

Of course this is not a confirmation of rumors since PalmPad has been prominently been used to reference the upcoming tablet and hence Bradley may simply be playing to the gallery. Nevertheless, with an official acknowledgement of this name, it only makes sense to hold this as the most likely name until HP announces otherwise.

New iPad 2 Features – Camera, Mini-USB [Rumors]

The Apple iPad has only recently been seeing some worthy competition from Samsung and RIM. Both these rivals are looking at the holiday season as the perfect season to take on competition from the iPad and it is easy to think Apple too could be launching a mini-iPad that is closer in form factor and […]

The Apple iPad has only recently been seeing some worthy competition from Samsung and RIM. Both these rivals are looking at the holiday season as the perfect season to take on competition from the iPad and it is easy to think Apple too could be launching a mini-iPad that is closer in form factor and size to these tablet rivals.

However, according to recent reports on the AppleInsider, Apple may not be launching a smaller iPad anytime soon. Instead, the company is reported to be working on a second generation 9.7″ display iPad that could come with additional features like a camera and a mini-USB.

“The analysts also said their checks found that “the 7” iPad project has not yet been finalized” and therefore said its “unlikely to be launched ahead of the new 9.7” iPad”. According to the pair, the new 9.7-inch iPad “is targeted to be thinner and lighter, with an embedded camera and mini USB.” It “could be launched in early” second quarter of 2011, they said.”

Apple has been rigorously working on popularizing its new FaceTime video calling service and so a camera was always expected. Also, considering that the iPad is a media consumption device, it makes sense to get the device lighter. Nevertheless, by not launching a unit for Christmas, Apple could not only be missing an attractive business opportunity, but could also be giving competition a free reign for the holiday season. What do you think?

Video Calling On Blackberry Messenger With New PlayBook?

Research In Motion finally unveiled their long rumored tablet computer yesterday. It turned out to be neither a BlackPad or a SurfBook. Instead, the new tablet shall be known as PlayBook and in RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis’ words, is the “first professional tablet“. So what is known about the PlayBook? For starters, it can run Adobe Flash, play games, display content from a paired Blackberry phone and will run on the QNX platform instead of the regular Blackberry OS. That last part is very much in alignment with earlier speculations.

But most importantly, it is rumored that RIM could be taking on Apple by launching a FaceTime alternative. The new PlayBook tablet will feature a front-facing in addition to a rear-facing camera. The presence of this camera is speculated to help in introducing a video chat functionality in the hugely popular Blackberry Messenger. With close to 35 million active users on BBM already, RIM should not have a tough job convincing people to use the new functionality.

The only contentious issue is that in the absence of an independent cellular plan, the PlayBook really cannot be offered at a subsidy by the carriers. How will RIM manage to increase the proliferation of this device without an independent contract? That should be interesting to watch.

Nintendo 3DS Launch In Japan On November 11?

It seems like we can’t write enough about the speculations surrounding the launch date of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS. Earlier this month, a Japanese product designer had tweeted about his 3DS product launching on November 20 giving us an indication that Nintendo could be launching the device on that day. However, according to a report on the German tabloid, Bild, the Nintendo 3DS could be launching on November 11 in Japan. The report further states that the subsequent launches in the North American and European markets could happen in the end of 2010 and early 2011 respectively.

Bild is not exactly known for reliable reporting and has often been criticized for reporting on unconfirmed reports. The latest report thus needs us take the news with guarded skepticism. But it does not mind. Nintendo is expected to reveal official launch dates very shortly. The company shall be making the announcement on September 29 in Tokyo. That’s tomorrow.

Meanwhile check out the rumored features and specification of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS here.

Sony PSP2 Developer Kit Released To Major Developers

There have been a lot of gossip about the launch of the new Sony PSP2. Early on, it was believed that Sony could be making an announcement about this during this year’s E3. When that did not happen, speculators pushed the launch to 2011.

Now though Sony has remained tight-lipped about all this so far, there are indications for an imminent launch. This is following reports of new PSP2 developer kits being used by several major developers including Netherrealm Studios. The company is behind the hugely popular Mortal Kombat series and in a recent interview, executive producer Shaun Himmerick said,

“We’re not launching day one on all consoles like that. We are looking at them; we have a PSP2 in the house and we’re looking at the engine, like what can it support. Always a big thing for us is the performance. We’re running at 60 fps, what can we do and do we have to build all the art assets over. We’re definitely looking at them. PSP2 looks like it’s a pretty powerful machine. We don’t have a 3DS system in house yet, but we’re looking to get one, and we’ll certainly look at what its power is.”

This is most definitely an accidental slip-up and watch out for some refuting statements in the coming days. Nevertheless, now that we do know that companies are busy upgrading their game to be compatible with the new platform, the actual launch may not be far behind.