Wednesday 17 June 2020

PS5 Digital Edition sets up a next-gen price war


 Christo [PCD]    17 Jun : 20:28
 None    Hardware

PS5 Digital Edition

Ps5digital

Sony finally revealed its PlayStation 5 console hardware this week, and while the console design will undoubtedly be labeled divisive, the real surprise was Sony’s plans for two PS5 models. There’s a PS5 Digital Edition that will ship with the same hardware specs as the main model, without the 4K Blu-ray drive. Sony didn’t mention pricing for either variant, but the PS5 Digital Edition will obviously be priced below the model with the optical drive. It sets Sony up for an interesting price war against Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.

Microsoft has long been rumored to be preparing to launch two next-gen Xbox models. The Xbox maker has already revealed the Xbox Series X, but a second, cheaper Xbox (codename Lockhart) has also been in the works. Like Sony’s PS5 Digital Edition, the Lockhart model is likely to ship without an optical drive, but it’s also expected to include changes to at least the memory configuration and GPU inside that make it less powerful than the Series X.

Sony’s PS5 Digital Edition doesn’t directly counter Microsoft’s rumored plans, but it does offer the company some leverage around pricing for the PlayStation 5. Even though a 4K Blu-ray drive doesn’t make up a huge amount of the cost of next-gen consoles, it should equate to roughly a $50 price cut, thanks to the drive costs and associated licensing charges. Price is a huge factor in this next-gen console phase, particularly as it’s clear we’re about to enter one of the worst recessions for decades. Any small price savings could be key, especially if Sony and Microsoft are willing to stretch their usual losses on hardware to aggressively chase after game sales and subscriptions.

The PS5 Digital Edition eliminates the optical disc. But it also means Sony takes its cut on every game someone buys through its digital store. Sony hasn’t addressed whether it plans to allow people to loan games to friends digitally or even resell digital games, both of which could drive digital sales of games if they’re not supported.

Microsoft has already been experimenting with digital Xbox editions and even the idea of sharing games digitally. The software giant introduced a disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital Edition for $249 last year, shaving $50 off the Xbox One S retail price. It’s been a popular choice, especially as so many games now require large updates and need to be installed to a drive. Microsoft even originally planned to let Xbox One users share any games digitally, but a backlash over the used games policies and online check forced the company to reverse most of its more promising plans.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Nintendo Lost $457M During Fiscal 2013, Marking Third Straight Year of Losses


 Christo [PCD]    14 May : 08:40
 None    Hardware

The Wii U continues to disappoint

The Wii U continues to disappoint

It looks as though Nintendo just can’t catch a break this decade, having just reported its third straight full year of losses. For fiscal 2013, Nintendo had an operating loss of $457 million and net loss of $228 million as sales of its Wii U continue to sputter in the marketplace.

Even more disappointing is that the operating loss figure is actually worse than the already reduced forecast that Nintendo gave back in January. At the time, Nintendo forecast fiscal year operating losses of $394 million.

Since its lukewarm introduction in late 2012, Nintendo has only managed to sell 6.17 million Wii U consoles. Nintendo was only able to sell 2.72 million Wii U consoles during fiscal 2013.

For comparison’s sake, Sony managed to sell 6 million of its pricier PlayStation 4 consoles in just four months.

Nintendo acknowledges that it “still faces a challenging sales situation?" and that it “will focus on efforts that seek to stimulate the platform?"

Looking forward, Nintendo is banking on the success of the two upcoming titles to reinvigorate the platform: Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Mario Kart 8 alone should be enough to delight existing Wii U owners, but it remains to be seen how many fresh Wii U customers it can bring in with the title.

But while Wii U numbers were definitely disappointing, Nintendo was definitely more upbeat about the performance of the 3DS. Nintendo was able to move 12.24 million units of the popular handheld console and 67.89 million 3DS games during the fiscal year.

Source: Nintendo [PDF]


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Microsoft to Allow Xbox Music Users to Upload Tracks to OneDrive, Stream Later


 Christo [PCD]    14 May : 08:40
 None    Internet

Functionality was found in OneDrive source code

Functionality was found in OneDrive source code

Microsoft launched its Xbox Music service in late 2012, and it allows users to stream music to your devices (Xbox 360/Xbox One, smartphones, tablets, PCs) in exchange for a monthly fee. However, the service is currently limited to tracks that Microsoft actually provides via its vast library.

While Microsoft’s music library is no doubt comprehensive, it’s nearly impossible for the Redmond, WA-based software giant to have streaming rights to every possible song that you would want to listen to at any given moment.

And this is where OneDrive comes into the equation. According to LiveSino, Microsoft is working on functionality that would allow you to upload music that you own to OneDrive and stream it to all of your devices via Xbox Music. The following reference was found in the source code for OneDrive:

Meet your OneDrive Music folder. Upload your music files to this folder, so that you can play them via Xbox Music from any of your devices. You can also add files to this folder using the OneDrive app for your computer.

It is unknown when the Xbox Music/OneDrive mashup will go live, but similar functionality is already available with Google Play Music and the Amazon Cloud Player.

Sources: LiveSino via, The Verge



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