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charlesarthur : switch   8

Nintendo Switch loses shine with shipments seen missing target • Bloomberg
Yuji Nakamura:
<p>With few attractive titles for the holiday shopping season and shipments on track to fall short of the company’s targets, doubts are growing whether Nintendo Co.’s Switch can ever become a mass-market product.

When the device debuted last year as a hybrid console that could be carried around, it was classic Nintendo — a new gadget that broke the norms of conventional video games. Equipped with a built-in screen and hypersensitive controllers, the Switch was billed as a worthy successor to the Wii, Nintendo’s rule-breaking blockbuster console.

The goal was to make the gaming experience as seamless as possible, while letting people use the product in new ways, such as turning it into a virtual piano or motorcycle. But so far, the Switch has struggled to find customers beyond a core fan base. The Switch is on track to reach 35 million unit shipments by March, according to the average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg, short of Nintendo’s target of 38 million.

After cramming its best franchises — Super Mario, Zelda and Splatoon — into the first 12 months, the Kyoto-based company was left with fewer games to show off in the second year, hurting hardware sales. Cardboard accessories introduced in April, called Nintendo Labo, have mostly failed to expand interest beyond those who were already planning to pick up a Switch.

“All great consoles need a great second year, and Nintendo hasn’t delivered one for the Switch,” said Cornelio Ash, an analyst at William O’Neil & Co. in Los Angeles. “Investors thought over five years they could sell maybe 90 million units. But after this year, that’s looking pretty much impossible.”</p>
nintendo  switch  game  consoles 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple plans to use its own chips in Macs from 2020, replacing Intel • Bloomberg
Mark Gurman and Ian King:
<p>The shift would also allow Cupertino, California-based Apple to more quickly bring new features to all of its products and stand out from the competition. Using its own main chips would make Apple the only major PC maker to use its own processors. Dell Technologies Inc., HP Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., and Asustek Computer Inc. use Intel chips.

By using its own chips, Apple would be able to more tightly integrate new hardware and software, potentially resulting in systems with better battery life -- similar to iPads, which use Apple chips.

While the transition to Apple chips in hardware is planned to begin as early as 2020, the changes to the software side will begin even before that. Apple’s iPhones and iPads with custom chips use the iOS operating system, while Mac computers with Intel chips run on a different system called macOS. Apple has slowly been integrating user-facing features over the past several years, and more recently starting sharing lower-level features like a new file management system.

As part of the larger initiative to make Macs work more like iPhones, Apple is working on a new software platform, internally dubbed Marzipan, for release as early as this year that would allow users to run iPhone and iPad apps on Macs, Bloomberg News reported last year.

The company has also previously released Macs with ARM-based co-processors, which run an iOS-like operating system, for specific functions like security. The latest MacBook Pro and iMac Pro include the co-processors. Apple plans to add that chip to a new version of its Mac Pro, to be released by next year, and new Mac laptops this year, according to a person familiar with the matter.</p>

The processing penalty for emulating Intel on ARM would be considerable, so Apple must either be looking at getting people to recompile (in XCode) or some other twiddly magic. The lack of named sources actually makes this seem more likely to me; they'll be people who must not explain the how, when or why. But the why is obvious: get away from Intel's timetable and pricing, use Apple's huge power in chip design.
switch  arm  apple  Intel 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
Switching views on consoles • Bloomberg Gadfly
Tim Culpan:
<p>Apparently the games console isn't dead. Yet.

Despite numerous distractions for consumers - from smartphone games to Netflix - Nintendo Co.'s Switch has a chance of becoming the Japanese company's best-selling gaming machine in a decade.

With the 10 million mark recently surpassed and Christmas ahead, it's possible Switch may beat the 17 million mark set by the Nintendo 3DS in the 2011/12 fiscal year. Selling another 7 million units in the next four months will be a stretch, but even even if it comes within a few million, Nintendo will be able to celebrate.</p>


The Switch is a strange beast: it's a very portable console, but also works as a stationary one. And it's got a hell of a battery. No wonder it's selling so well. Yet without the Nintendo content - hello, Mario - it would be nowhere.
nintendo  switch  console 
december 2017 by charlesarthur
Nintendo ramping up Switch production • Financial Times
NAME:
<p>People involved in Nintendo’s hardware supply chain say the Kyoto-based games maker is now targeting Switch hardware production of 18m units for the 12 months ending March 2018.

