Sony Shifts One Million Slim PSPs In Japan

Sony Shifts One Million Slim PSPs In JapanSony has announced that their less-lardy version of its PSP handheld gaming device has been eagerly scooped up by over one million gamers in Japan, notching up one million sales in September.

The slimmer, lighter version managed to fly past the one million mark in just eight weeks – a big improvement on the original PSP which took two and half months to notch up the milestone sales figure.
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300Mbps ‘Super 3G’ Floated By NTT DoCoMo

300Mbps 'Super 3G' Floated By NTT DoCoMo3G is a bit old hat in Japan. It’s been available commercially there since 2001 thanks to the dominant mobile provider there, NTT DoCoMo.

On Friday, NTT DoCoMo started talking to the world about where they see the standard evolving to. Named in an almost 1970s tribute – Super 3G, has a anticipated maximum download speed of 300Mbps.
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Wii Sales 6:1 Against PS3 In Japan

Wii Sales 6:1 Against PS3 In JapanFurther news of the power of the Wii arrives, with Japanese data service Famitsu Marketing Data Service reporting that the Nintendo Wii outsold the PS3 again in Japan.

June saw another factor of one being added to the previous two months of PS3 thrashing with Wii outselling it 6.5 to one. The figure quoted are 270,974 Wiis against 41,628 PS3s.

April saw a ratio 4:1 of Wii to PS3 sales and May a 5:1.

Clearly these latest figures are just one territory, but we’ve been pointing out how much more popular the Wii was with the public since before its UK launch.

The Xbox 360 is relatively no where with a tiny 17,616 being sold, putting the Wii outselling it at 15 to one!

Nintendo Valuation Higher Than Sony! (briefly)

Nintendo Valuation Higher Than Sony! (briefly)Nintendo’s stock market valuation was briefly higher than Sony’s on the Osaka Stock Exchange this morning.

The combination of a record high for Nintendo’s share price and a drop for Sony lead to the strange situation.

Nintendo’s revenue is eight times smaller than Sony – not surprising when Sony’s empire spans so many different areas including, TV, music and film publishing.
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Ricoh GX100 Digicam Packs In The Innovation

Last time we looked at one of Ricoh’s upmarket cameras, the Ricoh GR, we went all Victor Kyam and liked the camera so much we went out and bought the thing, and Ricoh’s new GX100 has got our wallet hand twitching again.

Ricoh GX100 Digicam Packs In The InnovationNever a company to run with the pack, the new Ricoh Caplio GX100 serves up an innovative feature set, with a super wide 24 to 72 mm wide zoom lens (35mm film equivalent), a fast F2.5 aperture and 10.01 Megapixel CCD sensor.

Billed as the successor to the popular Caplio GX8, the GX100 has inherited some of the features of the GR, including the fabulous two mode dial system which makes up what Professional Photography magazine recently described as the ‘best control system of any compact camera’ (once you get used to it, Canon and Nikon compacts seem clunky in comparison).

Ricoh GX100 Digicam Packs In The InnovationAnother innovation that has set photo-nerd hearts a-fluttering in Chez Digi Lifestyles is the optional removable electronic viewfinder.

This clips on to the hotshoe (yes, it’s got one of them too) and offers a high resolution LCD display including all the necessary exposure information. If they get the quality right, this will be as close as you can get to a real street shooter experience in a camera this size.

Architecture and landscape fans will also like the optional ultra-wide-angle 19mm lens for those big panoramic shots, with spot-on exposures guaranteed via a host of manual and scene modes and RAW file recording.

Ricoh GX100 Digicam Packs In The InnovationAs with the GR, macro focussing goes all the way down to a frankly ridiculous 1 cm (any closer and you’ll be burrowing into the subject), with a built in CCD shift method offering vibration reduction.

Ricoh claim that their ‘Smooth Imaging Engine II’ image-processing engine will keep the noise down, but with so many pixels packed onto such a small sensor, we expect the processor will be kept busy.

Ricoh GX100 Digicam Packs In The InnovationWith the Ricoh Caplio GX100 measuring up at just 25mm, this looks to be a great carry everywhere camera, and with a claimed battery life of 380 exposures, this looks to be a very, very interesting camera.

European pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but a Japanese site is quoting a retail price of 80,000 Yen (approx $670, 500 Euro, £340).


