Nintendo stands by Switch’s sparse

3DS-Sales

Nintendo released its annual financial report this week, and president Tatsumi Kimishima defended the Switch’s sparse launch lineup, along with giving additional details on Nintendo’s mobile and console business performance. The Switch’s software lineup has been widely criticized for its unusually small size. Kimishima attempted to push back against this argument, saying:

Our thinking in arranging the 2017 software lineup is that it is important to continue to provide new titles regularly without long gaps. This encourages consumers to continue actively playing the system, maintains buzz, and spurs continued sales momentum for Nintendo Switch. April 28 Spring, 2017 Summer, 2017 For that reason, we will be releasing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, which is making its debut on the Nintendo Switch during the first half of 2017, and Splatoon 2, which attracted consumers’ attention most during the hands-on events in Japan, in summer 2017.

The problem with this argument is that the Switch’s lineup is painfully thin, no matter how Nintendo tries to paper over the issue. The North American Switch will launch with 10 titles:

  • 1-2 Switch
  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
  • Human Resource Machine
  • Just Dance 2017
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Little Inferno
  • I am Setsuna
  • Skylanders: Imaginators
  • Super Bomberman R
  • World of Goo

The Wii U launched with 32 titles, while the PS4 had 25 and the Xbox One had 22. Clearly launch titles alone don’t make or break a console, or the Wii U would’ve beaten both its rivals. But consumers do tend to treat launch support as indicative of overall developer buy-in.

What’s perhaps more worrying is the way this problem doesn’t resolve through the end of 2017. There are more games coming through the rest of the year (17 in total), but comparatively few top-franchise games. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a warmed-over refresh of a two-year-old game, and Splatoon doesn’t have the mass market appeal of a Mario or Pokemon game. Super Mario Odyssey is the biggest post-launch game for Switch with a 2017 launch date, and it won’t drop until the holiday season. When you combine the weak game lineup with the high price ($300), accessory costs, and lack of a bundled game, it’s hard to make a strong argument for the handheld — especially since Nintendo remains resolute that the Switch isn’t a handheld at all.

This graph helps explain why. Nintendo sold roughly 2.1 million 3DS devices in 2016 in the US alone (Wikipedia estimates CY 2016 sales at 7.36 million devices worldwide). That’s vastly better than the Wii U, which saw a complete sales collapse this year, even in comparison with its previous anemic performance. As we’ve previously speculated, Nintendo literally can’t afford to quit on the 3DS, particularly with the Switch’s long-term sales strength so uncertain. The company continues to insist that the Switch and 3DS will exist concurrently, with separate libraries of games and different price points.

We suspect that this is little more than convenient fiction. Nintendo has proven perfectly happy to mislead the public about its plans in the past, arguing that the Nintendo DS wasn’t a replacement for the original Game Boy line, and more recently claiming that the Wii U would remain in production for the rest of the year when it ended hardware manufacturing well before that point. In both cases, the company was hedging its bets, giving itself room to pivot if a product didn’t take off. The monstrous success of Pokemon Sun and Moon explains the difference between FY 2016 and FY 2017 software sales for the 3DS — and also why Nintendo won’t step away from its established handheld until it knows it has a suitable replacement available. This  could prove to be a mistake; the Switch’s capabilities position it much more effectively as a high-end handheld than as a living room console.

If the Switch sells well, Nintendo can introduce a cost-reduced version that would compete more directly against the 3DS at a later point, if needed. Both platforms will remain in market through 2017, with more games arriving for 3DS throughout the year.

Nintendo also acknowledged it has had some trouble converting Super Mario Run’s success into sales. While 78 million people have downloaded the game, the conversion rate is reportedly ~5%. That’s still an entirely respectable four million paying customers, but Nintendo seems to have had higher hopes for its first mobile title. Given that Super Mario Run actually has an up-front price tag rather than a micropayment system, 5% conversion rates sound fairly solid to us.

Finally, Nintendo confirmed that it continues to have trouble stocking the NES Classic Edition, but still managed to sell 1.5 million of the consoles through the holiday season. Considering that store fronts still can’t keep the system in stock for more than a few minutes at a time, the company severely underestimated demand here.

