I remember it still — people flipped out about the Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii. Yes, its name was mocked for a while, but there was genuine excitement around what Nintendo was doing with motion and the entire gameplay experience. While the original Nintendo Wii was almost an Apple (AAPL)-like product — Nintendo focused on the gameplay and not on specs; the company didn’t even have HD graphics when every other console did — the Nintendo Wii U clearly demonstrates how far Nintendo has fallen and how out of touch the company is. More →
“It's time to bring the name back.”
It’s time to bring the name back. Boy Genius Report officially changed its name to BGR back in 2010, but I am going to be doing a periodic column here called The Boy Genius Report that will be my space to rant about supersized phablets, my love for Apple (AAPL), overpriced accessories, and honestly… whatever I want. While our reviews on BGR are always the individual author’s personal opinion — that’s why we don’t do ratings or scores, it’s just too subjective — I wanted a place to recap my thoughts on the week’s news, or something interesting I found that I wanted to share. And above all, who can resist a column called The Boy Genius Report? And now, here’s the first installment. More →
Trying to decide whether RIM (RIMM) or Nokia (NOK) gets the title of “most troubled mobile device manufacturer” is a daunting exercise in a lot of ways, much like trying to decide whether someone is better off losing their kidneys or their liver. Looking at both companies’ latest financials and their overall business strategies, though, and you can make a pretty persuasive case that Nokia is in even tougher shape than its Canadian counterpart.
The New York Times published a fairly silly article on Tuesday that revealed BlackBerry devices have become a source of mild embarrassment for people who hang out at exclusive ritzy country clubs. This sparked a predictable backlash from some RIM (RIMM) fans who insisted that their favorite smartphones were cool because they were selling well in South Africa. In between these two extremes, CIO’s Al Sacco penned a thoughtful piece that I think honestly represents a lot of angst that longtime BlackBerry users are feeling right now: They love their devices for their keyboards, notification systems and messaging capabilities, but they also know that they’re hopelessly out of date in many key areas. More →
I was pretty bullish about Microsoft’s (MSFT) line of Surface tablets until I learned what they’d actually cost. Now, I understand that some people think that Windows RT Surface is worth $500 because it provides 32GB of storage with an expansion slot, it comes preloaded with Microsoft Office 2013 and it will have an operating system that provides more desktop functionality than iOS or Android. In other words, users are getting a tablet that can replicate many core PC functions for the same price as a 16GB iPad. What this argument overlooks, however, is this: The $500 Windows RT Surface doesn’t come with the Touch Cover keyboard pad that is essential for using the device as a work machine. More →
I’ve been a pretty big fan of Android for a long time now. Having an open-source mobile operating system that different OEMs can experiment with and customize to their liking has been a huge boon to the tech world and has ensured that Apple (AAPL) won’t have a monopoly on popular smartphones anytime soon. But as Google (GOOG) has refined its operating system over the years and added some great new features, it’s become increasingly hard for me to ignore that fragmentation of the platform is a serious problem that hasn’t gotten any better. More →
I spent last night re-reading stories about Steve Jobs’ life and I realized why he was so different from most CEOs out there: For Jobs, making money was of secondary importance. Now, don’t get me wrong. Money was extremely important to Jobs as it is to all capitalists. Jobs, Tim Cook and company wouldn’t have spent years building up the most efficient production and distribution system in the world if they didn’t care about the bottom line. The issue is more that Jobs never wanted to make money for its own sake: He wanted to earn it by making the best and most original products the world had ever seen. More →
OK, so I admit that I’ve been picking on RIM (RIMM) a lot lately. And in my defense, the company over the past few years has made it pretty easy for me since it’s made a litany of crucial mistakes that have left it in its current dire situation. But the more I’ve thought about RIM recently, the more I’ve come to believe that its BlackBerry OS may have a real chance to escape the same fate as Symbian, webOS or any number of failed mobile operating systems. And the reason for this is simple: RIM’s remaining customers are fiercely loyal to their products and will passionately evangelize on their behalf. More →
After years of trying to push 3D gaming onto PlayStation 3 users, Sony (SNE) is finally waking up and realizing nobody really cared or wanted the added depth. Speaking with Eurogamer, Sony’s UK vice president and marketing director Fergal Gara said that “it’s fair to say consumers have decided it’s not hugely important at this time. It’s a capability we’ve got. It may have a bigger life a little further down the line.” Gara blamed 3D’s failure to explode in the living room on two factors: wearing 3D glasses is a hassle and watching 3D at home is not a focused viewing experience as it is in a theater because of all the distractions from other devices such as tablets.
By now you’ve probably heard about the mini-backlash that’s ensued over Apple’s (AAPL) botched Maps implementation on iOS 6 after it decided to ditch Google Maps earlier this year. But anyone paying attention to the Apple-Google (GOOG) rivalry shouldn’t be surprised that Apple would flop in its first attempt at creating a maps application that’s traditionally been Google’s bread and butter. After all, Apple and Google have two entirely different business models and strategies, and the two companies find themselves competing despite, not because of, those models. More →
People who have been using beta versions of iOS 6 for the past few months have known how awful Apple’s (AAPL) new Maps app is, but for the most part they held out hope that the company would make some serious refinements by the time its new iOS 6 software was released to the public. But iOS 6 officially took flight on Wednesday and sadly, Apple’s new Maps app is still awful.
Updated with Apple’s response to iOS 6 Maps complaints after the final paragraph. More →
If you hang around gaming forums — and, yes I admit I do visit them on occasion — you’ll see a rather large number of disgruntled gamers who pine nostalgically for the great old role-playing games of years past such as Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Unlike today’s dumbed-down action-based RPGs, they argue, these older games offer first-class storytelling and characters, a high level of customization and a deep element of choice that shows players the consequences of their in-game decisions. But for a long time, these gamers have lacked a company that’s willing to create a game that specifically tailors to their needs… until now. More →
The only thing more predictable than the iPhone 5 itself was the world’s response to it. Months of leaks, photos and videos leading up to yesterday’s unveiling meant that we all knew exactly what was coming from Apple’s (AAPL) new iPhone, but years of public response to iPhone launches painted an even clearer picture. Just as in years past, people went into Apple’s event on Wednesday looking for the Cupertino, California-based company to shake the Earth with its announcements. And just as in years past, many were disappointed when all they got was what is arguably the best smartphone on the planet. More →