The Inside Story on the Making of Nintendo’s Wii U

Judging by the lines at Nintendo’s E3 booth, Nintendo’s Wii U is a hit, but the system could have been a lot different if Nintendo had listened to its inner demons.

Global President Satoru Iwata says the idea of a two-screen video game system was something the company went back and forth on—and didn’t finalize until nearly a year and a half into the development process.

Read more at CNBC.com

PCs and Mobile Phones Are This Year’s Gadget Industry Stars

Two years ago, 3D TV commanded center stage at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Last year, it was tablets. This year, while both of those product groups will still be shown in force, it looks like the PC is ready to make a comeback.

The computer industry, which seems swept by one revolution after another, is back in the spotlight at CES this week, with a new version of Windows and a new type of laptop heralding the new era.

Read more at CNBC.com

Tablets get in game

Tablets offer plenty of games from Apple and Android’s app stores, but the selection can leave hardcore gamers frustrated.

While there are some exceptions, most of these app-based games are seen as the equivalent of a midday snack — fun diversions designed for short bursts of play, but ultimately disposable. And though there are some familiar console franchises in the mobile space such as Activision’s “Call of Duty Black Ops Zombies,” the depth of gameplay on those titles doesn’t begin to compare with the offerings on the Xbox, PlayStation 3 or PC.

Read more at Daily Variety

Interview: Tony Bartel On GameStop’s New Digital Strategy

Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris talks with GameStop president Tony Bartel about its recent acquisitions and the company’s potential plans to build its own tablet computer.

After running relatively quiet on the digital front for a long period, GameStop came out with both guns blazing last week.

The surprise purchases of Stardock’s Impulse digital distribution service and streaming technology firm Spawn Labs put the company in direct competition with Steam and OnLive. And it’s just getting started.

Read more at Gamasutra

Tablet Wars: iPad Vs. the World

There’s no doubt that Apple’s latest iteration of the iPad is a hit with consumers. Day one sales are estimated at 500,000 or above and people are still lining up outside their nearest Apple store to get their hands on one.

But the iPad 2 is entering a much different world than its predecessor. And while Apple still holds a commanding market share position, it may be in for a much tougher fight this time around.

Read more at CNBC.com

Lucasfilm exec to HP gig

Lucasfilm’s chief technical officer has given up Hollywood for Silicon Valley.

Richard Kerris has taken over as head of worldwide developer relations at Hewlett-Packard, where he will be in charge of boosting developer interest in creating applications and programs for the company’s webOS platform — which powers the newly announced TouchPad and Pre 3, among other systems.

Read more at Daily Variety

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

New fronts in tablet war

In just eight months, Apple has managed to create one of the computer world’s fastest-growing and most lucrative sub markets. And the competitors are getting tired of Steve Jobs and Co. hogging the spotlight.

Launched in April 2010, the iPad has quickly come to define tablet computing. Consumers have snatched it up, with 2010 sales expected to total between 15 million and 19.5 million units. With prices ranging from $499 to $829, the iPad is a huge breadwinner for the company; Apple can’t keep up with demand.

Read more at Daily Variety

Handy guide to tablet warriors

Apple might have a tight grip on the tablet market today, but at CES, the competition will come at it with both guns blazing. Here’s a look at what you can expect:

The Android tablets – Google’s mobile operating system is the de facto choice for companies going up against Apple. The problem is it’s optimized for phones, not tablets. At CES, there will be a lot of talk about devices using Honeycomb, a new version of the OS designed for tablets. Asus, Acer, Samsung, Toshiba and others are expected to have new tablet offerings revolving around Honeycomb, which should hit the street sometime in the second quarter.

Read more at Daily Variety

High price helps iPad

While there are plenty of companies gunning for Apple as the tablet market heats up, most have one thing in common: They’re planning to use price as a battlefield.

The iPad might be affordable by Apple standards, but it’s hardly a cheap piece of hardware, with prices ranging from $499-$829. And many competitors see that as an opening.

Read more at Daily Variety