Now, Wi-Fi comes to gaming

Outside the PC and network equipment markets, the gaming space has really been the first market segment to embrace Wi-Fi. More than 26 million handheld game devices with embedded Wi-Fi shipped out in 2005, with 28 million of these Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable (PSP) devices expected to ship in 2006, according to In-Stat, a market research firm.

It says five million game consoles with embedded Wi-Fi are expected to ship out in 2006, representing only the late-year releases of Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii gaming consoles.

In-Stat says one of the main issues plaguing Wi-Fi integration into portable CE devices has revolved around the demonstration of Wi-Fi’s value-add to a device. Certainly, Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection service is one example of a vendor leveraging Wi-Fi to provide for an enhanced user experience.

On August 28, 2006, Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection (its online gaming portal for its DS/DS Lite users) logged over 70 million connections from over 2 million unique users, after the portal had been live for only nine months. The service centers around DS online play at certified partner hot-spots, where the user launches a game in Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection mode with no configuration or registration required.

Sony PSP

While the DS is a more traditional game console, the PSP aims to be a portable multimedia convergence device that primarily plays games. The device includes audio and video playback and web browsing capability. As of October 2006 in the US, the PSP was available for a street price of $200, while the Nintendo DS was available for $130. Sony's online gaming push has not been as strong as Nintendo’s, owing to Sony’s focus on the PSP being more than a handheld gaming device.

PlayStation 3

According to In-Stat, in late 2005, Microsoft began the newest cycle of gaming consoles with its launch of the XBox360. Microsoft’s 802.11a/g USB gaming adapters are sold as an accessory to the XBox360 for $99 and feature the same styling as found in the XBox360 console.

In November, both the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii will roll out. "The Wii, along with the premium model of the PlayStation 3, will include embedded 802.11g. Sony will offer two versions of the PlayStation 3, a 60GB premium model and a 20GB core model, with embedded Wi-Fi offered only in the 60GB model," it says.

The Wii will not feature a hard disk drive, but will include 512MB of flash memory and a bay for an SD memory card that will allow players to expand the internal flash memory. The most talked-about feature of this console is its motion-sensitive controllers


Chinese Man Recites Urdu Poetry

When Chinese Yung Van Liu breaks into Urdu verse, his chaste accent and precise pronunciation cause in his audience ripples of admiration.Reportedly the only Urdu poet of Chinese origin in India, Yung says: "I am an Indian by birth and by heart." A dentist by profession and settled in Jamshedpur, Yung, 74, has bagged the Firaq Gorakhpuri award for his linguistic talents.

"When World War II broke out, my family had to shift to Jamshedpur from Kolkata for security reasons. My parents faced tough times and could not afford to send me to school. That was how I attended an Urdu school where no fee was charged. Initially I found it difficult to learn the Urdu alphabet, but gradually I mastered it. After six months, my family’s financial condition improved and they shifted me back to an English school." "But by then I had developed a love for Urdu," says the poet who never considered moving to China. When the India-China border war broke out in 1962, Yung criticised the Chinese invasion through Urdu poetry.

According to Yung, Urdu, a language that played a vital role in India’s freedom struggle, was not the language of a particularly community. "Urdu originates in the hearts of the people," he said.



Mobile phone users reach 13 crore mark in India

The number of mobile users in India has reached 13 crore with some 66 lakh new subscribers added only in the month of October. The number of people using GSM based mobile phones in the country has reached 9.6 crore, while people using CDMA mobile phones has reached 3.3 crore.

In the month of October, GSM mobile companies were able to add 47 lakh new users and CDMA mobile operators added 19 lakh new customers. Commenting on the growth, Mr T.V. Ramachandran, Director General, Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI), an association of GSM operators said that the GSM industry and COAI are delighted at the continued upswing in the subscriber additions. "This growth is strong evidence of the fact that GSM continues to be the predominant technology choice of masses", said Mr Ramachandran.

In the GSM sector, the metro subscribers grew only by 2.9 per cent as compared to 6.3 per cent and 6.2 percent growth shown by in Category B and Category C circles. This shows that more and more people in smaller cities and in villages are buying the mobile phones. Within the Category B circles, MP and Haryana recorded the highest growth at 9.2 per cent and 8.8 percent respectively. Within the Category C circles, the highest growth was recorded by the North East (9.4 per cent) followed by Jammu and Kashmir (8.7 per cent). Category A circles witnessed a growth of 5.4 percent, in which AP recorded the highest growth of 6.9 percent followed by Maharashtra at 6.2 per cent. The metro subscribers grew by 2.9 per cent over the previous month. Kolkatta recorded the highest growth (2.9 per cent) followed by Delhi (2.8 per cent).

From the companies perspective, Reliance Communications added over 10 lakh CDMA subscribers in October taking its total subscriber base to 2.4 crore. Reliance was followed by Tata Teleservices, whose subscriber base reached over 93 lakh with the addition of 8.8 lakh subscribers in the month of October.

"With the Indian telecom sector experiencing robust growth, Reliance communications is confident to further enhance the current uptrend," said Mr S.P. Shukla, president (personal business) Reliance Communications. The cellular subscriber base of Bharti touched 2.86 crore, BSNL’s 2.20 crore, Hutch-Essar’s 2.12 crore and Idea’s 1.09 crore.


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