Sony Moves a Step Closer to Its Game Vision

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More than a decade ago, the Sony Corp. executive credited as the “Father of the PlayStation” predicted that one day videogames wouldn’t require a console, because the hardware would eventually “melt” into a network that linked players together. All they would need, Ken Kutaragi said, is a display and a controller.

Startups Adjust to Web’s Down Cycle

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Some companies that were preparing for a public offering after Facebook’s May IPO have shelved those plans. Others are distancing their businesses from those of Zynga and Groupon, amid concerns their companies will be tarred by the same brush. And some have watched their user growth trail off and are working to recapture the viral magic they once experienced.

Several Web startups have closed shop entirely. Color Labs Inc. raised $41 million in venture capital last year before even launching its social photo app for mobile devices, but it has since imploded and the app won’t be available after Dec. 31.

“There’s less heat in and around the SoLoMo market,” said Brian O’Malley, a venture capitalist at Battery Ventures in Menlo Park, Calif. “For a while, there was a suspended disbelief about how hard it is to build a company. Now that’s coming back to bite people.”

Microsoft and Its Allies Prepare Windows 8 Marketing Blitz

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Microsoft Corp. plans this weekend to start the marketing blitz for Windows 8, the software company’s dramatic overhaul of its flagship product to catch up to the rise of mobile devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPad.

According to people briefed on the marketing efforts, Microsoft’s ads beginning this weekend will coincide with pre-orders of some computers and tablet devices powered by Windows 8. Those devices are slated to go on sale widely on Oct. 26.

It’s no small push. People with knowledge of the marketing efforts said Microsoft and its hardware allies will have blankets of ads with a cumulative price tag of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Apple Gave Few Phones to Other Retailers

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Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 5 remained a hot item following the sales kickoff Friday, with customers flocking to stores to buy the new handset. But they seemed to have little luck finding the gadget at the Silicon Valley company’s retail partners.

While Apple’s own stores appeared to be selling the new device in large numbers, other retail chains that offered the device had limited quantities from the outset, according to sales staff in stores and other people familiar with the situation.

Shortages have hit Apple partners in the past, but the disparity seemed more pronounced this time.