PlayStation and Xbox Consoles Enter an Epic Fight for $150 Billion Games Arena

first_imgThe two consoles, the first to be released by the two companies for seven years, are eagerly awaited; the Xbox will go on sale on Tuesday, and the PS5 two days later in core markets, costing about $300 (roughly Rs. 22,100) to $500 (roughly Rs. 36,900) apiece.The race to order the devices in advance actually began weeks ago, though blink and you might have missed it. Pre-orders of Sony’s PS5 sold out within minutes on many retail sites, for example, frustrating fans.Julian Mercado, 17, managed to reserve a PS5 from Walmart just minutes after pre-orders started on Sept. 16, knowing he’d be up against a legion of gamers.- Advertisement – The Japanese company’s deep bench of games and broader fan base, it has sold over 100 million PS4s, winning the battle of the previous generation, should see it retain its edge over it American archrival, according to industry experts.“People who own Xbox tend to buy the new Xbox, while people who own PlayStation tend to buy the new PlayStation,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.Yet the industry is changing and cloud gaming is on the rise, allowing games to be streamed without bulky hardware. This could curb console sales in coming years, analysts say, a shift that could benefit Microsoft.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Think Michelangelo vs Da Vinci. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Batman v Superman. Another epic rivalry is rejoined next week when Sony and Microsoft go head-to-head with the next generation of their blockbuster video-game consoles.Sony, whose PlayStation 5 (PS5) takes on Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S, is widely viewed as being in pole position to capitalise on a pandemic-driven boom in consumer spending that has buoyed the $150 billion (roughly Rs. 1,100 crores) video game industry.- Advertisement – “It’s exactly like shopping on Black Friday,” said the high school student from Dallas, who has been playing video games with his dad since he was five. “You show up early, you walk away with something good. You show up too late, you’ll walk away with nothing.”Playing in a pandemicSony might have the edge, but the stakes are high for the Japanese company. Its gaming business is its biggest cash cow; in its fiscal 2019 the division, which includes hardware, software and services, brought in close to a quarter of its roughly $77 billion (roughly Rs. 568,700 crores) group sales and nearly 30 percent of its $7.9 billion (roughly Rs.58,300 crores) operating profit.Microsoft does not break out the results of gaming, though it’s a smaller part of its business than for Sony. It also does not disclose hardware sales but the current Xbox One is estimated by analysts to have sold 50 million units.For the other big hardware player, Japan’s Nintendo, sticking to consoles is paying off with it hiking forecasts last week following elevated demand for its Switch.The PS5 will retail at $499.99 (roughly Rs. 36,900) or $399.99 (roughly Rs. 29,500) for a digital-only version, while the Xbox Series X will sell for $499.99 (roughly Rs. 36,900) and the lower-spec Series S for $299.99 (roughly Rs. 22,100).About 5 million PS5s are forecast to be sold this year, versus 3.9 million of the new Xboxes, according to media research firm Ampere, with combined sales expected to be higher than the previous generation.“The pandemic is expected to transform the US holiday shopping season,” said Jason Benowitz, a senior portfolio manager at Roosevelt Investment Group. “Playing from home has become a way for some to safely socialise.”Sony’s games depth is supported by in-house studios behind exclusives such as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. By contrast the new Xbox, say games experts, will lack killer launch titles, with the latest in its flagship Halo series pushed back to next year as the pandemic hits development.Cloud gaming growth could hand the US software giant an advantage in coming years, though. Although both companies have moved to offer services, Microsoft has been more aggressive.Its Xbox Game Pass subscription service has grown rapidly; it offers more than 100 titles including brand-new games and has over 15 million users. Sony has been reluctant to make its hottest titles available on services like PlayStation Now, fearing this could cannibalise sales of big-budget games.‘Demand outstrips supply’The pandemic, while fuelling some demand, has also constrained Sony and Microsoft’s production, according to industry experts, who see shortages stretching into 2021.“Demand will outstrip supply so there’s going to be some people who won’t get a-hold of the console when they want to,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, director of Ampere’s games research.Sony has announced that retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and Target will sell the PS5 exclusively online when it launches on November 12, to prevent people from camping outside stores during a pandemic.Walmart stands to sell as much as $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,100 crores) worth of new consoles by the end of January, according to Wedbush. It dominates the US market along with GameStop, each with a roughly 30 percent share, while sales of consoles at Target and Best Buy comprise about 15 percent apiece, the research firm said.Target said it was working closely with its vendors to secure enough inventory. Some shoppers who had reserved consoles told Reuters that Target had said they may receive them days after the launch date.Walmart said it would start selling the new consoles at launch but declined to comment on whether it would have enough stock to meet demand. Best Buy also declined to comment on whether it would be able to meet demand, while GameStop did not respond to requests for comment.For DeAnthony Thicklin, a casino attendant who reserved his PS5 on Target in September, the priority is to get their hands on a console on the launch day itself.The 25-year-old offered some advice.“Have all your card information set up so the only thing you have to do is click,” he said. “Don’t hesitate. Be quick.”© Thomson Reuters 2020Which is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.last_img read more

