Tech news from around the web:
Chrome, Google’s web browser, is on the brink of replacing Firefox as the second-most-popular browser after Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, ComputerWorld reports. Chrome’s global average user share for September was 23.6%, while Firefox’s stood at 26.8%. IE, meanwhile, was at 41.7%, according to data from StatCounter, which predicts that Chrome will overtake Firefox by December. Read more
Microsoft has announced a mixed bag of pricing for its Kinect motion controller and a new version of its Xbox 360.
The low $200 price for a 4-gigabyte version of the Xbox 360 S coming in August may give Microsoft an advantage over Sony and Nintendo in new console sales, but existing Xbox owners may baulk at paying an extra $150 for a Kinect sensor, available from November 4. Read more
Sony’s launch of a slimmed down PlayStation 3 last September at a lower price led to a sustained sales lift and Microsoft would welcome a similar boost for its smaller version of the Xbox 360.
There are no price cuts with the $300 Xbox 360 S, announced at the E3 show in June, but added features such as built-in wireless connectivity mean better value for money. Read more
Microsoft and the Bungie independent studio gave an impressive demonstration of Halo:Reach , the next major instalment of the blockbuster Xbox franchise, at a media event in San Francisco on Thursday evening.
The first-person shooter was one of more than a dozen games shown by Microsoftat its X10 event , in a bullish demonstration of its firepower for the year ahead.
It was an optimistic end to the week for the industry. Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard issued downbeat forecasts on Monday and Wednesday and figures from the NPD research firm on Thursday showed that software sales fell 12 per cent in January. Read more
Microsoft has been reluctant to reveal the technology behind its Project Natal gesture-based control system unveiled at the E3 video game trade show in June.
But at a DisplaySearch conference on emerging display technologies in San Jose on Thursday, a Microsoft partner spilled the beans. Read more
Sony has changed the dimensions of its PlayStation 3 console and the dynamics of the current generation console wars with the introduction of the PS3 “Slim” from September 1 at $299 in the US.
Sony gave me a quick tour of the new console in San Francisco on Wednesday. Take a look at the smaller, lighter, less shiny PS3 in a video after the jump. Read more
The US video game industry, which appeared to be riding out the recession last year, had the horse shot from under it in the first half of 2009.
The June sales figures released by the NPD research firm on Thursday night showed the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year declines. June’s 31 per cent drop was the greatest year-over-year monthly fall since September 2000, when the industry declined 41 per cent. Read more
Microsoft’s new motion-sensing device unveiled at its E3 press conference today has no name, no price, no release date and its early-stage technology is of uncertain parentage.
Despite such apparent disadvantages, this bastard child has a kindly foster father and champion in Peter Molyneux, the visionary leader of Microsoft’s Lionhead Studios. Read more