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First Reports of NR70 in Stores

A couple of readers have written to to report finding the Sony NR70 at DataVision, an electronics retailer on 5th Avenue in New York City. One of these is from Mike Cane, an occasional contributor to PIC, so there is no question of this being a hoax. There are also reports of finding them at CompUSA and Fry's in San Diego.

When Sony announced the NR series, it said both the NR70 and NR70V would be available in early May. However, when they were released in Japan, the NR70 was available for some time before the NR70V was, and Sony may be repeating this pattern in the U.S.

One of the people who bought a NR70 from DataVision said he asked at the store about the NR70V and was told there was nothing in their computer system about it.

Sony's NR series includes a 320 by 480, 16-bit color screen that has virtual Graffiti. It also has a clam-shell design, a built-in keyboard, 16 MB of RAM and is the first Palm OS model to use the 66 MHz Dragonball Super VZ. In addition, the NR70V has a built-in digital camera.

Both member of the NR series run Palm OS 4.1. They have 8 MB of flash ROM. They also include a DSP chip that allows them to play MP3 audio files.

The NR70 will sell for $500 while the NR70V will be $600. Numerous online retailers are already taking preorders, including Amazon.com.

If you find the NR70 in a store, please report it here. I have a NR70V on its way to me right now for review. Expect an initial review sometime on Tuesday with a full one later this week. -Ed

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Been to DataVision

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 11:38:39 AM #
I got to play with this thing for about 20 minutes before the sales guy pryed it off my hands...Its pretty cool, and the swivel screen feels solid...meaning its not something that will break easily. Also the colors are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the T615....Reds actually look red. One thing I didnt like is when the nr70 is in 'normal PDA mode' (or whatever its called) the application buttons are hidden, meaning that you cant play certain games when the PDA is folded open....it was the first thing i noticed....that really SUCKED.
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 11:49:38 AM #
Get a gameboy.
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 12:03:00 PM #
Datavision is a rip off
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 12:08:51 PM #
Is there any online retailers that ship to Canada that have it instock and ready to ship?
A respose to the ''Get a Gameboy'' comments.
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 12:12:39 PM #
A respose to the "Get a Gameboy" comments.

More games are sold for Palm OS devices than all other types of software for Palm combined, according to Palm's own software sales figures.

The video game industry generates higher revenues than both the movie and music industies and to ignore that is to display utter ignorance of the industry, the technology, and the people who use it.

Games are big business and are the single largest driving force behind a great deal of new mobile technology, like GRPS, EDGE and UMTS and PDA's (both Window CE and Palm OS based).

Companies like Sony, SonyEricsson, Sega, as well network providers like Vodafone and Orange are counting on mobile games to be their key earners in the next 5 to 10 years.

You personally may not want to play games on your PDA but you are very much in the minority, according to software sales figures.

- Iain

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 12:24:17 PM #
I too saw it at datavision. The cashier tried to "upsell" me with a PPC, I got irritated and left without buying the thing. Anyway I want the camera one.

I hope sony pulls the plug on datavision

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 12:57:14 PM #
"Upsell"?!! I hope you told him off before you left.
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 1:19:38 PM #
When the NR70 is open in clamshell mode, can the screen be folded down to nearly flat? It seems that then playing games that need the hardware buttons wouldn't be so bad, even if the bottom part with the keyboard is sticking out. I'd like to hear from someone who has tried playing a game like this, to know if it is really more cumbersome than I imagine it.
RE: Been to DataVision
Fzara2000 @ 4/28/2002 1:28:36 PM #
"One thing I didnt like is when the nr70 is in 'normal PDA mode' (or whatever its called) the application buttons are hidden, meaning that you cant play certain games when the PDA is folded open....it was the first thing i noticed....that really SUCKED."

Hmm, thats not gonna be good since Sony is targeting the younger sales market, games are a neccessity, therefore this would be a major turnoff. IN addition, the keyboard is another falldown to the younger market, since we dont need to type enourmous stuff it.
I'm only hoping that the new Clie model PIC announced a while ago is true, and is the NR70 but without a keyboard and will be sold cheaper.

SONY ROCKS!

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 1:38:44 PM #
How can younger sales market afford $600 gadget? That's a FULL price desktop. if he is a true geek he might as well get a Zaurus at $499 and hack away by himself.

Plus really, what sort of big deal game are available in Palm? another millionth version of tetris or ababall?

