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Old 08-30-2010, 12:54 PM   #31
Elfwreck
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Originally Posted by happy_terd View Post
All of these different ereaders remind me of the video game console flood that was part of the video game crash during the early 80s.
(snip list)
Each one of these consoles had its own library of games, and many had large third-party libraries. Likewise, many of these same companies announced yet another generation of consoles for 1984, such as the Odyssey3, and Atari 7800.[2]"
There are some similarities, and some notable differences. Videogame consoles were expected to work with new games; ebook readers are expected to work with a thousand years' worth of pre-existing content. The features of "what can you do in a video game" were being shaped and changed by the consoles themselves; the features of "what can you do with a book" are well-established, with a few tweaks by new hardware/software (search, dictionary), and some very desirable features (side-by-side comparison of two books) being dropped.

Ebook readers are trying to bring a new medium to a known type of content; videogames quickly dropped trying to push screen versions of existing games. Video games had to be created with hardware & software abilities in mind; books are not. (Generally. House of Leaves is an exception, as are "vooks.")

I'm not sure how that affects the market, but... an Atari 2600 can't play today's videogames at all. An ebookwise can read today's ebooks; they just need to be thrown into the converter. Old ebook readers don't become obsolete when they're no longer manufactured.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:59 PM   #32
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True, but more to the point, the picture from a smartphone camera is far inferior in quality to the picture from a digital camera.
It depends, though, what your needs are. The camera on my iPhone isn't going to replace my Canon Digital SLR, but it's perfectly good enough for casual "snapshots". I used to have a pocket camera as well as my SLR; the iPhone camera has replaced that.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:03 PM   #33
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It depends, though, what your needs are. The camera on my iPhone isn't going to replace my Canon Digital SLR, but it's perfectly good enough for casual "snapshots". I used to have a pocket camera as well as my SLR; the iPhone camera has replaced that.
A related note; after getting a SLR camera i realised how bad my pocket camera is.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:30 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
I'm not sure how that affects the market, but... an Atari 2600 can't play today's videogames at all. An ebookwise can read today's ebooks; they just need to be thrown into the converter. Old ebook readers don't become obsolete when they're no longer manufactured.
That is a great point...videogames are unique in that they are for the most part written specifically for a platform-you can't separate the container from the content.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:36 PM   #35
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I'd say that the majority of games are put out on all of the major consoles.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:38 PM   #36
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50,000 ereaders with 50,000 book formats with a lot of incompatibility.

An exaggeration sure...but the same problem caused the video game industry to crash.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:41 PM   #37
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We have different expectations of games. We've come to expect that games will only run on one console, and that the next generation will run the previous generation's games, but not the generation before that.

I don't feel the same entitlement to a game on one platform if I bought it on another as I would for a book in one format having bought it on another - or even a recording. Perhaps that's because I know that there's more work in porting games than format shifting, or perhaps it's just a habit.

Anyway, I think that there is a comparison with video consoles, in that people deserted them because general purpose computers came out which could do much the same and more. Tablets may do that for many with respect to current readers - we shall see. People went back to consoles when they offered something that their general-purpose computers could not - more immersive gaming, for example.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:42 PM   #38
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When tablets have the same dimensions/weight as a dedicated e-reader AND when tablets cost the same as a dedicated e-reader AND when tablets have E ink screens (I'm imagining some sort of hybrid LCD/E ink display) THEN you'll see dedicated e-readers disappear.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:43 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
There are some similarities, and some notable differences. Videogame consoles were expected to work with new games; ebook readers are expected to work with a thousand years' worth of pre-existing content. The features of "what can you do in a video game" were being shaped and changed by the consoles themselves; the features of "what can you do with a book" are well-established, with a few tweaks by new hardware/software (search, dictionary), and some very desirable features (side-by-side comparison of two books) being dropped.

Ebook readers are trying to bring a new medium to a known type of content; videogames quickly dropped trying to push screen versions of existing games. Video games had to be created with hardware & software abilities in mind; books are not. (Generally. House of Leaves is an exception, as are "vooks.")

I'm not sure how that affects the market, but... an Atari 2600 can't play today's videogames at all. An ebookwise can read today's ebooks; they just need to be thrown into the converter. Old ebook readers don't become obsolete when they're no longer manufactured.
I think there is at least two other notable differences.

1. A large number of high profile, poor quality games definitely played a role. Yes, there are a large number of high profile, poor quality books, but that has always been the case and it has never stopped people reading .

2. Video Game consoles were still relatively new and at the time perceived as being more a kid's toy than a serious entertainment device. EBook readers on the other hand are being taken seriously by adults (in fact, fare more seriously by the above 30 set than the under 30 set).

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Old 08-30-2010, 08:41 PM   #40
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It depends, though, what your needs are. The camera on my iPhone isn't going to replace my Canon Digital SLR, but it's perfectly good enough for casual "snapshots". I used to have a pocket camera as well as my SLR; the iPhone camera has replaced that.
There are phones that can take photos just as good as some of the pocket cameras. However, when it comes to battery life, the pocket camera not only fares better, when the camera battery runs down, the phone still works. I keep my old HP in my purse because I can take 400-600 photos on a set of batteries, then easily replace the batteries. And I don't have to worry about it running down the phone.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:50 PM   #41
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Sure, give me a real all-in-one reading device! 9.7" with virtually no bezel, not heavier than my Irex, 1/2" thick, a color screen I can comfortably read on for many hours, a battery that lasts for weeks. Preferably the device can be folded in two.

I will be the first in line to buy it. And remember, to have a real "all-in-one" you need a full fledged OS on the device, not a phone OS.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:53 AM   #42
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And remember, to have a real "all-in-one" you need a full fledged OS on the device, not a phone OS.
This is correct, but is missed by many...
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:27 PM   #43
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This is correct, but is missed by many...

Umm, Define a full fledged OS? I would submit that the Average Smart Phone today is far more capable in pretty much every way imaginable to the average desktop computer was through at least the mid 1990s (actually their chips are clocked considerably faster and have more storage available than those computers).

To my mind, the basic limitation of the ultimate converged device is the form factor. The HTC Evo, and the Dell Streak are pushing the limits for the largest reasonable smart phone and thus, they are not going to be as good at every function as dedicated devices can be (With some exceptions, like as an mp3 player and basic PDA functionality).

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Old 08-31-2010, 02:40 PM   #44
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Umm, Define a full fledged OS? I would submit that the Average Smart Phone today is far more capable in pretty much every way imaginable to the average desktop computer was through at least the mid 1990s (actually their chips are clocked considerably faster and have more storage available than those computers).

To my mind, the basic limitation of the ultimate converged device is the form factor. The HTC Evo, and the Dell Streak are pushing the limits for the largest reasonable smart phone and thus, they are not going to be as good at every function as dedicated devices can be (With some exceptions, like as an mp3 player and basic PDA functionality).

--
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I agree that the form factor has to be right, but the OS is more important. My analogy would be: Creating the most beautiful full-carbon fiber Ferrari that is just art on wheels, and putting a 1950's one-cylinder air-cooled tractor engine in it. The form factor and the OS have to both be right...
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:31 PM   #45
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I agree that the form factor has to be right, but the OS is more important. My analogy would be: Creating the most beautiful full-carbon fiber Ferrari that is just art on wheels, and putting a 1950's one-cylinder air-cooled tractor engine in it. The form factor and the OS have to both be right...
My point was, that the OS in modern Smartphones is more capable than most people realize. Not all of them are created equal of course, but essentially the biggest limitation on SmartPhone O.S. is the interface that is required to be useful on a 3-5" screen.

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