2009: A year in review, May
With E3 coming right at the beginning of the month to come, it was of little surprise that much of May was dominated by game news and blurry shots of entertainment hardware. Word was dropped on Wii Fit Plus, DJ Hero, Band Hero, Guitar Hero 5 and Tony Hawk Ride and the incredible skateboard, while Sony was none too pleased by leaks of the PSP Go, the PS3 Slim and the fact that prisoners were using the entertainment systems to run organised crime from their cells.
Most annoyed of all, though, had to be the makers of the Sims who saw the Sims 3 leaked onto file sharing sites 2 weeks ahead of launch. At the same time, the Queen was presented with a gold-plated Wii to go with her iPod and Nintendo's system was named as a top 20 item on wedding lists in the UK.
As ever, the world of mobiles was cranking out the handsets. Sony Ericsson got sexier than it'd been for a long time with the Aino and Yari, the N97 arrived along with Ovi, the Omnia i8910 arrived, the Storm 2 was leaked, Android Donut demoed and BT and 3 told the world it was time to terminate the rate.
Still waiting on that last one but perhaps it's causing more damage than we all thought as BT announced job cuts and the state of affairs looked unlikely to change with Vodafone revealing profits were down by around 50% and the first talk of serious trouble for T-mobile UK. The news was no better for Sony who announced a first annual loss in 14 years and poor old Duke Nukem's 3D Realm closed down for business.
With WWDC on the horizon there was plenty of Apple excitement. There were photos of the 3GS, rumours of cameras for the iPods, predictions of an Apple tablet for 2010 and the news that Steve Jobs would not be back in time for the keynote. While it was all talk for the company's MP3 players, Microsoft went official with the Zune HD and Spotify told the world about its apps for both Android and iPhone.
Sony brought out a media player all of its own with the impressive Walkman X-Series and its sister company, Sony Ericsson, patented the idea of a machine to choose tunes based on your facial expression. Last but not least in this sphere, there was one for the uberphile as Naim brought out its first digital music playing hardware in the shape of the NaimUniti.
Life was good for other gadget lovers too. In imaging, Sony got serious about its DSLRs with the excellent new Alpha range and Polaroid got playful with the launch of the PoGo camera. There was a rush of satnavs with the TomTom XL Live Europe, CoPilot 7 and a glut of Mio Navman PNDs including a prototype that also worked as a portable Freeview TV. Even ebook readers got exciting for a while with the budget COOL-ER and the arrival of the Kindle DX.
Social networking was shrouded in controversy when Facebook admitted that they never actually delete our photos from their servers, whilst Twitter attempted to make an unpopular alteration to the reply system. The search world was also buzzing as Google introduced more successful options, a Street View tricycle and a herd of goats to cut the company grass with. Both Wolfram Alpha and Bing also went live and, unfortunately for Google, the established leader blacked out for a couple of hours Stateside. Perhaps it was the goats chewing on the cables?
The real hit of the month though was Susan Boyle who shot to fame as the 5th most played video ever on YouTube after huge acclaim in the US, and if you weren't watching the Hairy Angel, then it was probably porn as the leading video service went under an organised attack. For those who simply couldn't forgive them, there was always the news that Hulu was set to launch in the UK in September and that Skyplayer was coming to the Xbox 360.
Elsewhere, News Corps announced the company would be charging to view its pages from next year, Virgin trialled 200Mbps broadband, the Museum of Computing found a home in Swindon, the three wolf moon t-shirt went big as did the DVD's potential - with holographic storage promising 1.6TB on each in the future.
Last of all, we made some changes of our own by launching 4000 homepages which you can still access by typing /whateveryou'relookingfor after our URL.