The Best — and Worst — Console Launches

The nintendo-nes-console-jpg_172646months leading up to a console launch are filled with talk of system specs and features. But the minute those consoles hit shelves, the focus shifts squarely to the games.

No matter how fancy its internal components and capabilities may be, the success or failure of a console ultimately comes down to its software. Historically speaking, launch lineups aren’t great – it takes a while for game makers to get the hang of new hardware – but some have been better than others. Much better, as it were.

The key ingredient in any launch lineup isn’t quantity, but quality. One system-selling game is worth more than 20 forgettable ports. As you debate whether the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 has the better initial lineup of games, take a look back at the five best and five worst day one lineups of past home consoles.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Panasonic, MySpace team for TV experiment

Panasonic is teaming with MySpace for the rollout of the social network’s new social TV experiment.

MySpace TV will be the crown jewel of Panasonic’s collection of TV apps, letting people chat with friends as they watch programming and see what’s trending among their social circles.

Read more at Daily Variety

Holiday gadget gift guide

Spending on consumer electronics will account for one-third of all holiday gift-shopping this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Assn. — but finding the right gift for the gadget-hound on your list won’t be easy, or cheap. While overall electronics prices are falling in some categories, like TVs, items on the cutting edge tend to carry a premium pricetag. They’re also often hard to get since they may not be carried by big-box stores and thus not be on the radar of most shoppers.

To help out, Variety has put together its annual list of items that are bound to please even the most discriminating techie.

Read more at Daily Variety

Initiative for 3D standard glasses gains steam

The Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative – a joint effort by Samsung, Panasonic and Sony to adopt a new technology standard for active 3D glasses – continues to attract supporters.

Philips, Sharp, TCL and Toshiba have all announced their support for the program, which hopes to eliminate the specialized glasses currently required for each manufacturer’s set.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Samsung, Panasonic, Sony team for 3D

A collective of the top television manufacturers have joined forces to make 3D TV more attractive to consumers.

Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have announced plans to collaborate with XpanD 3D to develop a new technology standard for active 3D glasses. The partnership, called the Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative, aims to eliminate the specialized glasses required for each manufacturer’s set.


Panasonic unveils gesture-controlled TV

You have to give Panasonic credit for pushing the envelope. After launching a TV last year that let owners record programs to an SD card, the company has now taken the wraps off of a new set that does away with the remote control.

Customers in Japan can now buy the VIERA DMP-HV200, a gesture-controlled set that allows users to adjust the volume and change channels with a wave of their hands. The 10.1-inch sets will go on sale March 18 for a converted price of $640.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Analysis: How Gaming Seeps Into CES 2011

[Reporting from Las Vegas’ CES, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris looks at video games’ presence at the major electronics show, examining how the show hints at the blossoming of a post-console future for games.]

For a trade show that’s not about video games, there sure are a lot of people talking about and playing them here at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

OnLive, Kinect and Playstation are being discussed nearly as much as tablets, 3D TVs and cameras. It’s some of the clearest proof yet showing that as video games evolve and grow, the industry is moving closer and closer to the world of mainstream entertainment.

Read more at Gamasutra

CES: Panasonic to launch its own tablet

Panasonic is opening an app store – and launching a tablet.

The company announced plans Wednesday to transform its VieraCast service, which embedded a limited number of apps on select HDTVs, into Viera Connect – a market that will welcome apps from a larger pool of developers.

Read more at Daily Variety