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Thursday, September 10, 2009 /

Do You Want to Know A Secret? Beatles Rock Band Is Out

Is the digital generation ready to embrace the Fab Four? Harmonix sure hopes so, with a $300 video game featuring remastered Beatles tracks.
It's September 9, 2009: do you know where Paul is? If you're like untold thousands of Beatles fans, the answer may be on your Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Nintendo Wii: The Beatles: Rock Band video game is now available worldwide, and the title is expected to be a top-seller throughout the remainder of 2009.
The Beatles: Rock Band marks the first time the Fab Four have licensed their music for digital distribution: the Beatles have famously shunned iTunes and other music services. But The Beatles: Rock Band isn't just cuts from Beatles CDs set to the regular Rock Band video game: Harmonix has gone all out, offering remastered versions of some 45 Beatles classics ranging from early tunes like "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout" through tracks off Sgt. Pepper's and the White Album, including "With a Little Help from My Friends," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Come Together."
The game lets players track the Beatles as they advance from a struggling club band to a full-fledged psychdelic culture-changing phenomenon; while the game play is highly reminiscence of Guitar Hero and Rock Band titles, the game offers new twists, like the ability to sing three-part harmonies. The game also offers Beatles-themed hardware, including controllers based off instruments used by the Beatles—although the game can be played with most third party controllers and mics, including those from Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and titles like SingStar and Lips.
Beatles: Rock Band is expected to be a top seller this year, with industry estimates having the title pushing more than 5 million copies by the end of $2009: at almost $300 apiece, the game might represent over $1.5 billion in revenue all by itself. However, the question remains how much translating the Beatles to a video game will appeal to a younger generation raised on gaming and digital music: while the price tag may not be incredibly daunting to the Beatles' ever-aging fan base, are kids really going to wander through strawberry fields forever…with their parents? Or grandparents?

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Sony release new Blu-ray BDP-N460

Sony introduced their first networked Blu-ray player featuring Slacker today at CEDIA expo 2009. The Sony BDP-N460 has full HD 1080p and streaming internet video capabilities; it can stream free music, movies and entertainment via Bravia, as well gain access to YouTube and Slacker— and Sony promised admission to Netflix later this fall. Sony claims their technology helps to detect and support stabilization of warped or scratched Blu-ray Discs and DVDs during playback.
The BDP-N460 is also Profile 2.0 compatible so it’s able to stream internet enabled BD-Live features, and has both front and rear USB ports.
"Leading the entertainment experience, Sony brings the best of both worlds together in one player that offers more content than other stand-alone devices on the market," said Chris Fawcett, vice president of Sony Electronics' home audio and video business.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009 /

Palm Pixie to debut at Fashion Week

Computerworld - Palm Inc. is set to debut a second WebOS smartphone, code-named Pixie, this week during Fashion Week in New York, according to a report from

Some details about the Pixie surfaced in April, noting it would have the same operating system as the Palm Pre available from Sprint Nextel Corp., but with the Pixie selling for $99. The Pre sells for $200 after $100 rebate.

In April, Engadget pulled together some specs on the device, which it claimed would be sold by AT&T "if it's really coming."

Several sources have cited suppliers in Asia saying the phone will actually be called the Palm Eos. It will have a 2.63-inch touch display and a keyboard below that, making it almost like an updated Centro device from Palm that runs the Palm OS.

Also in April, Engadget said its price would be $349, which is the cost before a carrier like AT&T offers any discount. A total of 4GB of storage would be included with Bluetooth and a removable battery, Engadget said at the time. It will be about 2.1-by-4.3 inches, less than half an inch thick and weigh about 3.5 ounces, according to that report.

Palm officials could not be reached to comment on Tuesday.

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