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Nintendo unveils new releases

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Nintendo has revealed details about several new and upcoming Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games.

The news, carried in a Nintendo Direct presentation, included the reveal that iconic video game character Cloud from FINAL FANTASY VII will be added as a playable DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

Other notable announcements included the reveal of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for the Wii U console, and news that the Pokémon games that started it all – Pokémon Red Version, Pokémon Blue Version and Pokémon Yellow Version – will launch with wireless communication functionality on Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS family systems on February 27th. To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit http://www.nintendo.co.zaNintendoDirect or go to Nintendo UK’s YouTube channel for the complete video and additional new trailers.

Some of the highlights revealed in the presentation, according to Nintendo, include:

Wii U and Nintendo 3DS

  • A New Challenger Approaches!: Cloud Strife – the legendary protagonist from the classic RPG game FINAL FANTASY VII – will enter the battlefield as a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in the future. Additionally, a special broadcast – the last one for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – will be released in December. More information is available at http://www.smashbros.com/en-uk/dlc
  • Animal Crossing Series amiibo: Resetti, Blathers, Celeste and Kicks join the ranks in early 2016.

Wii U

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD: Originally released for Wii and Nintendo GameCube systems in 2006, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is a visually-remastered remake of one of the most critically-acclaimed games in The Legend of Zelda series. The new game launches on 4th March in a bundle with a detailed new amiibo figure modelled after the Wolf Link and Midna characters in the game, plus an official soundtrack. The game will also be compatible with five other The Legend of Zelda amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. Collection.
  • The Legend of Zelda for Wii U (name not final): Next year marks the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series. And with that comes The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, the next entry in the legendary series. During the Nintendo Direct presentation, it was revealed that certain saved data from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD on the Wolf Link amiibo can be carried over to this new game. To help ease the wait somewhat, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks have been released on Wii U Virtual Console shortly after the presentation. Until November 19th, players who buy one of these two games will get 50% off the other if purchased on the same Wii U.
  • Pokkén Tournament: A collaboration between The Pokémon Company and BANDAI Namco Entertainment, Pokkén Tournament is a new fighting game that lets players use their favourite Pokémon characters to battle it out in fighting arenas. Fans who purchase a first-run version of the game at retail will receive a limited-edition Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card that immediately unlocks the character in the game after tapping it to the GamePad. Pokkén Tournament launches in spring 2016.
  • Star Fox Zero: It’s a new beginning for the Star Fox series, with a unique control scheme that uses both the TV screen and the screen on the GamePad, players pilot multiple vehicles through intergalactic levels with Fox and his classic crew in Star Fox Zero. The game launches exclusively for Wii U in April 2016.
  • Splatoon: On 13th November a free software update adds over 40 pieces of new gear including more winter items, while a new stage called Museum d’Alfonsino will become available on 14th November. Further stages and features will be added in future updates through January.
  • Super Mario Maker: In December, a new web portal that can be accessed anytime, anywhere will offer a more detailed search function to find and filter levels on the go, register them to your “Play Later” list and then have them ready to play when you get home!
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: Massive RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X launches exclusively for Wii U on 4th December, and Nintendo Direct viewers were treated to some unforgettable scenes directly from Planet Mira.
  • FAST Racing Neo from Shin’en (Wii U): It’s almost here! The high-octane racing game with up to four-player local multiplayer and up to eight-player online multiplayer, launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U in December.
  • Typoman from Brainseed Factory and Headup Games: Using the GamePad in a unique way, in Typoman players set out on an adventure to explore the incredible power of words, how they can be used to survive the environmental hazards and overcome vicious enemies. The game launches exclusively on Nintendo eShop on Wii U on 19th November.