OGA: 3.8 tcf of tight gas locked in Southern North Sea

first_imgUK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), has said that almost four trillion cubic feet of tight gas might be locked in the Southern North Sea.Thus, OGA, together with the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), will host its second hackathon event to discuss cost efficiencies and technological solutions applicable to the Southern North Sea’s (SNS) tight gas market.The OGA said on Monday that the event would take place on May 31 at Dunston Hall, Norwich.Last year, the OGA and EEEGR launched a special interest group focusing on SNS rejuvenation to highlight the importance of the region in maximizing the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas reserves. One of the group’s priorities has been to focus in on tight gas opportunities in the Southern North Sea and from which the idea of a tight gas hackathon was conceived.OGA added that, with input from Shell, Centrica, Premier Oil, and Baker Hughes, the event would act as a platform for operators and the supply chain to come together, exchange ideas, and collaborate.Eric Marston, OGA SNS area manager, said: “Tight gas reservoirs are often presumed to be high cost and high risk, yet we estimate 3.8 trillion cubic feet of tight gas remains locked in existing fields, undeveloped discoveries and prospects in the SNS.“Beyond the immediate benefits of bringing these reservoirs on stream, the development of tight gas can extend the economic life of remaining infrastructure, stimulate field redevelopments and marginal pools, and support the local supply chain by building expertise and capability.”Topics which will be discussed during the hackathon include:Stimulation: How can we do what we normally do better (i.e. more efficiently and cheaper)?Technology: How can we make reservoirs give up their gas more easily?Reservoirs: How can we better improve our understanding of reservoirs (e.g. improve our ability to identify open natural fractures, fault, baffles)?Production: How do we maintain production on existing tight gas fields?Logistics: What can be done to reduce the cost of logistics on tight has developments and how can we reduce the clean-up time on a fracked tight gas well?Simon Gray, EEEGR CEO, said: “Energy production from gas now forms nearly 50 percent of the UK’s capacity, therefore ensuring a domestic supply of gas is vital to the UK’s energy strategy.“With its unique mix of historic production from SNS gas, nuclear generation at Sizewell, and the world’s largest windfarms, the East of England plays a vital role in the UK’s energy production.”last_img read more

Chelsea-Fulham game to go ahead

first_imgThe Boxing Day derby between Chelsea and Fulham will go ahead as as planned despite a proposed strike on the London Underground.Arsenal are considering moving their match against Wolves to the following day, and Chelsea announced that they too were assessing the situation.As well as a possible tube strike, limited Christmas-period rail services will mean fans could struggle to get to Stamford Bridge for the game, which kicks off at 1pm.AdChoices广告But after consulting London Transport and the Metropolitan Police, Chelsea decided against postponing the match.Follow West London Sport on Twitterlast_img read more