The Year of Tech: 2006 (Part 1)

February 8, 2006

I am officially dubbing 2006 as The Year of Tech. Regardless of my year naming rights, it's on the internet, most likely cached in Google, and there's nothing you or I can do about it.
With that aside, let me get into why I have bestowed such a knightly crest upon this infant year:

1) Enter the Format Wars. Not since Betamax vs VHS has there been a format war like the one we are going to experience this year.
The Warriors - Blu-ray and HD DVD
The Battlground - Your DVD players, computers, gaming consoles, and other disc-based media players

Blu-ray is Sony's champion, and they have won over Disney, 20th Century Fox, Apple, and others.
HDDVD was created by Toshiba and their big hitters are Microsoft, NEC, Sanyo, Paramount, Universal, etc.

The Good: High Definition DVDs for your High Definition TVs
The Bad: A universal player is neither in the works and would be cost prohibitive
The Ugly: This is going to be a bloody battle, and we're the cannon fodder. Lets just hope the dust settles sooner rather than later.

For more information: BluRay, HDDVD

2) Next-Gen Consoles. The XBOX 360 officially came out last year, but until you can walk up to a store and buy one I'm not counting it as technically available yet. Later in this year Nintendo will be coming out with their new console (currently codenamed Revolution), and even later in the year Sony plans on releasing the Playstation 3.

Now, I'm more of a computer gaming guy than a console guy, but I would like to own one of these new consoles at some point. Based on current information, that will most likely be the new Nintendo. The XBOX 360 is currently priced at $400, the Playstation 3 is rumored to be at least that much if not more, and the current buzz on the Revolution is that it will cost around $200 when released. Add to that a truly revolutionary controller and the possibility to download old NES, SNES, and N64 games and I'm sold. It will be interesting to see where the chips lie after all three consoles have been released.

For more information: XBOX 360, Nintendo Revolution, Playstation 3

3) Intel and Apple: strange bedfellows. Starting this January Apple began shipping computers using Intel processors. Currently, you can only buy the iMac or MacBook Pro (a laptop) with the new CPUs, but eventually Apple plans on moving their entire personal computer product line into Intel's bed.

My opinion is that this is a good thing. I actually find myself eyeing Apple's computers more and more lately (especially now that I have an iPod). I will be interested to see what the new Mac Mini with an Intel processor performs like and if it is a substantial improvement over the currently available units, I may find myself purchasing one. I already have experience with Windows and Linux, so what's left but Apple's OSX?

More info: MacBook Pro, iMac

Coming up in Part 2:
4) A new version of Windows?
6) My Tech

Be sure to vote in the new poll at the bottom of the page.