Nintendo 3DS

  • Pokémon on Virtual Console: The original Pokémon games that started it all – Pokémon Red Version, Pokémon Blue Version and Pokémon Yellow Version – are coming to Nintendo 3DS on February 27th, the same day that the original games first released in Japan in 1996. Using the wireless communication on Nintendo 3DS family systems, players can trade Pokémon with other players.
  • Hyrule Warriors: Legends: Take the epic Hyrule Warriors experience on the go! Hyrule Warriors: Legends offers players the entire Hyrule Warriors game on Nintendo 3DS, but with even more content! This time, Tetra, Toon Link and the King of Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker join the Skull Kid from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask on the battlefield. In addition, new character Linkle, a girl who lives in a small village filled with Cuccos and wields two crossbows, joins the large cast of playable characters. Players will be able to command multiple characters on the battlefield for strategic moves and immediately switch between any of them to be in the thick of battle at all times. Hyrule Warriors: Legends launches also as part of a Limited Edition bundle including a Compass watch and the game on 25th March.
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros.: The hilarious Mario & Luigi series meets the charming Paper Mario series in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros., launching on December 4th. Using compatible amiibo, players can create a corresponding character card in the game, which have powerful effects during battle.
  • Fire Emblem Fates: There are multiple adventures waiting to be experienced in Fire Emblem Fates in 2016. By purchasing one of the two main games – Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright or Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest – either at retail or on Nintendo eShop, players choose to embark on a unique quest with a different story and different experiences. After purchasing one game, the downloadable version of the other is available at a reduced price via an in-game purchase. There will even be a third downloadable version, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, which will reveal some secrets about the story that will affect the way you think about the other paths. For fans of the series, a special edition will be available that includes all three games, plus an artbook.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes: New free DLC is coming on 3rd December, adding Linebeck’s Uniform and Fierce Deity Mail outfits, each with unique powers, and the new Den of Trials with more than 30 stages to conquer. The upcoming software update also makes it more convenient to get Friendly Tokens by purchasing them from the Street Merchant once the princess’s curse has been lifted. Additionally two adjustments will ensure a more comfortable online experience: by answering a question before matchmaking, you will be matched with other players who gave similar answers, plus players who leave a game in progress through the Pause menu can be added to the blacklist.
  • Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon: Players can become one of 20 Pokémon in Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, launching on February 19th. With turn-based battles and ever-changing dungeons, players can encounter every single known Pokémon in the game – all 720 of them!
  • Nintendo Badge Arcade: Freshly available on Nintendo eShop shortly after the presentation, Nintendo Badge Arcade is a free-to-download game that lets players control a variety of badge catcher machines to earn badges from popular titles used to customise their Nintendo 3DS HOME Menus. Players can purchase plays using Nintendo eShop funds or enjoy 5 free practice plays per day in which with a bit of luck free plays can be won.
  • DRAGON QUEST: The line-up of RPGs on Nintendo 3DS continues to grow with classic games DRAGON QUEST VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past and DRAGON QUEST VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. Both remastered titles are coming in 2016.
  • Pokémon Picross: The popular Picross series meets the lovable world of Pokémon when free-to-start game Pokémon Picross launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop in early December.
  • Bravely Second: End Layer from Square Enix, Inc.: The successor to the cherished Bravely Default arrives in Q1 2016, also as part of a Deluxe Collector’s Edition including an Original Soundtrack CD, Agnès Mini Figurine* and a Deluxe Artbook of around 250 pages.
  • FINAL FANTASY EXPLORERS from Square Enix, Inc.: In the first FINAL FANTASY action-RPG on Nintendo 3DS, journey to an island filled with mystical crystals. Up to four players can connect in local or online multiplayer and team up, assigning allies 4 different combat roles. More than 20 jobs can be learned, each with its own set of special skills. At launch on 29th January, it will include all the DLC that was previously released in Japan. The game will also be available as part of a Collector’s Edition that includes an artbook, a 20-track CD sampler, a Nintendo 3DS case and exclusive quests that unlock legendary FINAL FANTASY weapons.
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection from Capcom: Capcom’s iconic Blue Bomber has been a classic part of Nintendo history since the NES days. Mega Man Legacy Collection launches on Nintendo eShop on February 23rd and features faithful reproductions of  the first six NES Mega Man games (Mega Man 1-6), plus new ways to experience these classics with Challenge Mode’s remix stages and Museum Mode’s repository of original production art.
  • SteamWorld Heist from Image & Form: For a limited time, players that purchase side-scrolling, turn-based strategy shooter SteamWorld Heist in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS when it launches in December will receive an exclusive Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu theme.

Arts and Entertainment

VoD cuts the cord in SA

Some 20% of South Africans who sign up for a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service such as Netflix or Showmax do so with the intention of cancelling their pay television subscription.

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That’s according to GfK’s international ViewScape survey*, which this year covers Africa (South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria) for the first time.

The study—which surveyed 1,250 people representative of urban South African adults with Internet access—shows that 90% of the country’s online adults today use at least one online video service and that just over half are paying to view digital online content. The average user spends around 7 hours and two minutes a day consuming video content, with broadcast television accounting for just 42% of the time South Africans spend in front of a screen.

Consumers in South Africa spend nearly as much of their daily viewing time – 39% of the total – watching free digital video sources such as YouTube and Facebook as they do on linear television. People aged 18 to 24 years spend more than eight hours a day watching video content as they tend to spend more time with free digital video than people above their age.

Says Benjamin Ballensiefen, managing director for Sub Sahara Africa at GfK: “The media industry is experiencing a revolution as digital platforms transform viewers’ video consumption behaviour. The GfK ViewScape study is one of the first to not only examine broadcast television consumption in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, but also to quantify how linear and online forms of content distribution fit together in the dynamic world of video consumption.”

The study finds that just over a third of South African adults are using streaming video on demand (SVOD) services, with only 16% of SVOD users subscribing to multiple services. Around 23% use per-pay-view platforms such as DSTV Box Office, while about 10% download pirated content from the Internet. Around 82% still sometimes watch content on disc-based media.

“Linear and non-linear television both play significant roles in South Africa’s video landscape, though disruption from digital players poses a growing threat to the incumbents,” says Molemo Moahloli, general manager for media research & regional business development at GfK Sub Sahara Africa. “Among most demographics, usage of paid online content is incremental to consumption of linear television, but there are signs that younger consumers are beginning to substitute SVOD for pay-television subscriptions.”

