Kodak camera merges sound and image

Due to ship in the US in mid-March, the Kodak MC3 camera/MP3 player will retail between $US229 and $US299, depending on accessories, and is unabashedly aimed at "Generation Y" (people under 30 years old).

The camera is about the size of a mobile phone and takes surprisingly good-looking 20-frames-per-second QuickTime videos. As a still camera it produces photos at 640-by-480 resolution, which is a low resolution for a modern digital camera but more than adequate for the target market, Kodak thinks. The MP3 player is something of a throw-in, company officials admitted in off-the-record remarks, but it adds a sheen to the product that should be appealing to a young crowd--or so the company hopes.

Many at the show said that it would be very popular for college-age and high school-age young people (and gift-buying parents) because of its multifunction capabilities, shirt-pocket size, and moderate price, which compares very favourably with single-function MP3 players and low-end digital cameras.

That same crowd may well be attracted to Majestic, an online suspense game from Electronic Arts that can literally mix fact with fiction. How literally? If you give it permission, the game will send you phone calls, faxes, e-mails, and instant messages at any time and at any place. Talk about involving.

Set to launch in the spring, Majestic will be part of EA's online subscription service ($US9.99 per month). The game will initially play out over nine episodes, each one lasting about a month, depending on the player's skills and, apparently, the player's free time.

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