CCD Effective 10.01 million pixels (total 10.30 million pixels ), 1/1.75-inch primary-colour CCD
Lens Focal length f=5.1 to 15.3 mm (equivalent to 24 to 72 mm for 35 mm film cameras)
Aperture (F value): F 2.5 – F9.1 (Wide-angle) , F4.4 – F15.8 (Telephoto)
Lens structure 11 glass elements in 7 groups
Shutter speed 180, 120, 60, 30, 15, 8, 4, 2, 1 to 1/2000 sec. 1/30 – 1/2000 sec.
Picture modes F (Fine) / N (Normal) / RAW *2
Exposure adjustment TTL-CCD Metering Method: Multi Light Metering (256 segments),
Centre-weighted Light Metering, Spot Metering
White balanced Auto, Fixed (OUTDOORS, CLOUDY, INCAND., FLUORES., MANUAL) / White Balance Bracket
Ricoh GX100 Digicam Packs In The InnovationMemory SD Memory Card ( 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 MB, 1, 2 GB), SDHC Memory Card (4 GB),
Multi Media Card, Internal Memory (26 MB)
Recording modes Still image modes (Still Image, CONT., S-CONT, M-CONT), Program Shift, Aperture-Priority,
Manual Exposure modes, Scene modes (Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Nightscape,
Skew correction, Text, Zoom macro, High Sensitivity) , Movie mode, My setting 1&2
LCD 2.5-inch Transparent Amorphous Silicon TFT LCD (approx. 230,000 pixels)
Dimensions 111.6 mm (W) x 58.0 mm (H) x 25.0 mm (D) (excluding projections parts)
Weight Approx. 220 g (excluding batteries, Memory Card, strap), Accessories: approx. 30 g (battery, strap)
Battery Rechargeable battery (DB-60) x 1, optional AC adaptor (AC-4c), AAA battery (alkaline/oxyride/NiMH) x 2
Shooting capacity Conforms to CIPA standard: using the DB-60, approx. 380 pictures
(Using AAA alkaline batteries: approx. 35 pictures *4)

Ricoh GX100

Creative Slim Down Vision M and W MP3 Players

In the highly competitive MP3 player market, every single ounce of extraneous lard could result in lost sales, so Creative’s boffins in Japan have been working hard to slim down their popular Zen players.

Creative Slim Down Vision M and W MP3 PlayersFresh outta hi-tech Fat Farm, the new Zen Vision M and W models have managed to reduce their bulk by 15% on previous versions while wedging in a bigger hard disk.

Vision M
Looking at the vital statistics, the Creative Zen Vision M measures up at a pocket pleasing 62x104x19mm (slimmed down from 22.1-mm to 19mm.)

Creative Slim Down Vision M and W MP3 PlayersThe rather desirable little fella weighs in at a light as heck 170g (and that includes the battery) and comes with a 2.5 inch colour screen.

Despite its featherweight form, the device manages to pack in a fairly generous 60GB of storage, which should be enough to keep punters entertained on all but the longest journeys (British Rail delays notwithstanding).

Creative Slim Down Vision M and W MP3 PlayersVision W

The Zen Vision W has also spent time on the juddery slimming belt machine, and now comes in a 134x75x22mm package (slimmed down from 26.4mm to 22mm) and weighs 280g, including battery.

There’s also 60GB of onboard storage and a generous 4.3 inch display, although some may be wondering what happened to the 80GB and 100GB models.

Creative Slim Down Vision M and W MP3 PlayersWhen?
At the moment, there’s only been an announcement on the Creative Japan site, so it may take some time before us Brits can get our grubby hands on these puppies.


Casio GPR-100: World’s Smallest GPS-Enabled Watch

Casio GPR-100: Most GPS enabled watches we’ve seen so far have been so ridiculously chunky that you’d need the muscles of Mick McManus to stop your arm dragging to the floor under the weight.

However, Casio’s sleek’n’slinky new GPR-100 is a GPS-enabled watch that manages to pack in all that clever satellite positioning technology into something that actually resembles a normal watch.

Designed for hi-tech sporty types with an appetite for stats, the waterproof wristwatch checks in with GPS satellites to calculate the time, speed, distance and pace of your run, with the ability to set performance-related goals while you distribute sweat all over the neighbourhood.

We’re working from a Japanese translation here so the details aren’t entirely clear, but it seems that positional points can be inputted, with the watch able to calculate the direction and distance from your present location.

There’s also a calendar, a stopwatch offering lap/split, running time, travel distance, average pace, distance inside lap, pace inside lap, an alarm and a backlight inside the 64g watch.

