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Sony may have unveiled a slew of new audio products back at CES 2013, but the company has been relatively quiet when it comes to launching ones that are compatible with Apple’s novel Lightning connector. That being said, it looks as if folks in the Land of the Rising Sun will soon be able to pair their current-gen iOS device with a dock from the PlayStation maker, thanks to the recently announced SRS-GC11IP. Pictured above, this little 0.8W speaker isn’t loaded with fancy features like Bluetooth 4.0 or WiFi, but it does offer convenient functions such as an alarm clock and AM / FM radio — these, of course, go along with the ability to also play tunes straight from a Lighting-ready iDevice or, with the proper RDP-NWC11 model, a new-era Walkman and many different smartphones. Whether we’ll ever see the as-yet-unpriced tubular peripheral hit other markets, well, that still remains to be seen, with Sony only going so far as to listing it as “coming soon” on its Japanese website.
Gallery: Sony RDP-NWC11 speaker dock
Gallery: Sony RDP-NWC11 speaker dock
Amazon’s just announced that it’s bringing the entire Kindle family to Japan. The basic Paperwhite is now available to pre-order for 8,480 yen (around $ 106) from the online retailer, with the 3G version arriving at a slightly pricier 12,980 yen (approximately $ 162) — both will start shipping November 19th. Obviously you’re going to need stuff to read, so the Kindle Store is opening its doors tomorrow and shelves are stocked with over 50,000 Japanese language books (including 10,000 for free) and more than 15,000 manga titles. Amazon’s tablet range is heading to Japan as well, with the Fire costing 12,800 yen (approximately $ 160) and the 7-inch Fire HD setting wallets back 15,800 yen (almost $ 200). You’ll have to wait a bit longer for these two, however, as shipping is slated to begin December 19th — hopefully arriving in time to fill those stockings.
In the latest scuffle between Apple and Samsung, a Tokyo court has ruled that the iPhone 4 and 4S do not infringe on two of Sammy’s patents. According to The Asahi Shimbun, a decision on September 14th found Apple had not violated a patent related to app downloads, as Samsung’s method is different. A dispute regarding flight / airplane mode also went in Cupertino‘s favor on October 11th, because the technology in question was regarded by the court as incremental. Only one case against Apple remains undecided in Japan — for a patent on using “homescreen space” — but, as usual, don’t expect that to be the last chapter in the neverending story.
In addition to its gender-obsessed Floral Kiss range, Fujitsu has announced a gabble of Windows 8 form factors for its Japanese clientele. One of the more curious additions is the Esprimo FH98/JD all-in-one PC, which lets you pan across Microsoft’s new UI using the very same eye-tracking technology we played with at CEATEC. There’s also a slightly refreshed version of the 14-inch FMV Lifebook UH75 last seen running Windows 7 at CeBIT, which persists in its claim to be the “world’s thinnest Ultrabook” at 15.6mm. Two more Lifebooks make similar promises in their respective non-Ultrabook weight categories — the 13.3-inch SH76/J and the 15.6-inch AH78/JA, which both stretch to around 20mm at their thickest points. At the back of the convoy comes the 10-inch waterproof Arrows Tab Wi-Fi, which was already draped in Windows 8 colors when we went hands-on a few weeks back. It’s mostly academic unless you’ll be in Japan after October 26th, but the source link has plenty more pics and specs.
With Windows 8 finally launching in less than four weeks, it’s only a matter of time before the web is flooded with prices of upcoming PCs, the first among which this month hail from Sony VAIO’s Japan branch. Starting with the Duo 11 slider PC, it’s expected to go for about ¥150,000 ($ 1,930) when it launches in Japan on October 26th (alongside Windows 8), and it’ll come with a 1080p display, 1.7GHz Core i5-3317U, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM and WiMAX. Then we have three flavors of the Tap 20 portable all-in-one which will range from about ¥140,000 ($ 1,800) up to about ¥180,000 ($ 2,310) come November 3rd, with the main differences being the CPU (1.8GHz Core i3-3217U, 1.7GHz Core i5-3317U or 1.9GHz Core i7-3517U) and the RAM (4GB or 8GB), but all three will feature the same 20-inch 1,600 x 900 display and 1TB hard drive.
