CES2013: Hands On with the New Portable Speakers from HMDX

HMDX (you know, like the JamBox) is one of the top portable speaker makers out there. In this video, Shy gives us a hands-on with their new speakers in a rage of prices AND crazy colors, including a couple of wireless options. These are super affordable speakers, with the cheapest starting at $10, and the top of the line coming in at only $50.

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The EZ DJ PRO is an awesome toy that makes mixing and scratching music easy

Launching later this year under $60, the EZ DJ PRO is a kids toy that adults will love too. The latest gadget from JAKKS Pacific connects to your iPad, iPhone or Android device, and using their free app you can turn your device into a DJ setup. While this is designed for DJing novices (it automatically matches the beat between two songs, a pretty important skill for real DJs to learn), the included effects, scratching, and mixer mean that this thing is definitely capable of being used to DJ a real party.

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Meet Nessie – the newest $99 microphone from Blue!

Blue Microphones makes a variety of devices that let you record audio straight into your Mac, PC, or even iPhone or iPad. Their latest mic, called Nessie, seen in the video above, is the latest addition to their lineup and should be perfect for musicians or aspiring podcasters who are looking to get into recording. It packs in a lot of features for the beginner like a built-in pop filter to help soften harsh sounds in your voice, an internal shockmount to reduce vibrations, and built-in processing that will automatically control the level of your voice or instrument as well as EQ it in real time. But let’s say you start learning about how to process your audio yourself and you don’t need the features that Nessie includes for beginners. At that point, you can turn off that processing and just get the raw audio straight out of the device. There’s even a headphone jack that let’s you monitor the audio live, which is a must-have feature for anyone looking to take their recording more seriously.

Nessie is launching later this year for $99.

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#MarioAtCES: SOL Republic Headphones Press Event

SOL republic headphones
SOL Tracks Headphones


I was at the SOL Republic press event today at CES and I got a preview of their latest designs. These headphones look good, sound great, and start at only $99. Plus they had not one but TWO Maryland shoutouts and you know I love that!

This is just the beginning of our CES coverage, so check back on my blog, Socialcam or on Twitter for TONS more videos from Las Vegas. You can follow my #MarioAtCES hashtag for all the latest!



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NVIDIA’s New Gaming Console: What It Means

One unsual announcement that’s already come out of CES is from the graphics card company NVIDIA. Yesterday they announced “Project Shield” a handheld gaming console based on their new Tegra 4 mobile graphics chipset. While their previous graphics card for tablet, called “Tegra 3”, has been powering higher-end Android tablets this past year, Tegra 4 promises to deliver next-generation level graphics

Both a handheld device and a controller that can stream your games wirelessly to a TV, the Project Shield gaming device from NVIDIA looks to fill a similar gap in the market as the Wii U—half-tablet, half console. Unlike the Wii U, however, Project Shield will be a portable device competing more directly with Nintendo’s 3DS and Playstation’s Vita console. It will be powered by the latest Android OS, so not only will it play games, it will run all of your favorite apps as well, just like today’s crop of tablet computers, albeit one with a console-grade controller built-in.

Can NVIDIA succeed? That’s a tough question. With Apple’s devices already eating into Nintendo’s marketshare in mobile gaming, and Sony already an established player in portable electronics, is there room for a 3rd contender that lacks the marketshare and exclusive titles that Nintendo and Sony have to offer? After all, being able to deliver world class graphics is one thing, but if gamers can’t get titles equivalent to Super Mario Bros., Zelda, Street Fighter and Assassin’s Creed, will they change systems?

Then there’s the question of price. Certainly, if Project Shield is to compete with consoles as well as portable gaming devices, it will need to compete on hardware with the next generation Xbox, Playstation, and the Wii U. Pack all that power into an HD touchscreen device and it’s hard to imagine NVIDIA bringing this to market for less than $400. When compared to the cost of a Nintendo 3DS at $169 or a Playstation Vita at $249, it’s hard to imagine that consumers will be enticed at that price point.

But in order to survive into the next millenium, this may be a crucial move for NVIDIA. In gaming, they have been struggling. While their chips power Sony’s Playstation 3 console, the better-selling Xbox 360 and Wii consoles use chips from rival AMD (formerly known as ATI). Nevermind the fact that the just-released Wii U from Nintendo uses AMD chips as well.

In mobile, Tegra 3 found mass-market success in the Nexus 7 tablet from Asus and Google. But it’s worth keeping in mind that the Android gaming market has a long way to go to catch up with Apple’s iPad and iPhone systems where the latest games are often launched first, sometimes exclusively. While the Nexus 7 is a great device for reading books, browsing the web, engaging on social media, and watching movies, it isn’t exactly known in the marketplace as a “gaming tablet.”

However, if NVIDIA can find partnerships like the one with Google to get Tegra 4 onto more devices and raise awareness around Android gaming, that’ll be the first step towards success with the platform. The trickier problems is how to make gaming on Android the next big thing.

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