It’s not designed for marathon runners though, with the rechargeable LiOn battery only managing a mere 2 hours in “normal operation,” although this can be stretched out to 4.3 hours in “low power mode.”

Casio GPR-100: Despite its GPS abilities, the watch can’t display maps or offer latitude or longitude information on its tiny 49×72 full dot LCD screen, so there’s no chance of the bleeping t’ing guiding us home after a heavy session in the pub.

There’s no denying that it’s a mighty feat of miniaturisation to wedge in so much functionality into the Casio’s diminutive proportions (63.1mm×49.5mm×17.1mm), but – yowch! – that cool portability comes at a jogging pants-tightening price: ¥54,000 ($476).

Casio [Japan] (sort of translated)

iBlueTube Valve Amplifier For iPods

iBlueTube Valve Amplifier For iPodsPrestige-hunting iPod owners keen to get one up on their mates need look no further than this rather remarkable iBlueTube valve amplifier, available from Japanese tech company, Thanko.

Hard core audiophiles with deep pockets have long appreciated the smooth sound created by old fashioned vacuum tubes, and we have to say that our heart always skips a beat whenever we find ourselves bathed in the warm glow of a set of valves.

The iBlueTube certainly has the looks to stand out, with its triangular form sporting a blue-glowing horizontal valve at each end, encased in Perspex.

iBlueTube Valve Amplifier For iPodsThe iPod docks in the centre of the mains powered unit, with the power being supplied via a disappointimgly dull looking, hefty black external power block.

Bundled with the package is a selection of adapters for accommodating different iPods and a credit card sized remote control for controlling playback.

At the back of the unit there are twin speaker outputs, USB, AC in and TV and PC connectors with a curiously entitled ‘Electricize’ switch which we assume is just a standard power on/off control.

iBlueTube Valve Amplifier For iPodsThe 295×130×68mm valve amp pumps out a modest 2 x 12W output, with a frequency range of 20Hz – 30Khz (+0dB -3dB), and a claimed 80dB signal-to-noise ratio.

There’s no speakers included in the 42,000 YEN (approx £200) price tag, but Thanko recommend hooking up a pair of JBL CONTROL 1X speakers.

Much as we love valve amps, we have to say that we’re not convinced punters are going to be able to tell the difference when the source is a humble iPod playing back MP3 files – most of which will probably be recorded at a fairly low sampling rate.

iBlueTube Valve Amplifier For iPodsAs many a beard stroking hi-fi hugger will tell you, you’ll only get real hi-fi when you’re using the best source components available, and we certainly wouldn’t put an iPod up there with Linn Sondek turntables and Cyrus CD players.

If you’re looking for real hi-fi, we’d couldn’t recommend an iPod/iBlueTube as a cost effective option, but if you’re just after sommething that looks as cool as feck and is sure to draw admiring sighs of admiration, the iBlueTube could be for you.

The iBlueTube should be available via Thanko’s Website from early August.

Thanko (Japanese)

Japan Gets Sony Ericsson W42S 3G Walkman Phone

Japan Gets Sony Ericsson W42S 3G Walkman PhoneSony Ericsson has announced its first Walkman phone for Japan today and it looks like a beaut.

Due to be launched by Japanese wireless carrier KDDI in June, the W42S 3G packs a hefty 1GB of internal memory backed up by a Memory Stick Pro DUO expansion slot offering up to 4GB of storage.

The new Walkman phone comes with a power saving mode to keep the tunes pumping for up to 30 hours of playback, with the onboard player supporting MP3, AAC, AAC+ and eAAC+ music format files.

As a result of a partnership with KDDI, owners can gorge themselves on a feast of top tunes when they’re on the move, thanks to their LISMO music service which currently boasts a mighty 5 million downloads per month.

Japan Gets Sony Ericsson W42S 3G Walkman PhoneTrue to its Walkman heritage, the slide-out phone has a smorgasbord of built-in dedicated music controls, including a natty new mechanical navigation wotsit bolted on to the bottom of the phone.

Although it look a bit odd stuck on the phone, anyone who’s used the similar controls on Sony’s minidisk and MP3 players will now how easy they are to use.

The phone also comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera, a 2.2-inch, 240 x 320 pixels, 262k colour LCD screen, an FM radio and an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) to keep punters well-fed with programming schedules.

Japan Gets Sony Ericsson W42S 3G Walkman PhoneThere’s been no firm announcement of the retail price yet, although it’s hotly rumoured to be around the $180 mark, and no announcement of a UK release yet, natch.

Sony Ericsson W42S [Japanese]