PSA: Your IPhone Is A Ticking Timebomb

A story running through the Interwebs today has us just a little more paranoid.

Security researchers Charlie Miller and Collin Mulliner discovered a bug that can render an iPhone useless within minutes. They even showed off the attack to quiet any would-be naysayers.

From VentureBeat:

The researchers showed a live attack on a demo iPhone. They can use the trick to instigate a denial of service attack, where they send the crash messages every 10 seconds and essentially keep the targeted phone off the network. Miller notified Apple of the bug about six weeks ago, but there is no patch yet. Apple has yet to make a comment.

Not only does it affect the iPhone, but it can take down Google Android and Palm Pre phones too.

Consider yourself warned.  ::cue The More You Know music::

Nintendo Wii Is A Waning Fad

From IndustryGamers:

As evidenced by NPD data in recent months, Wii sales are no longer flying high. Today, Nintendo released its fiscal results for the company’s first quarter ended on June 30, and sales of the Wii were down more than half from 5.17 million to 2.23 million. Overall, net income for the quarter fell 60.6 percent […] while sales slipped 40.1 percent to ¥253.5 billion.

Those looking for Nintendo to stumble (Sony, Microsoft) may have found the Japanese giant do just that in the past twenty-four hours.

The heavy blow to income and profit is due to general weakness in the market and the dollar-to-yen exchange rate, and the fact that the first half of 2008 saw three blockbuster titles while this year has seen none.

Remember when a lot of people were imploring Nintendo not to rely on the quirky controls and instead focus on creating great games. Well, Nintendo, you see why that’s important.

Wii Sports Resort came out last week and looks to be the first big Nintendo Wii game of note for 2009, and the rest of the year sees the launch of New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Wii Fit Plus, so things are expected to match earlier forecasts for the entirety of 2009, but Nintendo needs to come through in a big way to prove they re not just a flash in the pan.

Sony Feeling The Pain


The company sold approximately 1.1 million PlayStation 3’s during the quarter and 1.3 million PSP units, compared to 1.6 million and 3.7 million, respectively, for the same period last year. Sales of the ageing PlayStation 2 reached 1.6 million for the quarter.

The PlayStation 2 is still Sony s saving grace, with sales of PlayStation 3 still underwhelming thanks to its high price and a lack of blockbuster titles.

PlayStation 3 currently retails for $400 while its older brethren, the PS2, goes for a much friendlier $99. Sony, isn t it time for a price cut

September is the timeframe most experts expect a price cut, coupled with a new, less expensive model of the PS3, rumored to be called the PS3 Slim. But price is only half the battle.

The best (and, some would say, only) chance Sony has is with the release of God of War III, and to couple a significant drop in console price with this hotly-anticipated AAA title. Unfortunately, the game isn’t due until Q2 2010.


Nintendo Enables Facebook

Nintendo and Sony have done absolutely terribly this generation in trying to connect with users in more ways than just traditional retail games.

One way Xbox 360 has stepped up to the plate in connecting with users is through Facebook and Twitter functionality, both of which have been shown off and are headed for a pre-holiday global launch.

Thankfully for Microsoft’s Japanese competitors, Nintendo is starting to get it by enabling users to log into their Facebook accounts.

Unfortunately, instead of seeing it as a Wii channel, it’s available for the Nintendo DSi. The disappointment doesn’t stop there, as the functionality is available only for the Japanese market.

The three console makers, huddle up. You need to understand that today’s gamer is very different than before.

Nintendo, you re targeting the mainstream user and are a market leader, way to go. But before you get too cocky, understand that all of those 18-29 year old males with tons of disposable income will be the ones who buy a lot more software than Wii Sports Resort. Those cats are, by and large, on Facebook and Twitter, so let’s get a move on.

Sony . . . first try to get your chat system to work, then we can talk about Facebook and the importance of social networks in today’s society.

Microsoft, just come out with this stuff quicker. The demographic is fickle, and while you move faster than the other two, it’s not fast enough.  Who’s to say Facebook won t be this year’s MySpace (which was the previous year s Friendster, which was the previous year s Geocities).

Go, team, go.

Nintendo DSi Launch Slower Than DS Lite

Kotaku reports:

Sales in the “Americas” for the DS Lite from the day it hit here on June 11, 2006 to the end of September were 2.23 million units. While Sales in the “Americas” for the DSi from the day it hit on April 5, 2009 to the end of June were 1.56 million units.

That means the DS Lite sold on average about 20,000 units a day at $130 a pop during the 112 days of that reporting period, while the DSi sold on average about 18,000 units a day at $170 a pop during the 87 days of it’s reporting period.

Could it be the higher price with the weaker economy leading to these slower sales figures?

Our hunch is it s a combination of that plus the fact the Nintendo DSi isn’t significantly better than its DS Lite predecessor to make players plunk down another $170.

Plus, has anyone seen a killer app for the DSi yet? Not saying that it isn’t coming, but as always, software rules the world, even when you have Beyonce in your corner.


Ford Markets Taurus For Men

From Ad Age:

The new Taurus driver, said Mike Crowley, Ford’s marketing manager for large cars and SUVs, at the model’s marketing launch held this morning,” is driving it every day as a personal reward.”The revitalized Ford flagship brand aspires to be more than just functional; it wants to be “bold,” “something [drivers] look good in” and “fun,” Mr. Crowley said.

If you remember, this is similar to the Nintendo DS Lite packages that came with a Tiffany-blue case and a copy of Brain Age, or a rich, earthy case with a copy of Personal Trainer Cooking.

These are exceptions to the rule, but can video games tailor whole products to specific genres, taking a note from Nintendo’s recent DS and Wii Fit efforts

NBA Allows Ads On Jerseys

From The Hoop Doctors:

Word is starting to spread this week that the NBA this season will be allowing teams to accept advertising offers to place advertisements on their practice jersey’s. There has been no information yet on the regulations that would govern where and how many ads an NBA team would be allowed to put on their practice jersey’s. It seems the league wants to use the practice jersey’s as a beta program for gauging their overall comfort level with allowing ads on the game jersey’s.

How long before video games permeate this ad space, a la FIFA

THQ: We’ll Do Better Next Time

From Joystiq:

Though “pleased” on the game’s sell-through, THQ CEO Brian Farrell told a conference call on Tuesday, “I’d give us a B on the launch of Red Faction: Guerrilla. […]  Farrell said, “We’ve shipped more than one million units of this title to date” and reported that “the game was a top 10 best seller in the US and UK in June” but admitted that THQ could have done a better job “creating day one demand.”

“We moved the title a couple times, that doesn’t help,” Farrell confessed. “I’m very pleased with a lot of the strides we’ve made recently but that doesn’t mean we can’t do some things better.”

Red Faction: Guerilla is a Metacritic darling, with a cumulative score of 85, making it one of the top rated games in recent months.

Unfortunately, the THQ marketing machine wasn’t on the case as bloggers and video game sites did most of the heavy lifting thanks to the game’s high quality.

We reckon a better marketing push focused on the game s action-packed premise would have bolstered sales much further, but we re glad to see Farrell challenge his company to do better next time.