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SONY PS Vita
The PS Vita, heralded by SONY as the true successor to their PSP (Playstation Portable) was supposed to be the most important video game product release of the year. The release of the new handheld gaming device was particularly critical for the beleaguered Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer, which has been encountering a whole bevy of financial problems in recent times.
The PS Vita launched in late 2011 in Japan with only 25 titles, and while initial sales were brisk to the tune of several hundred thousand units, it quickly tapered off, and even the previous generation and less expensive product, the PSP, which has a much larger game library began to outsell it globally by February of 2012.
Although the unit has impressive technical specs and has garnered good reviews, the product lacks significant developer support and is an expensive product for a $249-$250 device that only plays games, and is already outstripped in terms of speed, graphics and overall game titles by the iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch as well as numerous other Android devices.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, or ICS, was announced at the CTIA conference in Hong Kong in October of 2011. Sales of the first widely-avaliable ICS handset, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus began in November 2011 in Europe and North America.
As an attempt to unify the tablet and smartphone versions of the Android OS, Google had ambitious plans to get it on as many handsets as possible, in order to reduce the amount of platform fragmentation that has been plaguing the mobile OS ecosystem since its launch in 2007.
As of November 2012, one year after its release, ICS accounts for about 25 percent of all OSes installed on Android phones. But it pales in comparison to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which occupies over 53 percent of the installed base and is four generations behind the current build of Android, Jelly Bean 4.2.
OEMs have struggled to update Gingerbread-based dual-core handsets and tablets to ICS, taking as much as a year to do so, and some, such as Google's Motorola Mobility division have even had to abandon their efforts due to the technical complexities involved.
As if this wasn't bad enough Jelly Bean, version 4.2, has been on the market since late summer and is already in the crosshairs of OEMs looking to release new handsets and tablets. Like version 3.0 "Honeycomb" before it, ICS it seems was a yet another transitional operating system release with a limited lifespan.
Motorola Mobility failed on so many levels in 2012 that it's hard to quantify the extent of their incompetence.
Not only have they consistently failed to innovate after being acquired by Google, the company released a number of Android handsets of questionable quality, stability and performance, that have been mired by shovelware and awful user interface overlays.
The company has also reneged on its promises to upgrade an entire generation of dual-core handsets released in late 2011 to Ice Cream Sandwich, effectively leaving many of its existing customers in the lurch.
Motorola, what the hell happened to you?