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Arts and Entertainment

Cell C, MTN, Vodacom, announce big streaming deals

Cell C, Vodacom and MTN have all announced new data offerings designed to increase use of social media and streaming services on their networks.

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Cell C, Vodacom and MTN have all announced new data offerings designed to increase use of social media and streaming services on their networks.

Cell C has announced that, for the next three months, it will offer all customers free streaming on black, SA’s newest video-on-demand platform. Cell C customers can stream series, movies, music, kids’ entertainment, sport, news, and live TV channels on their mobile devices without being.

“We know the biggest hurdle to gaining access to streaming content is the data component, and so for the next three months, any existing or new black customer that is also on the Cell C network will not have to have data to be able to download or stream their shows,” says Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos.

Any Cell C customer, whether prepaid or contract, will have access to this promotion, which kicks off on 7 May and will run until Friday, 10 August. There is no opt in required. In other words, browsing the black platform has also been zero rated, so customers looking around to see what is available will also not be charged for data if they are on Cell C. However, clicking through to the betting platform and the ticketing service will be charged according to the customer’s data plan. National data roaming is also not included in this promotion. so black customers that are on other networks will not benefit from the free data promotion.

“Our promise to our customer is the affordability and flexibility to pay what you want; for what you want; however long you want. Go on, sign up for the 7-day free trial, and start binge-ing with black,” says black Chief Executive, Surie Ramasary.

Customers can watch blockbuster movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi; kids’ animated movie Ferdinand; and the comedy-remake, Jumanji, starring Dwayne Johnson. black series include the multiple award winning show The Fixer, starring Kerry Washington.

With flexible packages from R25 per movie rental or R5 per day for a whole day streaming a football club channel, customers have a range of options.

For more information on how to sign up for black and take advantage of this promotion, visit www.black.co.za or www.cellc.co.za.


MTN goes social

MTN has introduced a range of social bundles starting from R1 a day.  The bundles give new and existing customers affordable access to four social media platforms, namely WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Customers can use the social bundle data allocation without affecting their regular in-bundle data. The bundles cover daily, weekly and monthly expiry rates, allowing customers to choose bundles best suited for their specific usage needs and their budgets.

“There’s been a marked increase in the consumption of social media and data services, so these social bundles are designed to meet those changing customer needs,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive for Corporate Affairs: MTN South Africa. “By offering a variety of expiry periods, we put the control in the hands of our customers, so they can choose to buy just for the day or to stay connected for a week or a month.”

Moderate users can stay in touch with family and friends via WhatsApp for as little as R1 per day, while more medium and heavy users can opt for social bundles that retail at R5 and R10.

To give the customer more control over their usage, the social bundles will send notifications confirming bundle purchase, expiry and depletion notifications.

The social bundles are available on the MyMTN app or via USSD.

The table below illustrates the social bundle rates:

Facebook YouTube WhatsApp Twitter
Duration Data Price Data Price Data Price Data Price
Daily 100MB R5 100MB R5 20MB R1 20MB R1
Weekly 500MB R20 500MB R20 100MB R5 100MB R5
Monthly 1G R50 1G R50 1GB R10 1GB R10

Tickets for Vodacom 

Meanwhile, Vodacom is introducing a data bundle called “Ticket”, which offers overall usage of a range of apps, through categorised bundles, to Prepaid and Hybrid (Top-up) customers through the Vodacom Just4U platform. Ticket bundles offer up to four times the amount of data compared to standard bundles and are also priced for the best scenario, offering data bundles that are specifically tailored to the usage behaviour of the customer.

“Vodacom Ticket will offer customers a simpler way of accessing data bundles for a range of categories, allowing them to stay within their data budget,” says Nyimpini Mabunda, Vodacom’s Chief Officer: Consumer Business Unit.” Vodacom is continuously looking to deliver value for money offerings to our customers, and Ticket is no different. Our customers can engage in the things they love the most without the fear of spending more than they wanted to. That is what Vodacom’s Ticket bundle is ultimately looking to achieve so watch this space as we continue to evolve the product.“

Vodacom says it has formed partnerships with multiple market-leading streaming and digital apps to ensure that customers receive the best value for their data when posting pictures, watching videos, playing games and listening to music.

The service provides full data access to digital and entertainment content through four Ticket categories:

·        Video Ticket (for VuClip Videos, DStv, Netflix, YouTube and Showmax)

·        Music Ticket (for Deezer, Apple Music and Joox)

·        Social Ticket (for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter)

·        Gaming Ticket (for VuClip Games, Vlive Games, SGN and Gamemine)

By partnering with app brands that customers enjoy the most, says Vodacom, it is able to give customers access to what they love, for less, without the limitation of restricted data access to a single pre-assigned app.

For instance, customers looking to binge on the latest series on Netflix, “update their tweeps on their tweleb lifestyles” (Vodacom’s words!) or listen to a hot new track on Deezer, can purchase a Ticket for any of the four available categories via Just4U by dialling *123# from a Vodacom Smartphone. Vodacom’s Ticket bundles enable customers to access platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, through a single Social Ticket.

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