You’d be forgiven for thinking Second Life is the only virtual world in town, from the acres of press hype in the last year. And there’s no doubt that Linden Lab’s world has deserved many of the plaudits (and fat marketing expenditure) coming its way, having been arguably the first non-gaming virtual world to excite mainstream attention.
But it’s not alone. Industry body Virtual Worlds Management recently estimated that 35 virtual worlds companies had trousered over a billion dollars of investment in the last year (although that research has since been questioned, with some of those companies not actually being involved in virtual worlds, and $700 million of the figure coming from one acquisition).
THE BIG THREE
Babelgum IPTV service now open for business – first impressions
Virgin Mobile offers Nokia N95 on PAYG – for a price
Marks & Spencer unveils £149 iPod suit
THE NEXT FIFTEEN
LG unveils super-slim X820 PC
Father’s Day Gadget Gifts: Gaming
Motorola launches Motocast – feed-like content direct to your mobile screen
CB2: the child-robots are coming!
Samsung SPH-W2400: a rotating HSDPA mobile phone
Hate digital music DRM? Buy the t-shirts!
The Trojan virus that pretends to be a YouTube video
Brits can’t live without their broadband
Samsin SBS-6600 wireless rechargeable Bluetooth speakers
50 Cent sets up shop in virtual world Zwinktopia
Make your website work well on the Wii
Digital Cube’s female-focused M43 iStation personal media player
Alcatel launches its first music clamshell handset – the OT-C701
Turn your phone into a 70s crime scene with Kojak Detective Puzzles
IBM releasing disease prediction software
Second Life isn’t the only virtual world in town, y’know. The success of Linden Labs’ world (well, the media hype surrounding it) has spawned a series of rivals all hoping to cash in on virtuality. One is Zwinktopia, which has just signed a deal for rapper 50 Cent to open his own boutique there.