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The Next Big Thing
Xbox One and PlayStation 4: Beyond gaming (The Next Big Thing, Episode 4)The new game consoles lead their makers against Apple, we mourn the end of the best TV in the world, and will 3D printing really become a household trend?
-Consoles go wide and far beyond gaming. Plasma looks real sketchy. Why we said about that? And 3D printing, what's its real role? Let's get a look at the Next Big Thing. Hello, I'm Brian Cooley and welcome to the next big thing coming to you from our headquarters here at CNET in San Francisco. You know, we just got two new game consoles, an Xbox One and Playstation 4. And the whole console space will be different for them. -Ladies and gentleman, I'm thrilled to introduce the Playstation 4. -We're thrilled to unveil the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system. -The new Xbox and Playstation do much more than just play games with greater power and realism that you would expect. They also make a much broader play for the entire constituency of the living room moving more into entertainment, media, even communications, and doing so with different interfaces than just the familiar controller. -Xbox on. Xbox One easily recognized me and gets me to my own personal home screen, a new set of universal gestures to control your entire TV experience. -Both the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 can rely you into facial recognition. The Xbox does it to the Kinect camera that comes include with the system. And for the Playstation 4, you need the Playstation camera that's a $60, but I think it's well worth it. And Playstation 4 does not know who I am, but if I take that off, that on me again. -It does motion tracking if you're walking around the room, having a Skype call, it will follow you. It actually tracks your heartbeat, you know, if you're having exercise games. -And I can say Xbox show fantasy. And now, I get my fantasy players right alongside. -Gaming is a huge business. Long ago leaving behind such stalwarts of theatrical movie presentation or radio broadcasting certainly my revenue in the U.S. $79 billion in total revenue in 2012, expected to jump to maybe $93 billion when 2013 is all said and done and substantially more in 2014 and 2015, the lion's share of that is console based, although the PC is still a strong second and mobile gaming is coming on like mad as you know. But if you just look at online gaming through consoles, that alone is $165 regular users by 2017. We're dealing with large numbers in almost every avenue. You don't just get that by doing high-end gaming. Do the TV. -42 percent of console owners used them to watch movies. 19 percent to watch TV shows. -Show the guide. -Especially the way the Xbox One brings in DVR ability, Live TV, and Pay TV, the usage curve ought to stay pretty stout. So, the Xbox and Playstation of a very interesting space and somewhat to themselves, consoles are one of the few area where Apple, Google, and Samsung don't call the shots and has games and movies and even television shows begin to share technologies, looks, and motifs. They leverage each other and make each other bigger. It becomes one big entertainment pie and the game consoles are well positioned to be in the middle of it. Now specifically, at launch at least Microsoft Xbox One seems more focused on TV integration; whereas; Sony Playstation is keeping a bigger foot over in the gaming side, but also leveraging hard its 4K output ability, because Sony wants to sell 4K TVs, Microsoft does not. And both these devices are important place by Microsoft and Sony to become Kings in second screen. By that, I mean, formal second screen where the content on each screen is synced, tied, and relevant to each other as opposed to informal second screen that we already do a lot of that would be more like checking Facebook while you're watching an unrelated TV show. Advertisers are in love with the possibilities of second screen and Microsoft and Sony would love to come to them with a pre-build audience. They're already using their ecosystem of mobiles, televisions, and consoles in the middle. Now a big risk to this grandiose vision of consoles taking over the living room lies in products we already have. If set-top boxes, mobiles that talk to TVs, optical discs and Pay TV proven surmountable because of their relatively low cost, low commitment cost, and ability to evolve quickly, that could put a real damper on what these companies think they're going to do in the living room. So here's the four-point plan for the game consoles to attack the living room. First, embrace and support the content I already subscribed to and used. Don't make me reinvent the wheel. Secondly, support the mobile devices that I carry, not just the once you make. Third, go get a new digital covenant with Holywood. Give me those stuffs I want at a great price on demand and do it before Apple does. And fourth, get out there and make the interface and the whole device experience as simple as TV used to be. If game consoles can pull that off in their living presentation, they will, indeed, be an American household technology engineered like no other. Welcome back, I'm Brian Cooley in pursuit of the next big thing. If you're in the market for a TV right now, I'm gonna bet that plasma is either not on your list or a low on your list. Makes for an interesting story about how the next big thing is bumping the last best thing. -This is my favorite TV for 2013. The reason is because it provides excellent picture quality for the money given that a number of plasmas is shrinking this TV almost gets recommendation by default. I like the understated design of the ST60, although it's not quite as sleek as some of the LCD TVs out there. The F8500 exhibits extremely deep black holes and very accurate color, but the thing that sets it apart from those other plasma TV is its light output. This thing can get extremely bright, almost as bright as some LED TVs and, of