From music to MacBooks, these gifts will resonate with students. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
You might think college students are tricky to shop for, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since they’re constantly swamped with homework and simultaneously managing a busy social life, all they want is stuff that makes their lives easier and more fun.
If you’re stressing about what to get the student in your life this holiday season, never fear. We’ve collected some great gift ideas, handpicked by college students for college students:
Of course you have the Nintendo 3DS in your bag — it’s an outstanding handheld gaming system with a bevy of first- and third-party game titles that range from the strategic to the evocative.
You know the device is capable of some brilliant gaming for adults, but good lord, Nintendo, could you maybe bypass the primary colors? Maybe offer, say, a black version? Something in gold, maybe? The sophisticated folks at Waterfield know that you’re a grownup now, so they’ve created the City Slicker, a lush cocoon of a 3DS and 3DS XL case with a proper leather flap that ages along with you.
Will this be the first of many Nintendo titles to reach iOS?
Nintendo, unlike many software developers, has chosen to ignore the goldmine that is Apple’s App Store by refusing to develop its titles for iOS. It’s almost guaranteed that the Japanese company would make an absolute killing if it just brought fan favorites like Super Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon to our iPhones and iPads. But president Satoru Iwata is adamant it will only develop titles for its own hardware.
There are signs, however, that Nintendo is cracking. It just released its first paid iOS app, a mobile version of the Nintendo 3DS’s Pokédex, to customers in Japan.
iOS gaming could be greatly improved if Apple invested some of its billions into a game streaming service.
On Monday, Sony Computer Entertainment acquired cloud-based game streaming company Gaikai for around $380 million in a move that is sure to excite fans of the company’s PlayStation devices. If the Japanese company uses its purchase to create a compelling alternative to OnLive, it has the potential to gain a huge advantage over rivals like Microsoft and Nintendo.
The same service could provide an even bigger advantage to Apple. In fact, there are a number of reasons why the Cupertino company should use its ever-increasing cash pile to make Mac and iOS gaming even greater.
No one wants to buy a Nintendo 3DS when they have hundreds of thousands of games in their pocket already. Mario knows that.
Apple’s iOS devices have been stealing market share from portable consoles since the day the App Store opened its doors. Four years later, they have led Nintendo to report its first ever annual operating loss of $454.4 million.
A new Apple patent published this week by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office confirms that the company has been working on introducing 3D to our iOS devices. However, it may not be the glasses-free 3D technology we’ve already seen from devices like the Nintendo 3DS and the HTC EVO 3D.
Instead, Apple’s invention uses your device’s front-facing camera to track the position of your eyes and the location of light.
Apple has made another addition to its team this week with a former Microsoft Product Marketing chief, Robin Burrowes, joining the ranks to become the head of App Store Marketing for iTunes Europe. Burrowes was previously part of Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE team, and he’s not the first gaming executive to head for Cupertino as Apple gets serious about battling consoles head on.
Following a report that claims Nintendo is set to open up its own app store for its upcoming Wii U console, there are now suggestions that the Japanese gaming giant is “actively courting” iOS developers in a bit to lure them over to Wii U game development. One developer reports that the company even offered “assistance” with porting their title from iOS to be played on the console’s new controller, which features a 6.2-inch touchscreen.
Thanks to its front-facing camera, the iPad 2 is capable of producing a glasses-free 3D effect using head-tracking technology. Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay from the Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble at the EHCI Research Group have used this technology, along with some really basic applications, to show off what the iPad 2 is capable of when it comes to 3D.
We track the head of the user with the front facing camera in order to create a glasses-free monocular display. Such spatially-aware mobile display enables to improve the possibilities of interaction. It do not use the accelerometers and relies only on the front camera.
The video below demonstrates how the concept works, and I think it’s really impressive. I can’t wait to see how developers might use head tracking to create a 3D gaming experience.
Late next month, Nintendo is set to release the 3DS, the successor to their popular Nintendo DS handheld console. Besides a few bumped specs, the main selling point of the 3DS is its glasses-free 3D display, which Nintendo hopes will give their latest handheld a leg up on the competition… most importantly by giving them a clear point of differentiation from the DS’s number one competitor, the iPod Touch.
How long will Nintendo have 3D superiority over the Touch, though? Perhaps not as long as Nintendo thinks. A new rumor coming out of Japan suggests that the next iPod Touch will have the same glasses-free 3D display found in the Nintendo 3DS, based upon Cupertino’s multiple patents for 3D related technologies.