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Sony points to PS4 future

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Sony Computer Entertainment has lifted the lid on the future of PlayStation 4 (PS4), with a wide range of software announcements from both first and third party studios, as well as new content announced for PlayStation VR. 

On stage at the PlayStation Media Preview in Paris, France, SCEE unveiled new details and PlayStation – exclusive features for over 20 games, with 9 of these newly announced, demonstrating why PS4 is the best place to play this holiday season and beyond.

In addition to this, Jim Ryan, President and CEO of SCEE celebrated twenty years of play and the success of PS4, the fastest selling system in PlayStation history with a global sell-in set at 25.3 million as previously revealed*(Number as at June 2015). In addition he commented on the impressive range of network services offered across the region.

A number of exciting new exclusive games for PS4 were revealed for the very first time, including the latest title from critically acclaimed studio Quantic Dream, Detroit, as well as a brand new racing simulator from Polyphony Digital, GT SPORT. A beta test for GT SPORT was also announced for early 2016.

New footage from other exclusive titles was also shown during the conference, including the multiplayer premiere of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (SCE Worldwide Studios), as well as a look at the gameplay vision for Michel Ancel’s WiLD (WiLD Sheep Studios). In addition, exclusive content was revealed for the latest installment in one of PlayStation’s most revered franchises, Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco Entertainment), with a launch date provided for Street Fighter V (Capcom). Finally SCEE debuted exciting new downloadable content for PS4 exclusive, Bloodborne (SCE WWS) and, DRIVECLUB BIKES (SCE WWS), which will be available either as a standalone or as an expansion pack.

PlayStation’s enthusiasm for the best games is also shared by the publishers of this holiday’s biggest blockbusters, with downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Activision Publishing., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc.) available exclusively for 30 days only on PS4, as well as a partnership with Electronic Arts to release a limited edition Star Wars Battlefront PS4 bundle this November.

Away from PS4 software, SCEE also offered the latest glimpse of PlayStation VR, a breakthrough innovation that will take the PS4 experience to a new level of immersion. New software for the system was shown, including a global announcement of Until Dawn: Rush of Blood from Supermassive Games as well as never before seen footage of Guerrilla Cambridge’s VR shooter, RIGS and a brand new title from Crytek, ROBINSON: THE JOURNEY partnering the famous CRYENGINE and the PlayStation VR system’s ground breaking technology.  SCEE demonstrated that VR offers a wide variety of completely new experiences above and beyond gaming, by blowing away viewers with a special trailer for the film that’s getting cinema-goers talking: The Walk (Sony Pictures Entertainment).

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Notre Dame, Scoop Makhathini, GoT, top week in search

From fire disaster to social media disaster, the top Google searches this week covered a wide gamut of themes.

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Paris and the whole world looked on in shock as the 856-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral crumbled into ash. The tragic infernal destruction of this tourist attraction of historical and religious significance led South Africans to generate more than 200 000 search queries for “Notre Dame Cathedral” on Monday. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the architectural icon.

In other top trending searches on Google this week, radio presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi, AKA Scoop Makhathini, went viral when it appeared he had taken to Twitter to expose his girlfriend, Akhona Carpede, for cheating on him. Scoop has since come out to say that he was not responsible for the bitter rant and that his account was hacked. “Scoop Makhathini” generated more than 20 000 search queries on Wednesday.

Fans generated more than 20 000 search queries for “Sam Smith” on Tuesday ahead of the the British superstar’s Cape Town performance at the Grand West Casino. Smith ended up cutting his performance short that night due to vocal strain.

Local Game of Thrones superfans were beside themselves on Sunday, searching the internet high and low for the first episode of the American fantasy drama’s eighth season. “Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1” generated more than 100 000 queries on Google Search on the weekend.

As the festivities kicked off in California with headliners such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, South Africans generated more than 2 000 search queries for “Coachella” on Saturday.

South Africans generated more than 5 000 search queries for “Wendy Williams” on Friday  as it emerged that the American talk show host had filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after 21 years of marriage. Hunter has long been rumored to have been cheating on Williams, which reportedly finally led to the divorce.

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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5G smartphones to hit 5M sales in 2019

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According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”

Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”

Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion

Strategy Analytics provides a deep-dive into the air-interface technologies that will power phones through 2024 across 88 countries here: Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies : 2003 to 2024

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