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 1:45:38 PM #
Anybody who pays $500 - $600 for a PDA just to play games with has got more money than brains. A PDA just sucks as a game platform. To play the occaisional game is ok, but to make your purchase decision on whether or not you can play games with it - well, pardon me, but your immaturity is showing.
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 1:58:32 PM #
So, how many people do we know who buy $3000+ computers just to play games? Plenty. And it's gaming that has driven a majority of the advances in consumer graphics and made the Intel x86 architecture the dominant desktop computing platform. Given this, why is it so silly to have gaming be a major concern for someone buying a PDA? That's reality and should be a design concern for PDA makers or they risk being left behind.
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 1:58:44 PM #
a PDA shouldn't have to suck as a game platform anymore than a PC has to suck as a game platform. You can play games but you can do lots of other things with the same device instead of having to carry 2 things
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 2:05:57 PM #
The people at datavision are jerks....they dont know anything, and they will take every opportunity to rip you off. NYC people, dont buy anything from this store.

BTW, the fact that the application buttons are hidden when the screen is folded outward not only sucks when you occasionally want to play a game...but also it makes things more complicated than they should be. It may sound silly, but you actually have to search for those apps in the menu now...and what about those apps that arent jog dial compatable? Ive came across a few. certain apps just require you to use the scroll button (though older).

I think I'll stick with my t615 till OS 5 is released...This PDA is just not practicle, IMHO.

The NR70/70v will be a success though...they are just so unique and cool looking....and they keyboard its pretty comfortable to use.

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 2:24:04 PM #
I agree that sony PDAs are directed towards younger people...reguardless, the folding design just doesnt work for PDA's...in order to use this thing, you have to open it, flip it, the close it again...then repeat this when its time to put the thing back in your pocket. plus the stylus silo is on the bottom, which means you either have to have an extra stylus handy when this thing is plopped in the cradle, or you have to remove the styus and put it in the cradle's silo everytime you dock it.

all this may sound petty, but the NR series take away alot of the simplistic beauty unique to palm devices...

RE: Been to DataVision, yeah they suck
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 2:25:20 PM #
DataVision Sucks. those salemen in suites think theyre professionals or something. they dont know ****...and if you return something you cant get a full refund.. just a store credit.
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 2:26:18 PM #
Bought mine at datavision on Friday. Sure they're not very helpful unless you corner them but this is new york. How many stores can you go to that the sales people jump to your aid. Was just at J and R and waited ten min. before anyone even came into the room. Then had to jump in front of him to get him to stop. Anyway, the screen of the NR-70 is amazing!! Sample photos loaded almost look as good as prints, of course that's how the samples should look. Haven't loaded any of my own yet.
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 2:35:50 PM #
I agree about the screen....Freakin amazing. The first thing I noticed was how viberant the red part of the hot sync icon was. Also, grafitti recognition is supurb. I didnt miss a letter, or write a 'O' when I really wanted an 'Q' once.

PLEASE SONY PLEASE release a non-flip pda with virtual grafitti and a screen as viberant and amazing as the NR series'.

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 2:39:07 PM #
"So, how many people do we know who buy $3000+ computers just to play games? Plenty."

More like hardly any. My latest PC cost me less than $1500. I know a bunch of PC gamers and I don't know a single person who has spent $3000 on a gaming PC.

"And it's gaming that has driven a majority of the advances in consumer graphics and made the Intel x86 architecture the dominant desktop computing platform."

Can you back the second part of this statement up? When asked to give the reason behind the PC's dominant market position, I'd probably go with Microsoft Windows products over Quake.

"Given this, why is it so silly to have gaming be a major concern for someone buying a PDA? That's reality and should be a design concern for PDA makers or they risk being left behind."

It's not silly if that's what is important to that person but I personally cannot see the attraction to PalmOS-based games. Completely underpowered CPU, slow graphics, lame sound and complete lack of gameplay depth. Sure I'll fool around awhile with Vexed or Yahdice but most times, I'd rather read an e-book or write on my PDA.

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 2:50:23 PM #
A hardcore PC gamer might have a $3000 machine, but most likely he build it himself and the cost was spread over individual components over time instead of actually "buying" a $3000 machine.

anyway back to palm, Palm is definitely lacking a 'fuller' gaming experiance. simply from the fact it is so limited in screen, sound, hardware power, and OS API. (bla bla bla...same old stories)

They should fix that, specially in light of how 30% or Palm retail softwares are actually games.

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 3:20:14 PM #
>>Can you back the second part of this statement up? When asked to give the reason behind the PC's dominant market position, I'd probably go with Microsoft Windows products over Quake.

Over 70% of computer software sales are games. People find it easier to justify purchasing a $1500 computer (because it is a serious 'productivity machine') then shelling a few hundred doolars for an x-box.

To the morons who think games are not important in PDA's
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 6:04:00 PM #
I've said it before and I'll say it again - in the US the video games industry makes more money that the movie industry and the record industry combined (SOURCE: The Economist).

The sold software for Palm OS devices is games (SOURCE: Palm).

Sega have just annouced they will be release games for the Palm (SOURCE: Sega).

The NR70 is about convergance (SOURCE: Sony), it is a 2.5G device (using IR or a BlueTooth memory stick).