 

 

[Source:- Extremetech]

New JVM language stands apart from Scala, Clojure

New JVM language stands apart from Scala, Clojure

Another JVM language, Haskell dialect Eta, has arrived on the scene, again centering on functional programming.

Intended for building scalable systems, Eta is a strongly typed functional language. It’s similar to Scala, a JVM language that also emphasizes functional programming and scalability, and Clojure, another a functional language on the JVM.

But Eta sets itself apart from such competitors because it’s immutable by default, it uses lazy evaluation, and it has a very powerful type system, said Eta founder Rahul Muttineni, CTO at TypeLead, which oversees the language. This combination allows static guarantees and conciseness simply not possible in Scala or Clojure.

Currently at version 0.0.5 in an alpha release, Eta is interoperable with Java, allowing reuse of Java libraries in Eta projects and use of Eta modules in Java. Strong type safety enables developers to tell the compiler more information about code, while immutability in Eta boosts concurrency.

Eta also features purity, in which calling a function with the same arguments yields the same results each time; function definitions are treated as equations and substitutions can be performed like in math. Eta proponents said this makes it easier to understand code and prevents a lot of bugs typical in imperative languages. “Purity allows you to treat your code like equations in mathematics and makes it a lot easier to reason about your code, especially in concurrency and parallelism settings,” Muttineni said.

Eta is “lazy by default,” meaning data stays in an unevaluated state until a function needs to see inside. This lets developers program without having to be concerned about whether they have done more computation than was required. Developers also can write multipass algorithms in a single pass. “Laziness allows you to stop worrying about the order in which you write your statements,” said Muttineni. “Just specify the data dependencies by defining expressions and their relationships to each other, and the compiler will execute them in the right order and only if the expressions are needed.”

Plans call for fitting Eta with a concurrent runtime, an interactive REPL, metaprogramming, massive parallelism, and transactional concurrency. Support for the Maven build manager and a core library are in development as well, along with boilerplate generation for Java Foreign Function Interface imports.

 

 

[Source:- Javaworld]

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 And New Gear VR Specs As It Stands

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was recently spotted in a listing on Best Buy before the link was pulled down. The phablet is expected to be unveiled at “Unpacked” to be held on August 2 in New York City, while pre-orders are expected to start from August 3. It is unclear why Best Buy jumped the gun and put the Samsung device up on its website early.

Samsung’s flagship phablet is expected to be in stores in the US from August 19 onwards. The specs of the new device are hardly a secret given that leaks have pretty much revealed all the information. 9to5Google posted information regarding the device and its colors. The Note 7 will be available in onyx, silver titanium and blue coral. Information regarding the new Samsung Gear VR have been leaked as well.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The Galaxy Note 7 will measure 153.5mm by 73.9mm by 7.9mm, boasting a 1440×2560 resolution on a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display. A 12MP rear shooter will also record 4K videos with built-in image stabilization. The device also has a 5MP selfie camera with flash. The phablet will come with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. Other storage options are yet to be revealed.

The device is expected to be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 823 chip, while versions of Samsung’s proprietary Exynos chip will also be incorporated into some models. The Galaxy Note 7 will execute data transfer and charging duties via a USB-C port. A USB-C to microUSB adapter is expected to be shipped with the device to ensure compatibility with older charging cables. An iris scanner is expected to beef up the security aspect of the Note device.

The device comes with a 3,500 mAh battery but we don’t know whether it will be removable yet. Given the furor over the non-removable batteries in the S6 handsets, Samsung is likely to opt for removable batteries this time. The device also has an IP68 rating, which helps the device withstand depths of up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) for around 30 minutes.

Samsung Gear VR

Following the successful rollout of its first VR device, Samsung is all set to release a second iteration. The device is expected to be unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 7, and improves upon its predecessor by expanding the field-of-view offered. The new Gear VR will provide 110 degrees of viewing angles as opposed to the 96 degrees offered by the present version. It will also feature a USB-C port to help pair it with the Galaxy Note 7.

