theEweekly Wrap: Nokia, Nintendo, and The X Factor USA

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Manchester
Newkia Mobile giant Nokia has finally unveiled a pair of new smartphones using Windows Phone software. Announced at the Nokia World event in London by CEO Stephen Elop, the Lumia 800 is touted as the "first real Windows Phone". The 3.7 inch curved AMOLED screen, 16GB storage and 8 megapixel camera help position it as a premium product, while the rectangular polycarbonate case comes in black, bright blue or bright pink. The Lumia 710 is cheaper and a little less sleek, with a 5 megapixel camera. Both are set to launch in the UK in November 2011.

The Nokia and Microsoft smartphone deal was first announced in February 2011, after Elop compared his company to a man standing on a burning oil platform, forced to jump into the sea to avoid the flames. The two companies hoped that joining forces would help them regain some smartphone market share from Apple and Google.

NintenD'oh! Nintendo has made a net loss of ¥70bn (£579m) in the six months leading up to September. This has led the gaming group to change their April 2012 end-of-year forecast to an annual loss of ¥20bn (£165m), the first annual loss in 30 years. Meanwhile, net sales are down by a massive ¥147bn (£1.2bn) compared to the same period in 2010. Bloomberg reported that shares in Nintendo plummeted after the news broke yesterday, a year-to-date decline of 53 per cent.

Nintendo blamed the soaring value of the yen for the poor figures, as 80 per cent of its sales are made abroad. However, the company's latest product has also been disappointing. The iPad 2 overshadowed the 3DS launch, while the target market of casual gamers looks increasingly to mobiles and tablets rather than consoles. Even a price cut hasn't boosted sales beyond 3 million worldwide. Nintendo will surely be hoping their upcoming Wii U console can compete with the Sony PlayStation Vita in 2012.

Tweet for me The X Factor USA is set to become the first TV show to allow viewers to cast votes on Twitter. From next week, fans will be able to vote to save their favourite contestant by sending a Direct Message to the official account @TheXFactorUSA. Normal tweets or @ Mentions will not be counted. As a free method of voting, DMs will have the same 50-per-person limit as votes on the website. Paid methods including phone, text or through the Android app allow unlimited voting.

The show has already stirred up a lot of Twitter buzz due to all the finalists having official accounts that are used regularly. Furthermore, show sponsor Pepsi has created a social network-style Sound Off section of The X Factor USA site (pictured). This allows members to earn points by interacting with the content, posting comments, or following or mentioning The X Factor on Twitter, with the top four members each week being given a mini-profile during the ad break of the next live show. Sound Off is set to be reused for future Pepsi sponsorship projects.