The single most important new revenue generator for 2.5G and 3G network operators is *games* (SOURCE: Vodafone, Orange). [This is closely followed by gambling and pornography.]

Games are very serious business. Why do you think Gameboys are so popular? The generate so much business that camers have had color handled games consoles for over a decade!


As for "Who spends 3000 USD on a PC for games?" well I did. Infact I spent 3000 UKP (which is over 4,300 USD).


I'm 22, own a m500 w/BlueTooth, and a T39m and and seriously considering simply getting an m515 instead of waiting for an NR70 because of the button issue (though I will give the NR70 a try when it comes out, and see if it is as alkward as it first seems).

...Though to be honest, the fact that my camera and G4 laptop support non-propriatory SD cards and so does the Palm is a factor - as is that BT MS are still not availible in London yet.

The price however, doesn't bother me at all and the placement of the buttons is still the biggest issue I have with it (though I will not judge it until I have tried it).


RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 6:06:04 PM #
If you want proof that there are many people who buy ridiculously priced PCs in the $3000 and above range... just look at companies like Alienware and Falcon Northwest. These companies sell PCs that average in the $4,000 plus range and guess what, they haven't gone out of business yet. Actually, many of these high end PC companies eke out good profit margins due to their customer base... who apparently have more money than they know what to do with.
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 6:34:13 PM #
right. And remember the push for 2Ghz cpu's is also mainly about 1 thing and 1 thing only - games. Games are the only applications on home systems that require more and more horsepower. period. Only the tiniest fraction of people would use their home system, for anything that requires this kind of performance aside from games (3D games chew processor cycles like nothing else).
RE: Been to DataVision
popko @ 4/28/2002 8:49:55 PM #
"I've said it before and I'll say it again - in the US the video games industry makes more money that the movie industry and the record industry combined (SOURCE: The Economist)."

Good point.

Also, back in '97 I (and many others) had gaming PC well over $3000 USD. Why? Only that price could buy you PC that ran GL Quake at over 45 FPS. Now I'm much older, I no longer spend all my weekend online fraging and my current PC worth no more than $1000. However, there are and always will be kids who will do whatever it takes to get their latest game to run as smooth as possible.

DataVision! Ha!
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/29/2002 12:50:24 AM #
Hehehe, I used to work at their 'sister' company, RCS Inc. They used to have three stores, now they only have two I believe...

Anyway, don't buy ANYTHING from EITHER store. Complete criminals. If they say they've got "one more" in the stockroom, they're selling you a display. Many times I had to take a display model, strip the gunk with alcohol, etc. and repackage it to look like new. Not to mention their shady dealings, having TWO different names for the SAME store to get MORE product from companies! There was even an incident a while back at the now-closed location involving a heist of around 30 brand-new, top of the line IBM servers - and it ended up being an INSIDE job. Guess where the guy that was the prime suspect is now? Working at Datavision. Funnnny.

If you go ANYwhere, you're actually BETTER off going to the RCS location on 56h and Madison, just KNOW what you want. WAlk in and get it, don't talk to ANYone, get a RECEIPT, and INSPECT YOUR PURCHASE RIGHT AWAY!

Watch out for both those stores!

RE: Been to DataVision
He||Raiser @ 4/29/2002 1:27:04 AM #
This computer I'm typing on was $2500 when I built it and I have a friend who, with my advice, constructed a $2000 gaming system. I currently have a friend constructing a system, which will also be within the $2000 range. These systems have/had massive horsepower during the period of construction, and why, for games.

RE: Been to DataVision
WES I AM @ 4/29/2002 1:33:53 AM #
OMG!!!!!!!!!! RCS is part of DataVision!!!!!! no wonder!!! The people at RCS are ratbastards...I remember i bought the N series classic case for my S320 last summer because they ASSURED it would fit...guess what happened when i got home?????? THE VELCRO COVERED THE RESET BUTTON! And the RCS people didnt want to return it...only offer me store credit...GRRR!

STAY AWAY FROM RCS AND DATAVISION!!! Wait for the CompUSA (or anyother reputable electronics store) to carry the NR series if you are in NYC and want that PDA...at least those people are A**holes.

Palm Games SUCK!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/29/2002 2:28:11 AM #
Palm games SUCK!!! hey, with the new CPU that gameboy emulator will work better... whats it called?
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/29/2002 8:24:33 AM #
for those who only see demo version of NR70, I feel sorry for you if you really THINK that is NR70...
I got mine in Japan and played it for about 3 weeks.
I feel this model is good except for its size and battery life.
For gaming, I don't have problem while your NR70 left open. And also it depends on which games you play, some games did need your stylus anyway. Several Hi-res games are available. They really looks great.

