The 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.
— The president of the International Paralympic Committee says the body has “cash-flow” problems because of the Olympic and Paralympic postponement until 2021. Andrew Parsons says about 5% of spending is being cut from the IPC’s budget. Parsons says the problem is due partly to broadcast rights holders who want to delay their payments until the product is delivered. Parsons says it’s not a question of “losing money” but rather some temporary belt tightening.— The players and coach on Switzerland’s national soccer team have declined to take more than $1 million of payments that were due from their federation in 2020. The team was scheduled to play in the now-postponed European Championship in June and had two games in Qatar canceled last month because of the coronavirus pandemic. The shutdown of games has cost the Swiss soccer body millions of dollars. Federation chairman Dominique Blanc says it’s a “magnificent gesture” from the players. Blanc tested positive for the virus three weeks ago. Team captain Stephan Lichtsteiner says “we wanted to set an example and show solidarity.”— A two-time Olympic finalist in the 800 meters has died after getting infected with the coronavirus. The Italian Olympic Committee says Donato Sabia has died. He was 56. Sabia finished fifth in the 800 at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and seventh at the 1988 Seoul Games. He also won the 800 at the 1984 European Indoor Championships. Sabia died in his hometown of Potenza in southern Italy shortly after his father also died from the virus.— The Tokyo Olympic flame has been taken off public display in Japan. And it’s not clear when it will reappear again, or where — or under what conditions. The flame arrived in Japan from Greece on March 26. After the Tokyo Olympics and the torch relay were postponed until next year, the flame was put on display in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima. It was supposed to remain on display through the end of April, but it was removed to an undisclosed location after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH’-bay) declared a state of emergency yesterday that includes limiting large crowds.NHL-OILERS-CAVE April 8, 2020 Update on the latest sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSTrack world championships moved to 2022UNDATED (AP) — The track world championships in Eugene, Oregon, have been rescheduled for July 15-24, 2022. Falcons President Rich McKay says the redesign was influenced by feedback from fans.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Associated Press Oilers’ Cave out of emergency surgery, remains in comaUNDATED (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers say forward Colby Cave is out of emergency surgery after suffering a brain bleed.The team posted on Twitter that doctors removed a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on Cave’s brain Tuesday. He remains in a medically induced coma at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.Cave’s wife, Emily, said earlier on Instagram that doctors were “fighting to keep him alive” in surgery. “We need a miracle,” Emily Cave wrote. “Please pray for my husband and best friend.”The 25-year-old Cave scored one goal in 11 games with Edmonton this season. The event was pushed back a year because the Tokyo Olympics were delayed until 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The track worlds were originally scheduled for Aug. 6-15, 2021.World Athletics president Sebastian Coe says 2022 will be a “bonanza for athletics fans around the world” with the Commonwealth Games beginning in Birmingham, England, only three days after the track worlds. The multisport European Championship is currently slated for Aug. 11-21 in Munich.World Athletics has also postponed the bidding processes for 2023 World Athletics Series events. They will now open in November 2020.In other developments related to the coronavirus:— Formula One says it will furlough half of its staff until the end of May and senior executives will take pay cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic. F1 says senior leadership figures will take “voluntary pay cuts while still continuing to work and not in furlough,” and CEO Chase Carey will take a “much deeper” pay cut. F1 has postponed eight races so far this season and the Monaco Grand Prix has been canceled. The season is currently scheduled to begin in France on June 28. More postponements are likely to turn into cancellations, but F1 has said it is still hoping to stage between 15 and 18 races out of the original 22. NFL-FALCONS-UNIFORMSFalcons to wear all-black home uniforms as part of redesignATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are moving to black pants with black jerseys for their home uniforms in 2020 as part of a redesign the team says respects past fashion choices with updates “to match the modern progression of Atlanta.”The team’s first redesign in 17 years also include white jerseys and white pants for road uniforms. The Falcons will wear continue to use black helmets.Each new look features red stripes. The black home jerseys will have white numbers. The all-white road uniforms include black numbers.