No HDMI On The 360 For A While

Looks like Joystiq got the lowdown, Microsoft is sticking with 1080p through component for a while. I guess that answers my question about whether or not to wait.

In an interview with Gamespot, Microsoft’s general manager of their game developer group, Chris Satchell, confirmed the rumors and reported leaks concerning a future update to the Xbox 360 hardware. When asked directly about the possibility of an HDMI-enabled Xbox 360 somewhere down the line, Satchell said “If you want to get great HD, I think we’ve got a good solution for that. In the future it’s interesting to see where standards evolve to.” He then follows up this statement with “At the moment, everything you might have seen is just looking at our experimentation back in Redmond, not really a product that we’re thinking about announcing.”

Rumors of an HDMI-enabled Xbox 360 have been kicking around ever since Microsoft introduced 1080P for the Xbox 360 via component this past September.


CES Disappoints

Well, CES was a disappointment for me this year. While there were a number of killer gadgets that came out, especially some related to Microsoft’s new SideShow embedded platform technology, there was only one new next gen origami, and it was ugly. Also missing from the show was SoftSled. Microsoft did announce a new user interface for these devices, and wow, a new logo! Whatever. I guess my kitchen wall will have to remain touchscreen free for a little while longer – new umpcs based on Vista will be released this year, but they will come after the official Vista launch in a few weeks. That’s ok I guess, I’ve still got a lot of ramping up to do this year on my digital home project, starting with a brand new CableCard ready Vista machine in a month or so, and a new LCD Television for the living room. (Right now I’m leaning toward the Samsung LN-S5296D 52″ Wide LCD HDTV) I’m also kicking around the idea of waiting for the new 360 instead of picking up the current model, although I might break down after I get Vista up and running. The 360 is the cheapest part of my plan, and can be upgraded or replaced in a year or so if I really need the HDMI output. Plus, it’ll be nice to test out wireless video streaming throughout the house, and the HD video downloads. (Not to mention I promised my sister I’d give her my Tivo this spring.) 🙂

iPhone Update

So now that the buzz has warn off, some of the details come out –

– It’s not a smartphone, the applications are set by Apple. You can’t add 3rd party apps and OSX developers won’t be able to leverage it as a platform. That sucks. Apparently the version of OSX running on the phone is heavily modified / stripped down. According the Newsweek, it’s a full version, Jobs just didn’t want it to be an open platform.

– Only 5 Hours of usage battery life. That totally sucks. Plus, you can’t swap out new batteries. Ouch.

– Some sporadic reports that the touch screen keypad is hard to use due to the lack of feedback and small keys. Other touch sensitive keypad phones have had similar problems.

– EDGE only. Which means the data speeds will be incredibly slow, and thanks to the push data model, users may be paying through the nose on bandwidth. This apparently depends on the data pricing from Cingular.

– Only one carrier in the U.S. – Cingular. So much for competitive plan pricing.

– Poor or no support for various types of email attachements. People who use these “power phones” (read: the ones with the bread to smack down on a phone like this) aren’t going to be happy with that. Existing phones in this space all have support for these file formats.

TUAW also hits on what I was wondering about, specifically the complete lack of computer related announcements at the show and the name change. Computing may well have taken a back seat at Apple, Inc.. (TUAW of course says they are ok with this, it’s TUAW.)

Glitsy user interface aside, at $600.00, I expect better basic stats. If the phone turns out to be hard to use, all that glitz isn’t going to help it sell. Can you see your 16 year old picking this thing up at $500.00/$600.00? I don’t have a 16 year old so I can’t say. Something tells me this is going to be a niche device until the pricing comes down, more carriers add support and Apple upgrades the internals / software to bring it up to par with todays current line of smartphones.