For normal Flat PDA mode, I did have same impression like the very first comment when I first play around. However, there is one hack able to utilize the very bottom-status bar to emulate those four hard buttons, up and down buttons. Maybe more for later release of the hack. That does help a lot.

I think the most excited part about NR70 is its Screen Size....after you swtich to its Full screen, you will know what I am talking about. Several applications, like iSilo, ActionName, supported this 320X480 mode (sorry you won't see built-in applicatons in NR70, therefore, until you buy it, install it, an use it. You will see what I am talking). One other application can change those non-320X480 applications into 320X480 mode. That's really amazing.

anyway, there are more after you really installed your software. If you only use built-in applications in NR70 to judge the conclusion, you won't really apprecate it in $500.....

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/29/2002 9:26:16 AM #
The current Gameboy is the greatest disappointment in the last 10 years of video gaming. A powerful platform with great developer support ruined by a sh***y screen without a backlight. Would us hardcore gamers pay $200 for a backlit GBA? Absolutely. So who's stopping anyone from paying a few hundred more for a full-featured handheld that can play killer games as well?

Palm OS games only suck because A. The physical hardware sucks for gaming B. Developers have not put in a sincere effort to make a "killer app" for it (aside from Bejeweled and Zap 2016). Otherwise fine titles such as Rayman and Serious Sam are destined for failure because of the utter lack of developer foresight to allow the games to run off a memory card.

Imagine Sony making a new unit w/ N-series formfactor, virtual graffitti and, most importantly, a DIRECTIONAL controller like the old Zoomer had. Can it be _that_ hard to do? Look at the Widget Works Palm Gamepad from a few years ago. That's all you need, just integrate that D-pad into the chasis somehow...

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/29/2002 10:07:05 AM #
I'm one of those that wouldn't even consider the NR series because of the button placement. I may be over 30, but that doesn't mean I don't like games! My Clie is not only a portable office, but portable entertainment when I am on the road, whether it's books to read, MP3s to listen to, or games to play. I could probably restrict myself to games that don't use the buttons (like Bejeweled) but there is another problem with the NR in terms of games and that's battery life. Games with any amount of animation really sap batteries on my 710C, which has twice the battery life of the NR units. I'd hate to think of how little playtime I would get with those.
RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/29/2002 12:34:10 PM #
Like the guy said above: GAMEPAD!! (or for you uptight whiners: 'direction-pad'). I mean - the space for it is right there under the keyboard!!!! I coudn't believe it when i saw this unit the first time - so perfect - yet with this wide open space just sitting there, insulting our intelligence with its obvious lack of the one thing that could have put this unit completely over the top! i mean, its like 4 square inches of unused space!!! it would have been so easy....
The NR70 *IS* Gamer-Friendly!
mashoutposse @ 4/29/2002 3:31:05 PM #
For you gamers out there - this clamshell design DOES NOT mean you have to give up gaming on your PDA! I actually like this setup better instead of holding a top-heavy PDA with no support at the bottom, on the NR70, the keyboard part actually 'hooks' under the fat part of the base of your palm, providing even more support! All you have to do is hold the buttons as you would on any traditional PDA (as if the section with the buttons is the bottom of the device). The whole apparatus isn't even that much taller, since the keyboard part slides in between your wrists where an empty space used to be. I just played Zap! and this setup works perfectly. I cannot BELIEVE how well thought out this device is.

Trust me, it is as gamer-friendly (if not moreso) than any CLIE before it. And it's not like this is the first CLIE to lack a 4-way directional (in fact, how many Palm OS devices even have this?).

RE: Been to DataVision
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/29/2002 9:45:42 PM #
Question - which hack allows for SW versions of the HW buttons?

Thanks!


I heard that the gmovie software is much better than T615...

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 2:06:54 PM #
Has anyone tried that with the new NR 70 yet? Would be a nice presentation tool to have handy...
RE: I heard that the gmovie software is much better than T615...
cykalan @ 4/28/2002 2:33:11 PM #
i can guarantee you that: NO.

a T6xx overclocked to 55Mhz or 66Mhz would be as good as a NR70 viewing gmovies

Alan
----
Read your manuals before you ask!!

RE: I heard that the gmovie software is much better than T615...
TypeMRT @ 4/28/2002 6:12:09 PM #
...until you overclock the NR70 to 80+ Mhz

RE: I heard that the gmovie software is much better than T615...
sophmeat @ 4/28/2002 7:59:00 PM #
or 100mhz..... i think im gonna need some cooling, heh

---------------------------------
Oh wow! Guys check this out! The new Clie has more than 1000 dpi!! Guys? Hey come back here! *runs after them holding a spec sheet* I didnt even show you the Keyboard!!!!!
presentation tool? hardly
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 11:55:46 PM #
Without a VGA output built-in (or even available), it's not very useful as a presentation tool.
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