All in all, Samsung has confirmed that its phablet will skip the number 6 to adopt the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 moniker. Samsung substantiated speculation when it said that the Note 7 will fall in line with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, ensuring that its tablets and smartphones are on the same page. The Galaxy Note 7 name is also expected to allay fears regarding the relevance of the new technology; customers may otherwise have thought that a Galaxy Note 6 device was not as advanced as the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge mobile phones.

Best Buy managed to get some attention by temporarily enabling the pre-order option on its website. It is not clear whether the mess-up was intentional, but details regarding the Samsung Galaxy device should be unveiled in a few days. Given the success of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, it is likely that the Note 7 will also be well-received when it is launched.

 

[Source: Technewstoday]

Sally Faulkner: father of children says attempted kidnap charge stands

Ali al-Amin says he does not intend to drop charges against his estranged Australian wife over attempt to seize children

Sally Faulkner and Tara Brown
Lebanese police escort Sally Faulkner (centre, in black) and 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown (right) from court in Beirut. Photograph: Wael Hamzeh/EPA

The father of two children at the centre of a botched child recovery operation inLebanon has said he is in no hurry to resolve the case and does not intend to drop charges of attempted kidnapping against his estranged Australian wife.

Speaking inside the Baabda palace of justice, a defiant Ali al-Amin contradictedstatements made last week that he was open to compromise on the charges laid against Sally Faulkner.

The judge, Rami Abdullah, adjourned the case until Wednesday to allow talks to continue.

Faulkner, from Brisbane, flew to Lebanon this month with a news crew from theChannel Nine programme 60 Minutes in an attempt to seize the couple’s children from a street in south Beirut.

Tara Brown, the correspondent for 60 Minutes, and Adam Whittington, the founder of Child Abduction Recovery International, are among seven people also facing charges over the operation. The others include the 60 Minutes cameraman Benjamin Williamson, producer Stephen Rice, and sound recordist David Ballment.

Amin suggested on Monday that if he agreed to drop charges against his ex-wife, he would also make it more likely that the 60 Minutes crew, Whittington and two others involved in the operation, would be freed too.

“They are trying to push for that if Sally gets bail, they all get bail,” he said. “I said then I will charge everyone involved and I say it today. It will take some time. I am in no hurry.”

Amin appeared confident and unhurried, in contrast to Faulkner who seemed tired and distressed when she was brought before the judge. Brown also appeared briefly in chambers.

Abdullah said a hearing for the group had been postponed because another case had taken precedent. Under Lebanon’s inquisitorial judicial system, pre-trial hearings can be part mediation sessions and part interrogation.

Amin took five-year-old Lahela and three-year-old Noah to Lebanon almost a year ago. Faulkner, who was separated from Amin, then involved a child recovery team, which arranged to seize them.

The operation was successful, but the team behind it was quickly seized. All involved, including Faulkner, were arrested.

Whittington’s lawyer said he was expected to have presented documents to the court that showed 60 Minutes had paid him in two tranches.

60 Minutes’ Ross Coulthart talks about the crew in Lebanon

A lawyer for 60 Minutes, Kamal Abou Daher, admitted that Channel Nine had paid for the story, but attempted to draw a distinction between the legal fight for custody of the children and the abduction itself.

“Ali’s lawyers said it and you heard yourself, they are not in a hurry,” he said. “This changed after the last hearing.”

Speaking inside his chambers, Abdullah said he had no preference for how the case progressed from here. “Of course, if everything is negotiated it is better,” he said. “However that is up to the parties.”

On Sunday, the 60 Minutes host Ross Coulthart said the programme’s detained crew members were “said to be in good spirits and coping well”. Brown has said she was being “well-treated in a women’s detention centre”, he said, while her male colleagues were held separately.

On Monday, prominent Channel Nine journalists rallied to support Brown and the rest of the crew before the hearing.

60 Minutes’ apparent decision to cover the costs of the child recovery operation has faced intense scrutiny, but a number of Australian journalists have now come to the show’s defence.

On Monday, Tracy Grimshaw defended the crew in an article for the Australian, saying they were not “tabloid cowboys”.

“They are not a threat to society. That’s probably the biggest Captain Obvious statement you will read all day. They are good people who care about what they do, who love their families and friends and are loved very much back,” she wrote.

 

 [Source:- Gurdian]