course, that really helps the picture quality in rooms where you can control ambient lighting. I'll let you in a little secret. If you were to go to the homes of CNET's television editors, you'd find plasmas on the wall. In fact, take a look at our list of the best televisions at any given moment and the top handful are usually plasmas. In fact, they're usually Panasonic plasmas. But that company has pulled the plug on its plasma operation leaving Samsung and LG left to read that writing on the wall and possibly interpret it the same way. It's dire times for a TV we think is the best. LED, LCD is king. Plasma is this thinning little sliver. And OLED, which many talk about as the next big thing has years to go before it's gonna hit really big market numbers just based on cost alone according to display search data. Now it's important to remember here that 4K or Ultra HD is not a display type, it's a level of resolution so it's kind of a different discussion, but it relates to plasmas apparent demise, because it turns out it's very difficult and very expensive to re-engineer current plasma technology to get those little gas tubes that make up the screen small enough and functional to show that many pixels on a given display size. A key lesson coming out here is one of that we've seen repeatedly consumer electronics. Consumers move away from being in pursuit of excellent so much to being in pursuit of adequacy, convenience and low price. Prices come down brutally while quality and features go up dramatically. We all benefit, but in this case plasma is getting squeezed out specially we, as consumers, right now caught up in lightness, thinness, a degree of greenness with things like LCD television, plasma doesn't fit those new roles, nor does it have shining new object qualities about it. It leverages something of an old school characteristic and that is just great picture quality. It's a turnover of the crown of the next big thing, not the last time we're going to see it. Finally, 3D printing. Few candidates for next big thing status seemed quite as much like magic or quite as unlikely as this one, depending on your point of view. -Here's a small example of how auto makers move at a pace more like electronics using technologies like this 3D printer to rapid prototype ID is today, not next week. -Let me see you something that a 3D printer that we have here in the ERL made this hole. This machine was made ready to go. This wasn't assembled later. Same goes for this chain. It came out this way. That's amazing. -3D printing isn't just for the super geeks and people making components for cars. You can use it to make everyday objects like an iPhone case. -This head deposits this plastic material down here this print surface, prints it layer by layer until you get a solid object at the end of it so until the planning load into software. It tells that printer to print out plastic in a series of layers building gradually up until you get a finished solid object. This exterior head moves here along the X access as well as the Z access and then this build quite, moves up and down for the Y access. So what's great about the replicator in particular is that it can print two different colors and you can add it to that at the same time making one object compressed two different colors, or can print say, one object and white, one object and black, or can use also the same time depending on the file on the layout and the very software setting layout. We knew that 3D printers had arrived two years ago at the consumer electronics show when suddenly the printers roll at or below $2000, some quite a bit below. And the makers of them were abandoning this idea that we were all gonna go out and learn CAD software, instead envisioning at sharing and buying market of pre-done design files. Bottomline is we are more a nation of buyers than makers. That's not a condemnation. It's just reality. After a busy day, week, or month of commuting, working, parenting, shopping and dealing with all your connected life, a few of us have the time with the inclination to come home and design the perfect soup ladle let alone produced the thing. Great design is a talent anyway. It's more than just a piece of hardware and software. I watch instead for 3D printing to grow big in four areas above the average consumer, but well below the large corporations who basically have already discovered and embraced it. First, prototyping. This is where products can live around with a paper presentation, a powerpoint, a verbal discussion, and move to being tangible. That's a big jump that seems trivial, but it's not. Early prototypes can make the difference between dying on the design page and making it into early production. Second is low volume. Products that are almost personal and they are low volume. Imagine something as simple as a smartphone case to this printed out that fits the contours of your hand on up to a crown ready at the dentist to the same date, not a week later to a prosthetic that is perhaps created during a medical procedure for a perfect fit for the patient from the very beginning. Third, simple software. I mean so simple that it's almost like expression more than technology operation. -Look at autodesk 1233D catch, object capture software for example. -Or see what the folks behind the Meta smart glasses are envisioning where you would just use augmented reality to shape your envision product in space and then hand that design to the printer. Fourth, more materials. Moving from today's monocolor plastics to multicolor plastics, metals and even biological materials from the DNA level all the way to printing synthetic meat. Hope you enjoy this episode. Let us know your ideas and thoughts on topic do you wanna hear about. In fact, our 3D printing segment was a suggestion for many of you. That's the Next Big Thing at Cnet.com or check our past episodes at Cnet.com/nextbigthing. Get caught up on the future. I'll see you next time we go and pursuit of the next big thing.