The iPhone wasn’t 2008’s only smart option.
It was a year of game changers, from Rock Band to the iPhone 3G to the Flip camcorder. If you found it tough keeping up with the tech heads, you're not alone. NOW offers a guide to some of the hottest trends affecting gaming, hardware and tech biz markets.
1 SMART PHONES
Canada finally got its cellphone jollies with the arrival of the iPhone 3G in July, but Apple wasn't the only company to introduce us to the touchscreen smart phone. Samsung promoted its Instinct phone across Canada and Research in Motion is putting big marketing dollars behind its iPhone rival, the Storm. Don't forget the HTC Touch Diamond and Nokia's upcoming 5800. Tactile buttons may soon be obsolete.
2 THE RISE OF INDIE GAMES
Geeks are gobbling up games you can't find on consoles like Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Just look at the popularity of Toronto's own ForumWarz, an online game about trolling on comment threads, whose membership has increased threefold since February. No small feat for a game with zero PR behind it.
Flip Mino lets you record video with one push of a button.
3 ITTY BITTY CAMCORDER COMMITTEE
Bucking the more-is-awesome trend, Pure Digital Technologies released a camcorder called the Flip Mino ($215), allowing you to record video with one push of a button. Even cooler is the one-button access to upload video straight to YouTube. This month, Pure expands its offering with the launch of the Flip MinoHD ($275), which shoots in high-def.
4 YAHOO'S LAST STAND
It wasn't the prettiest year for Yahoo execs and shareholders, to put it tactfully. Microsoft offered to buy out the Internet giant at $31 a share, but Yahoo balked and Microsoft withdrew the offer. Shareholders fumed. Recently, CEO Jerry Yang resigned, and Yahoo is now seen as the loser in the battle to control the Web. The winner? Google, of course.
Photo By David Hawe
Rock Band expanded the karaoke game concept.
Rock Band 2 retooled Rock Band's drum component.
5 KARAOKE GUITAR GAMES
Karaoke band games are now in the spotlight, as Rock Band 2, Wii Music and Guitar Hero World Tour enter the mosh pit. Nintendo's Wii Music might be the true innovator: it takes advantage of the console's motion-sensitive controllers and includes oddball instruments like bagpipes, sitar and barking dog (WTF?). We smell a horrible reality show in the making - So You Think You Can Virtually Play An Instrument.