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

How train lines are driving property prices

first_imgA train on the new Redcliffe Peninsula line.Redcliffe residents waited more than 130 years for a train line, and now that it’s here it is raising interest in the peninsula and its property market.The Redcliffe Peninsula was cut off from the rest of the southeast’s rail network, until the long mooted train line finally opened in late-2016.Locals can now hop on a train from any of Redcliffe’s six train stations, and that has become a juicy selling point for the area’s real estate agents.General manager at LJ Hooker Redcliffe, Kylie Loof, said the new train line was often a topic of discussion from a certain type of buyer.“The people that are talking about it are from other states,” Ms Loof said. “They ask ‘is it close to the new train line?’.”The interstate interest makes a curious disparity, Ms Loof said, as many locals still kept old travelling habits from before the line opened.She said many locals still drove across the bridge to get to Shorncliffe Station to catch the train, a tactic she said could save a bit of time on a commute to Brisbane.She estimated that before the line opened, only about 30 per cent of investors in the area would be from interstate.“Now it is about 50/50,” she said.In peak times, the train from Redcliffe can take the best part of an hour to reach Brisbane’s CBD, which might sound a lot for the average Queenslandcommuter.But for one Sydney-based investor, the announcement of the train line helped him invest his hard earned cash in what he predicts will be a strong growth area.Take Ekanayake, 29, has purchased three investment properties in the past two years, looking at long-term growth.This home at 4 Lydia Court in Deception Bay that recently sold is just a quick drive from the new train line.Although the properties, at Scarborough, Kallangur and Deception Bay, have not experienced immense growth in recent years, he believed this would change.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by “Being from Sydney, whenever a major infrastructure with trains gets announced there is a massive growth in the area in terms of real estate,” Mr Ekanayake said.He predicted that there would be a time when more and more Redcliffe residents would use the train, and this would be a positive for property owners.He pointed to other changes in the area, including the new University of the Sunshine Coast campus which will open in Petrie in 2020.“Once you’ve got 10 to 20,000 more students in the area, the value of that train line is going to be more significant,” he said.So far growth has been modest across the Redcliffe area since the track was announced back in 2010.In the suburb of Kippa-Ring, which has the benefit of being close to the bay and the train line, the change in the median price for a house over the past five years was 19.9 per cent.Nearby Mango Hill had slightly stronger growth over the five years at 22.6 per cent, but it was still modest compared to booms in Sydney and Melbourne.With interstate migration to Queensland very strong, especially in the state’s southeast, Mr Ekanayake predicted the area was due for a boost.“There has been so much media attention on the Sydney and Melbourne markets, but once Sydney starts to cool off, which it is, it is Brisbane that takes off,” he said.“Brisbane is almost half the price (of Sydney) so right now there is a huge gap, and that gap has got to close.”Harcourts Redcliffe owner Steve Hawley said you could see the changes in the Redcliffe area just by looking at the skyline.“We are seeing a lot of new townhouses and multistorey developments, there are a lot of cranes out and about,” Mr Hawley said.“We’ve been a sleepy town for that long so it is time to move ahead.”last_img read more

Lallana targets top-half finish

first_img He added: “Hopefully we’ve got something to play for that day and we’re in the top half of the table – that’s certainly the plan. There are plenty of games to look forward to and I can’t wait to start pre-season now.” Southampton will begin the new campaign at West Brom with revenge on their minds, having suffered a 3-0 home defeat last season on the back of a 2-0 loss at the Hawthorns. “Everyone knows we owe them one after both results last season,” Lallana added. “We’ve got to settle a few scores but we’ll go into those games with open minds and try not to think about that too much. Hopefully we’ll get the results we want.” Meanwhile, Southampton striker Billy Sharp denied reports he is set link up with former manager Nigel Adkins at Reading. The 27-year-old spent last term on loan at Nottingham Forest and it had been suggested he would now move to the Madejski Stadium in a £1.2million deal. “Don’t always believe what u read in newspapers, my loans finished at forest I have 2 years left at saints,” Sharp posted on Twitter. “Just for the record I haven’t had no medical at reading.” Saints enjoyed a fairly successful return to the Premier League last term and ultimately finished 14th in the standings. But ambitions on the south coast run much higher than that and last week’s decision to pay £8.5million for Lyon defender Dejan Lovren is one indicator of current expectations. Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino has previously spoken about the possibility of European qualification and Lallana believes they can kick on, telling “Chelsea at home on New Year’s Day is an attractive game so I’m sure the fans will enjoy that one, and we’ve got Manchester United at home at the end of the season.” Southampton captain Adam Lallana is aiming for a top-half finish next season.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Men’s track aims to qualify

first_imgAfter winning their record eighth consecutive Big Ten title in the Indoor Championships, 12 members of the Wisconsin men’s track and field team will head to Notre Dame this weekend for the Alex Wilson Invitational.This represents the last opportunity for athletes to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., next weekend. Wisconsin head coach Ed Nuttycombe, who was named Indoor Coach of the Year following last weekend’s title, says he looked at a few different factors in deciding who to send to the invitational.?First, who has a legitimate shot at qualifying?? Nuttycombe explained. ?Second, who has earned the right as an upperclassman?And third, who is really excited about competing one more time?So we look at anyone who really wants to go, particularly upperclassmen.?Several Badgers find themselves on the proverbial bubble as they head into the weekend looking to hit the NCAA provisional marks and qualify for the national meet.Wisconsin already has eight NCAA qualifiers, but Nuttycombe thinks several others could join that group with strong performances at Notre Dame.?[Ryan] Gasper in the mile has a chance,? Nuttycombe said.?Rayme Mackinson could do it because it really only takes one jump.The [1600-meter] relay would have to run very, very well, but they have a chance.?Runner James Groce, who recently received first-team All-Big Ten honors, figures to improve that chance when he and his teammates take the track for the 1600-meter relay.Groce won his first individual Big Ten title last weekend in the 600-meter race.?I think we can get it done,? Groce said.?We were only two-tenths of a second off the provisional mark last time, and that was when we were still doing some strength work and had heavy legs midseason.?While the NCAA Indoor Championships loom on the immediate horizon, the Badgers all agree that they are already eagerly anticipating the outdoor track season.?I cannot wait to get out on a 400-meter oval,? distance runner Ryan Gasper said.?The indoor season is pretty short and pretty intense.??When I look outside and see all the snow, and I know the start of the outdoor season means we get to go south, I look forward to it a lot right now,? Nuttycombe said.?Indoor track is an awesome environment, but in the end the outdoor season is more important.?In just a couple weeks, they will get their wish.last_img read more