Voted this year's Best in Show at CES, the Panasonic TC-P50 VT25 is giving us something to talk about. This full-HD 3D plasma TV will be available in a variety of sizes from 50". to 65". With an outstanding dynamic contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1, Panasonic has taken the term TV to a whole new level. The Viera Cast service will allow you to connect to the Internet through your TV and features services such as Picasa, YouTube, Pandora, Twitter, and Netflix. This "connected TV" will also feature two USB ports, a WiFi dongle and a Skype webcam add-on allowing you to chat via webcam on a larger screen. There is no price point yet but Panasonic hopes to be the first to release a worthy 3D HDTV, expecting to be out in spring 2010. If you are interested in purchasing this television, no need to go out and buy 3D glasses, as a badass pair comes included. No wonder it was voted Best in Show.
One of the main points of Sony's Keynote presentation at CES was a new technology called Transfer Jet. This feature, which will be available in Sony cameras, Vaios and photo frames as of now and expand into 40 other companies in the future, allows for a close proximity wireless transfer of media content. If you've ever been to an event and wanted pictures from your friend's camera, only to never see them again, this is the tech you're going to want.
Transfer Jet allows for simple operation, from what appears to be as easy as touching the two devices together to allow the transfer to occur.
I was delighted to learn that USB 3.0 will be making some headway during 2010. Jeff Ravencraft is the president of the USB implementors Forum and he had a lot say about the new and improved USB. USB 3.0 uses only 1/3rd the power that USB 2.0 requires and is approximately 10 times faster. Here is a comparison between USB 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0:
Transfer of a 25GB HD movie:
USB 1.0: 9.3 hours
USB 2.0: 13.9 minutes
USB 3.0: 70 seconds
I hope you enjoyed that little nugget of information and there's a lot more than simple transfer speeds that make USB 3.0 a major improvement for electronics this year. There are already lots of devices ready to hit the ground running so make sure to tune into the show this Sunday for much more about this.
Earlier today, a video was leaked showing off a service called Game Room. We kind of thought it could be fake, but it seemed too likely. Microsoft made our day by confirming the Game Room for both Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live.
Game Room is an 80s style digital arcade for your avatar to play around in. It will be somewhere between PlayStation Home and the old Xbox Live Marketplace. At launch there will be 30 classic games from top developers, such as Atari and Konami, and within 3 years we are expected to see more than 1,000 games available through this service.
The most exciting part of Game Room is that purchasing a game on one platform will give you access to that game on both - there will be no need to purchase the game twice. Of course, like all Xbox titles, we will have achievements and leaderboards, so you know how much better you are than your online "friends."
We have been talking about the PlayStation Network a lot lately. Sony has to do something to start making money before they bust their brand. One way they plan to solve this problem is through an initiative they
announced in July of 2009 and gave us a lot more information about this afternoon at CES 2010 - bringing the PSN to other Sony devices, including Vaio computers, Bravia televisions and possibly Ericsson phones.
After months of speculation, Steve Balmer, CEO of Microsoft, announced tonight at his CES 2010 keynote address that Project Natal will be released this holiday season. Of course, no one is surprised by this, as everyone assumed that it would happen this holiday, but now we know for sure.
There had been an interview video leaked before the show where Robbie Bach, head of entertainment and devices for Microsoft, talked about the holiday release, but even that could have been false or an incorrect video. Business plans change, but now we have our proof.
Of course, Balmer had a lot more to say at his keynote, and we will cover that in-depth on Sunday's special 2 hour CES 2010 episode of
PLuGHiTz Live! Radio this Sunday night at 9PM Eastern. Make sure to be there for all the news of the week!