I know what you want to hear about—this week it’s all
wants to talk about. Begins with an “i,” ends with an “e.” That’s right, it’s the word “indefatigable.” Well, don’t trouble your pretty little heads, because we’re not going to fall prey to all that nonsense. When it comes to Gadgetbox, we cover all sorts of gimzos and doohickies—not just what
everybody else is prattling on about.
So sit back and take a break from all the talk of convergence, revolutions, and life-changing devices with this week’s Gadgetbox. Instead, we’ve got news on Nintendo’s surprising deal with third-party developers, a rodent you can throw in the wash without getting bit, and a newfangled way of following the ol’ ballgame.
Nintendo shows third-party developers some love
Bandy about the phrase “third-party developers” nowadays, and you’ll get a collective wince from the Apple community. But not all companies are quite so restrictive when it comes to playing nicely with others.
Take game powerhouse Nintendo, for example. Today, the home of Mario, Link, and Samus Aran
announced a program called WiiWare, which will allow third-party developers to create their own games to be downloaded from the Wii’s Shop Channel.
“Independent developers armed with small budgets and big ideas will be able to get their original games into the marketplace to see if we can find the next smash hit,” says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “WiiWare brings new levels of creativity and value to the ever-growing population of Wii owners.”
The first content will start appearing next year, and will be purchased using redeemable Wii Points, just like the current downloadable titles available; developers will also be able to take advantage of the Wii’s unique motion-sensing controls.
There are a couple of catches: for one thing, Nintendo will determine the appropriate pricing of the titles, and while they won’t make any decisions about the content of the games (it’s up to the publishers or developers to seek ratings from the Entertainment Software Rating Board), they will check them for bugs.
Overall, it sounds like a promising way for aspiring game developers to get some exposure. As many have remarked, Nintendo and Apple are very similar companies in outlook and ethos; perhaps Cupertino will find itlsef taking a page from them in the future with the, er,
Mice and keyboards get a pretty heavy workout in today’s computer-heavy environments. After a few weeks of contsant hand sweat, food crumbs, and dirt, they can get, well,
(to use a technical term). But cleaning them up can be an adventure in itself—some people give up and just buy new mice, while others suffer with a grimy rodent.
Belkin’s out to make it a little easier on heavy mouse users with their new
Washable Mouse. Not only will it resist spills, but you can feel free to dunk it under the faucet to clean off that accumulated cruft. On the mouse side, it features a 1200dpi optical sensor and a vertical- and horizontal-scrolling pad instead of a scroll wheel (traditionally not a feature that plays well with water).
The Washable Mouse will run you $29.99 when it’s available in August 2007 and, unlike other rodents that you attempt to submerge in water, it will probably not try to kill you and all of your offspring.
In the olden days, all scoreboards were wireless
It’s a shame that Father’s Day went past without me knowing about
the Liveboard, because it could have been the perfect all-too-expensive gift for my dad the baseball nut. For those that haven’t quite graduated to the rich sports content offered online, the Liveboard is a dedicated scoreboard device that sits wherever you like and reports on the score, inning, count, and base occupancy of the baseball game of your choice.
How does this magical box know these things? Well, it talks to your computer, either via Bluetooth or via Wireless USB. You use the included software to control which game you want to follow and let the Liveboard do the rest. One downside: at the moment, there’s only compatibility with Windows—Mac support is on the way though, so for the meantime, OS X users will have to rely on the likes of Parallels and Boot Camp.
The Liveboard is a little pricey at $299, but that’s hardly too high a price to pay to remind your own dad of those countless summer twilight hours spent playing catch in the backyard. Good news is that there’s a 30-day risk-free trial—and if he doesn’t like it, you can send it back for a full refund.
On the other hand, you could always just buy your dad a cheap wireless audio device that tells him what’s happening in the game
in real time
That’s it for this week’s Gadgetbox. Come back next week when the wonders of convergence brings us a washable wireless baseball scoreboard that’s open to third-party developers. Indefatigable, indeed.