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Kirby coming to Wii U

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Nintendo Wii U owners will soon be able guide Kirby through his world of clay in the Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush title. The game will be released at the beginning of May and offers a multiplayer mode where up to three players can join in the fun.

Featuring a unique control method and a visually striking world inhabited by quirky characters made entirely out of clay, Kirby’s eagerly awaited first Wii U adventure, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush, arrives in South Africa on the 8th of May. The game also includes multiplayer support whereby three friends can hop in and out at any time to assist Kirby, using Wii Remote controllers to play as Waddle Dees. Players can also use compatible amiibo figures once per day on every stage to power up Kirby with special abilities.

Kirby games have often experimented with inventive visual styles and unique gameplay twists, with past games having Kirby ride on hamsters and transforming into yarn. Kirby’s latest outing is no exception, taking place in a beautifully realised world of clay. Dream Land has been drained of all it’s colour and it’s down to Kirby to bring the colour back by traversing seven planets, defeating enemies and solving puzzles along the way.

In a control style moulded after the ground-breaking touch controls introduced in Kirby: Power Paintbrush for Nintendo DS, players guide and guard Kirby by drawing lines on the Wii U GamePad touch screen using the stylus. These lines become Rainbow Ropes that Kirby rolls along, navigating obstacles and defeating enemies. Drawing Rainbow Ropes in creative ways like a loop will give Kirby a quick speed boost and they can also be used to protect Kirby from enemies and hazards, as well as to solve puzzles. For instance, using a well-drawn rope can block a waterfall or uncover a hidden area. Re-modelling the traditional Kirby format further, Kirby’s transformations into a tank, submarine and rocket in this game all come with their own distinct twist on the touch screen controls.

Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush can be enjoyed with friends or family members with support for up to three additional players to join the fun at any time. The player who controls Kirby draws Rainbow Ropes on the GamePad, while other players use Wii Remote controllers to play as friendly Waddle Dee characters to assist Kirby and help discover the game’s numerous collectibles. While ultimately everyone works together to reach the goal, each player’s collected stars will display at the end of each stage, encouraging a little friendly competition.

In terms of amiibo functionality, the Kirby, King Dedede and Meta Knight amiibo can each be used once a day, per stage, to power up Kirby with special abilities. By tapping a Kirby amiibo to the Wii U GamePad, players receive an unlimited Star Dash within a stage, which otherwise can only be activated by collecting 100 stars. A King Dedede amiibo outfits Kirby with a hat that grants him six health bars instead of the normal four, and the Meta Knight amiibo gives Kirby a mask that lets him use a fast dash that blasts right through weaker enemies.

Offering beautiful and unique visuals, innovative control mechanics, and a wide variety of gameplay challenges and playing styles for both single- and co-operative multiplayer fun, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush launches for Wii U on the 8th of May and will be available for purchase at retail and on Nintendo eShop for Wii U.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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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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