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Nine years later, Nintendo set to lead again

Nintendo is set to regain its leadership position in video game consoles for the first time since 2009, according to the latest projections from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Home Devices service.

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The report, Global Game Console Market Forecast, predicts that Nintendo will sell 17.3 million Switch consoles worldwide in 2019, while Sony will sell 17.1 million PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles. Microsoft will remain in third place, selling 10.0 million Xbox One and Xbox One X devices. The overall console market has performed well in 2018, with total global sales reaching 46.1 million devices, the highest level since 2010.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Sony is still the market leader in terms of consoles in use; it accounts for nearly half of all video games consoles in use, and 84% of these are now PS4 or PS4 Pro devices
  • Video game console ownership has been rising again in recent years; 45% of North American homes and 20% of Western European homes now own at least one console
  • The global retail value of the games console business is predicted to reach $15.4bn in 2018, an increase of 7.6%
  • 2019 revenues are expected to decline by 10% as shipment volumes and prices fall
  • By 2023 revenues will return to 2018 levels, driven by the launch of next generation systems such as the PS5 and Xbox and Switch updates

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, commented, “Contrary to some expectations, the global TV games console market remains healthy. Many pundits have written it off over the years, for reasons ranging from the emergence of cloud gaming to the dominance of mobile devices and the arrival of VR, but it refuses to die. In fact, there is an argument that the enduring appeal of the TV games console, now in its sixth decade, continues to demonstrate the weaknesses and limitations of alternative games platforms.”

Chirag Upadhyay, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Console upgrade cycles continue, and the three-way battle between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, which has been raging now for the best part of two decades, shows no sign of abating as each platform owner discusses its plans for updates and new generations. In partnership with developers and driven by the ever-rising expectations of consumers we fully expect these platform owners to continue to push the boundaries of the large screen gaming experience for many more years to come.”

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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New AirPods and iMac in iStore this weekend

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iStore has announced availability of the new second generation AirPods and iMac, unveiled this week, in store this weekend.

The AirPods are priced from R2 899 and the new iMac from R23 499. Customers can also order these new products from iStore’s website.

“AirPods revolutionised the wireless audio experience with a breakthrough design and the new AirPods build on the magical experience customers love,” said iStore in its announcement. “The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free ‘Hey Siri’.”

AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new wireless charging case that works with Qi standard chargers. The wireless charging case can be ordered for R3 699. The case can be used with the first or second generation AirPods.

The iMac line now has up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. The new iMac is faster for everyday tasks, up to demanding pro workloads. It includes retina display, all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave.

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