Nintendo’s Next Move, Not Wii But Us

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Can Nintendo do it again? Use its low-tech charm and demographic appeal to slip past the gearheads at Sony and Microsoft? As Sony and Microsoft use CES to tote their console strategies in keynotes, Nintendo wants to put pressure on its rivals with a dedicated video service.

Starting in Japan, Nintendo's planned video-on-demand service ( "Wiinoma") uses only videos exclusively made for the Wii will be available (partnering with local media firms like Fuji TV and Nippon TV for cartoons, entertainment shows and other original programming for the launch. But it’s possible this simple approach may make a great advertising business: think of all the Wii gamers daisy-chained in a special digital signage network.

A new book, The Race for the New Game Machine claims Sony crippled themselves pursuing Microsoft's over-engineered vision of a powerful home media center.

According to Nielsen Media Research, Sony's old PlayStation 2 is still the most used gaming console, accounting for 31.7% of the time spent playing. The Xbox 360 was second, with 17.2%, then the Wii with 13.4%. The original Xbox still gets 9.7% play time, but Sony's latest console, Playstation 3, racked up just 7.3% of total console usage time.

Go The Race for the New Game Machine

Build in Asia: “Easy Ryder”

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Amersfoort, The Netherlands--OEM/ODM producers play an important role in our industry. More and more companies travel to Asia to find factories that can achieve that difficult balance between Asian cost and European quality. Route-to-factory is just as important as route-to-market these days.

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Pack Your Bags for CES

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microsoftYou may miss Bill Gates as the star of the CES but Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will keynote address on Jan. 7th He's expected to show Microsoft's Windows 7 and maybe the future of Microsoft Office.

Attendance at CES 2009 may drop to 130,000 or lower and hotels (previously packed months before the show) now offer discounted rates. It’s a great year for European buyers to attend a CES: not only will it cost much less, but you’ll also get more attention as US domestic sales slip further and America’s littlest dealers stay home.

More 2700 companies will be present at various locations but it’s the innovation that makes CES the world’s leading show for consumer IT products. Lenovo will show a first: its laptop with two screens. Palm , fresh from a new capital injection, will announce its Nova (Linux-based OS code) and its come-back new devices. Silicon Image will show Allio HD LCD TV with a built-in PC for simultaneous TV and Internet viewing on a split screen. Intel has prototypes running mini-apps to complement TV with Internet. Tzero will demonstrate wireless HDMI streaming between devices using UWB. Tune Bug will bring the ultimate audio product for any Tour de France wanna-be and other helmet sports enthusiasts.

We promise CES will be more relaxing and intimate with the floors less crowded. But no less productive.

Go CES’ 30 Days of Innovation

Digital Photo Market in Europe up 132%

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The €181 million Digital Photo Frame market is booming across W. Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) with a 132% unit growth for the first half 2008 vs same period in 2007, according to GfK Retail and Technology.

Analyse shows UK is the next largest market in both revenue and units after France. The major difference between countries is actually the ASP: in UK, the average price is around 97€ (approx. £70) whilst a Digital Photo Frame in Italy costs around 115€ and 119€ in France.

Clemence Dulau, GkK’s UK Account Director says "Great Britain was the first country to launch this product after the USA and it is now the most mature market in Western Europe. Great Britain also has a different distribution. 50% of the volume was within the Mass Merchandiser channel for the first half year of 2008 while in other countries the majority of the volume came from Consumer Electronics Stores which account for 57% of the volume in France and even higher at 69% in Germany."

Dulau continues, "The Mass Merchandisers are, in Great Britain, the channel which has seen the largest decrease in average price this year with a drop of 65€ between June 2008 and 2007.” GfK analysis shows only a drop of 10€ during the same period in France."

Remote Controls are included in 50% of the devices in Europe and 40% also have Built-in Speakers. This clearly shows how the market has evolved with such add-ons.

The most important feature of a Digital Photo Frame remains the screen size. The majority of Digital Photo Frames sold across Europe have 7” screens, with the bigger screen sizes increasing in popularity.

"In Great Britain, 62% of the Digital Photo Frames have a 7 inch screen. But this screen size is in decline due to a development of smaller devices with a 5” screen – already 12% of the market in the first half of 2008 - and the boost of the larger 8 and 9 inch segments. Add to that the deterioration of prices and you can now find an 8´Digital Photo Frame for the price of a 7” one six months ago."

Dulau adds, "WiFi will be the key feature for next Christmas. Already 4% of the devices in Great Britain are WiFi capable and all manufacturers now have a WiFi product in their range."

Go GFK on Photo Frame Market
Go Bob’s Corollary on Photo Frame Success May Surprise You

Could E-Books Be the Next Retail Hit?

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Prepaid game cards, credited to Target in USA, let retail participate in online gaming profits (as well as some on-line music). Now a company in Hong Kong thinks that’s the future route-to-market for e-Books.

E-book vendor Guangbo Media launched an e-library 24reader.com with more than 50,000 e-books using Founder GlobalTech's DRM technology. They expect to market e-books with cards in all types of retail shops, including convenience stores.

Go Chinese e-books at 24Reader

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