Also announced at the Tokyo event are Japan prices for three more existing VAIO models that now feature a touchscreen: ¥130,000 ($ 1,670) for the T Series 13 laptop with Core i5-3317U, ¥150,000 ($ 1,920) for the VAIO E Series 14P laptop with Core i5-3210M, and from ¥210,000 ($ 2,700) to ¥240,000 ($ 3,080) for the VAIO L Series 24-inch all-in-one with Core i7-3630QM and 1080p display. The two laptops will be available in Japan from October 26th, whereas the all-in-one will join in from November 3rd.
There’s no indication as to whether the US prices will match their Japanese counterparts (the former are usually a lot cheaper), but hey, stay tuned here and you’ll know as soon as we do.
Because Japan prides itself on being on the cutting edge of weird, these saline solution “bagel head” injections are allegedly a growing trend in the country. Thankfully (if there can be a thankfully in this story), the bagel shape only lasts around 16 hours before the saline is absorbed into the body and your forehead returns to normal. This is ridiculous. Call me when you can make me look like Worf from Star Trek for a day.
Here’s how it goes down: technicians insert a needle into the forehead and inject about 400 cc of saline to create a forehead-sized blob. (One bagel-ee describes is as feeling like “something’s dripping down [his] head” and a “slight stinging sensation.”) The practitioner then places his or her thumb into the blob to create the indentation.
Bagel heads – really? Waffles I could understand. A Pop Tart even, but bagels? They’re not even good without cream cheese. At least call them doughnuts. On a side note, would this work to give me temporary boobs for a day? I only ask because I found a bra in my apartment building’s laundry room and it’s been begging me to wear it. Plus I want to film myself jogging.
Hit the jump for a kind of graphic (needle in forehead) video showing the procedure.
If it feels like we’ve heard about Amazon’s intention to punch through the Japanese wall with Kindle before, it’s because we have. However, if a new report on Reuters via The Nikkei is to be believed, it could finally be getting closer. It’s said that the internet retailer had planned to launch its e-reader line in September, but supply chain problems put paid to that. Now we’re told it’ll land in “early October” with Amazon hurriedly securing Japanese content in time for the busy end of year sales period. The Kindle’s still not out of the woods just yet though, as it’s also been suggested that publishers are being asked to change data formats for their content, which is ripe for causing another bottleneck, should they not comply in time. Sadly, given the history of this tale, we’re not expecting Japanese farm owners to be making any irrational bets just yet.
This week Japan’s capital city welcomes gamers from around the globe for some show and tell with the country’s finest at TGS. As for us, we’re particularly anxious to see what Sony may have in store. Will we see another PS3 redesign? Perhaps some buzz about it’s next-gen console? Will we see some energized color options for the PS Vita? We’re eager to find out. Worried you’re too far away to be in the loop with the happenings here? Fret not! We’ve got you covered on all of the proceedings at Makuhari Messe, so keep your peepers locked here for all of the latest news over the next few days.
Sean Buckley contributed to this report.
The Nintendo Wii U arrives on Japanese shores on December 8th starting at 26,260 yen (around $ 340), Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced this morning via Nintendo Direct video stream. A presentation later today in New York City starring Nintendo of America prez Reggie Fils-Aime will reveal pricing and release dates for the rest of the world, but you’d be right in guessing it won’t be too far from the Japanese launch.
A basic set and premium set were revealed, with the premium option adding more storage up to 32GB, from 8GB on the cheaper bundle. The Premium set (priced at 31,500 yen, or about $ 405) will also arrive with additional controllers and peripherals — including a charging stand for your Wii U GamePad. Those GamePads will also be available standalone for 13,440 yen, which could see American gamers paying around $ 173 for the luxury.
The Wii U pro controllers are priced at 5,040 yen ($ 65) each, while the Wiimote will continue to be priced at 3,800 yen (around $ 50), in a selection of colors — likewise the nunchuks will come in three color palettes. A GamePad charging stand will also be available to buy separately — setting you back around 1,870 yen — around $ 25. Naturally, there’s going to be some international variance in these prices. We’ll update once we get those US prices cemented.
We’ve been given a little more detail on the technical specifics too, with the Wii U packing 1GB of its own (“main”) memory alongside 1GB for running games. The hard drive, meanwhile, will house 25 gigs of space. Two titles, New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land will both debut alongside the console — we’re expecting to hear even more software details later today.
Filed under: Gaming