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Published: Friday, 12/3/2010

Angry Birds' popularity spurs versions for consoles

A recent post on the BBC's Newsbeat blog indicated that Angry Birds, the wildly popular game played on Apple and Android smart phones, may be making the reverse leap from mobile to console gaming.

At a gaming conference in London this week, Peter Vesterbacka, the chief executive of Rovio, Angry Birds'publisher, said the company was working on versions of the game for Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii.

The game, a destructive battle between noble, self-sacrificing birds, and greedy pigs, has been a breakout hit in mobile gaming, having been downloaded more than 36 million times onto iPhones and Android devices.

Angry Birds has been praised for its simplicity (players slingshot birds into structures, so as to knock them down and kill the pigs inside, which have stolen the birds' eggs) as well as for its realism — objects react to the birds' impact according to the laws of physics.

Vesterbacka said that console versions of the game should arrive sometime in 2011. In the meantime, he said, the company is working on another version of the mobile game. Angry Birds 2 should also arrive later this year.

Last week Dell released Inspiron Duo, a hybrid device that, through a cunning use of hinges, can go from a tablet to a keyboarded portable in a quick flip.

The Inspiron Duo is a portable computer with a 10.1-inch display. It features a 1.5-gigahertz Intel Atom processor and 2 gigabytes of random access memory. Storage can be as much as 320 gigabytes. A webcam is built in and the computer ships with Windows 7 Home Premium. Dell sells the Duo it for $550.

On top of Windows, Dell has added a layer of software the company is calling Duo Stage. From this, a collection of touchable icons can be used, opening up music, photos and other tabletlike applications that Dell expects consumers to use.

One thing, though, right off the spec sheet that might put a kink in Dell's tablet plans: weight. The Inspiron Duo is a hefty 3.39 pounds. That's more than twice the weight of the iPad, at 1.5 or 1.6 pounds, depending on whether 3G is installed.

Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tabis a comparative bantamweight at 0.8 pounds. While hybrids may be the future for cars, it may not work for computers.

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