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Web-Enabled CE Devices Top 60M Units

29 Jan, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Led by video game consoles, shipments of Internet-connected consumer electronics devices reached 64 million units in 2007, according to a report from MultiMedia Intelligence.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based research firm said the tally represented a 73% increase from 2006. Web-based CE devices include next-generation high-definition disc players, set-top boxes and digital video recorders

An example of the power of Web-enabled devices comes from video game publisher Activision, which reported that more than two million songs associated with its “Guitar Hero” software were downloaded last year via Microsoft's Xbox Live. Although such avenues are increasingly considered the future as entertainment and distribution, MultiMedia said evolution of Internet-enabled CE devices has had its challenges, with many manufacturers introducing product to an indifferent market.

“While manufacturers and operators are gradually adding IP connectivity, the IP-enabled consumer electronics market has not reached a true inflection point beyond game consoles for hyper growth,” said Mark Kirstein, president of MultiMedia.

He said the so-called “ecosystem” combining content, services, devices and business models has to develop steadily, not explosively, for the market to flourish.

“Simply integrating the [digital media adaptor] function to CE devices is not enough to dramatically accelerate growth,” Kirstein said.

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