Bandai Digital Entertainment
has delayed the release of its much-touted Pippin@World Internet appliance to December 1, and has lowered its price from $599 to $500, company executives told CNET.
A formal announcement was made at Comdex today.
Bandai's turnabout comes on the heels of rollouts of lower-priced products to surf the Web on TV by WebTV and Sega--all in time for the holiday shopping season. Some say the devices will cut into PC sales; critics say they may flop.
WebTV also plans to announce the first free automatic upgrade to its service. The new features include support for RealAudio 2.0 from Progressive Networks and easier-to-use features for surfing the Net.
Pippin@World lets consumers surf the Net on TV and was set to be available in September, but was delayed due to "last-minute details," Steven McAllister, vice president of sales and marketing, said today.
Internet appliance suppliers such as Bandai are gearing up to make their products available for this year's holiday season. But the competition is stiff. Sanyo Electric, Samsung Electronics, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony, and Zenith are planning similar models.
The Net TV market also will have some competition from Sega and Catapult when they offer video game playing on the Net next March. The $400 device will allow you to play video games against others, or surf the Net.
The device, developed by Apple Computer, plugs into a TV set, comes with a keyboard, plays CD-ROMs, and offers Net access and email.
Pippin launched @World.net to provide Internet access for the device at a rate of $19.95 a month for
unlimited Internet access.