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Microsoft and Sony form cloud gaming and AI partnership

Microsoft and Sony are announcing an unusual partnership today, allowing the two rivals to partner on cloud-based gaming services.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2JQQVbz

自從Steve Jobs離世,蘋果增長速度放慢,是不爭的事實。與此同時,作為蘋果的緊密拍檔,鴻海的首季收入亦下跌19﹪,純利下跌2.9﹪。

關於鴻海的對策,WSJ做了一個有趣的報導,結論是鴻海亦跟Google和Amazon等互聯網企業一樣,以不同的角度去進軍內容業務,以下是部分有關內容:

Samsung Electronics Co.’s strong mobile sales haven’t benefited Hon Hai because Apple’s closest rival doesn’t outsource to the Taiwanese company.

Besides Apple, Hon Hai also assembles PCs for Hewlett-Packard Co., PlayStations for Sony Corp. and mobile phones for Nokia Corp.

The company has already made some headway with clients in China. It is assembling large liquid-crystal-display TVs for Chinese Internet-TV operator LeTV.com, smartphones for Huawei Technologies Co., and smartphones and TVs for U.S. TV maker Vizio, said people familiar with the projects. It also plans to manufacture a six-inch smartphone for Chinese TV station Hunan TV, which will come loaded with exclusive TV content.

Hon Hai’s ultimate aim is to be able to supply content for all of the devices it assembles, executives familiar with the company’s strategy said. The company is hiring software engineers for its research and development center in southern Taiwan, who will focus on developing mobile applications, cloud-computing technology for servers and applications for smartwatch devices. Company executives declined to disclose the amount of investments being made in software and content.

05-21Mattrick_Page

“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device.”

How Xbox One Plans to Fight Sony, Steam, and Everything Else

  • The front is nearly without embellishment; even the optical disc drive slot blends into the frontpiece of the box. On the whole, it looks more like a TiVo than any gaming console I’ve ever known.
  • The humplike battery pack on the controller’s underside is all but gone; the triggers and shoulder buttons are carved from a single graceful swath of material.
  • Quantifying graphical performance is notoriously squishy. That being said, Microsoft touts the Xbox One as delivering 8 times the graphic performance of the 360.
  • If the revision of the console consisted mostly of upgrades to its components and architecture, the Kinect received a head-to-toe retooling.
  • It’s essentially like turning each pixel of the custom-designed CMOS sensor into a radar gun, which allows for unprecedented responsiveness.

Amazon would move into closer competition with Apple Inc. (AAPL), which sells its own set-top box called Apple TV. The device would also compete with products from Roku Inc. and Boxee Inc., as well as gaming consoles from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. that deliver video programming.

The project is being run by Malachy Moynihan, a former vice president at Cisco Systems Inc. who worked on the networking giant’s various consumer video initiatives. In the late 1980s and 1990s, Moynihan spent nine years at Apple.

Jason_Krikorian

“It would certainly make some sense,” said Jason Krikorian, a general partner at venture-capital firm DCM, and the former co-founder of Sling Media, who does not have knowledge of Amazon’s plans. “They have a ton of content, an existing billing relationship with millions of users.”

重要內容

  1. Amazon to Launch Set-Top Apple TV-Killer
  2. The economics behind Amazon’s possible set-top box gambit

傳聞HTC同Facebook合作,起新平台。若果屬實,基本大勢力分佈:

陣營1:Apple
陣營2:Google + Samsung
陣營3:Microsoft + Nokia
陣營4:Facebook + HTC

其餘RIM、Sony、LG… 只會繼續積弱,直至game over。

HTC, Facebook jointly developing smartphone, say sources.

Sony的老套Google TV遙控

我曾有幸在日本看過一次Google TV的產品示範,其實是可以支援Android應用程式作基本的控制,看過的功能示範包括搜尋、選台、輸入文字。不過,當初示範用的Android應用程式還是prototype,看上去很陽春的感覺。然而,我看至少比Sony的這個強上百倍千倍才對!

Google TV’s Remote Control Is Awful — Here’s What It SHOULD Look Like

If Google is actually serious about reinventing TV, it should have done something about the remote control, too.
The images we’ve seen about the remote that Sony will supposedly be offering for its Google TVs are mind boggling. A big hunk of plastic with a million buttons. As we said earlier, it looks like something out of a Sharper Image catalog from the 1980s.

photo source: engadget

儲存制式之最後武士


報稱,高清制式之戰,Toshiba一方正式向Sony投降。

隨即上Amazon,見一部HD-DVD播放器,售約150美元,只是Blu-ray播放器售價的一半,再說,兼容Blu-ray的PS3,其在美銷售,向來亦不及支援HD-DVD的XBox360,因此思哲不理解美國消費者投票予Blu-ray的理由。不過,無論如何,Sony的股價,總算有望走出年初以來的低谷。

儲存制式之爭,一戰經年,若再拖下去,姑勿論勝方是誰,都是慘勝。因為無論如何,數碼時代下,最後的贏家也只會是硬碟。然而,沒人知道這天到底甚麼時候到臨,正如沒有人知道19世紀中期的日本,明治維新突發而出,一下子廢除了武士道,訓練現代化軍隊,並大規模發展軍火工業。

基本上,儲存制式的明治維新,近年已開始醞釀,其中以美國最領先。YouTube的出現,開創了「毋須燒碟」的局面,影像的儲存及分享,不用靠實體的儲存媒介,使用效率卻有增無減。再說,這一代的網絡使用者,尤其年輕人,已適應了一個任何資訊或影像隨click隨有的世界,即使目前買碟租碟仍是主流消費模式,但當這幫人逐漸成為主流消費者,他們還能忍受外出買碟和租碟嗎?

頻寬是另一個有利因素。以香港為例,寬頻滲透率高,透過本地的光纖網絡,傳送高清影片,那絕對不成問題。問題是消費者並未習慣於電腦屏幕收看電影和電視節目。事實上,一台1080p的40吋平面高清電視的user experience,當然肯定勝於17吋的電腦顯示屏。

不過,隨數碼廣播的開始,數碼機頂盒亦開始流行。舉個例,蘋果設計的AppleTV也是數碼機頂盒的一種,其任務是把電腦的數碼影像和電視機連接起來。雖有分析員批評,AppleTV乃蘋果近年少有的失敗之作,無可否認的是,支援互聯網內容的機頂盒市場,已進入初期發展的階段。

硬碟取代影碟成為主流的日子,我看不出十年,Blu-ray將會是暮日之下一位戰到最後的最強武士。

2007年2月18日刊於《蘋果日報》

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