According to people close to the company, the production increase reflects fears of “customer tantrums” as Nintendo prepares to release its flagship Mario Odyssey game in November.

Nintendo denied that it had plans to boost production to that level, sticking to its official hardware shipment target of 10m for the console that was launched in March. But analysts have assumed for months that the company would substantially exceed that number.

Some, such as Hirotoshi Murakami at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley, believe that Nintendo is being intentionally conservative in its guidance and predicts that it will produce as many as 20m consoles by the end of the financial year.

But the company may be constrained in its effort to ramp up production by the availability of key components such as liquid crystal display screens.

The difficulty of obtaining a Switch in Japan has created a side market based on the way that some retailers offer free guaranteed bookings of product delivery on a specific date. People who have managed to secure those guarantees have found they can sell the consoles online to desperate gamers: the market price for a guaranteed Switch delivery in July, for example, has been pushed to about ¥14,000 ($126).</p>

The Switch won't be as big as the Wii (100m units lifetime) because of two differences: it doesn't appeal to non-gamers as the Wii did, and everyone has smartphones now. But it is doing very good business for a games console.
Switch  nintendo 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple launches website for android switchers • Tech Narratives
Jan Dawson on <a href="https://www.apple.com/switch/">Apple's new Switch site area</a>:
<p>targeting that audience of Android switchers specifically makes perfect sense.  The site focuses on a few aspects of buying and owning an iPhone: ease of use, ease of switching, camera quality, speed, privacy and security, iMessage extensions, support from Apple people, and environmental responsibility.

Out of all the possible things Apple could emphasize, that’s an interesting list – design, for example, isn’t one of them, though the word appears in other contexts three times on the site, and all the things highlighted here are functional rather than aesthetic.

In fact, other than one oblique shot of an iPhone at the top, there isn’t a single full shot of an iPhone or any shot with the screen on until you get to the “buy” section at the bottom. Given how central the design message and product shots have traditionally been to Apple promotional material, that’s an interesting departure and likely reflects research on why people switch from Android.</p>
apple  android  switch 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
Nintendo Switch review • Polygon
Polygon staff:
<p>there is something remarkable about seeing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild running in portable mode, followed by that “wow” moment of docking the console and continuing on a television. It’s hard not to wonder if we’re staring at the future of portable gaming, with Nintendo and the Switch promising to bridge the gap between mobile and console.

While Nintendo has corrected much of what doomed the Wii U on the hardware front, its success on the software front is not only less clear, it’s in many cases entirely opaque. As with the Wii U, the Switch’s entire online infrastructure is being patched into the system on the same day it reaches consumers. None of these features, or even a clear understanding of what they will be, were made available to reviewers. This … is not a good litmus test for Nintendo’s future success in this arena.

Since Nintendo’s Game Boy, the desire has been to play games — real games — wherever you are. The Switch offers that promise, but the details — or absence of detail — leave a lot to be desired.</p>


It has rocketed off the shelves, unlike the Wii U. It's not the most amazing industrial design, but seems to satisfy those who like Nintendo. And it does seem to have managed to be a hybrid - both a portable console and something you can use with a dedicated TV.
nintendo  switch 
march 2017 by charlesarthur
Nintendo Switch CPU and GPU clock speeds revealed • Eurogamer.net
Richard Leadbetter:
<p>As many have speculated, the new Nintendo hardware does indeed feature two performance configurations - and the console is categorically not as capable in mobile form, compared to its prowess when docked and attached to an HDTV. And we can confirm that there is no second GPU or additional hardware in the dock itself regardless of the intriguing patents that Nintendo has filed suggesting that there might be. With battery life and power throughput no longer an issue, the docked Switch simply allows the GPU to run much faster. And to put it simply, there is a night and day difference here.

Where Switch remains consistent is in CPU power - the cores run at 1020MHz regardless of whether the machine is docked or undocked. This ensures that running game logic won't be compromised while gaming on the go: the game simulation itself will remain entirely consistent. The machine's embedded memory controller runs at 1600MHz while docked (on par with a standard Tegra X1), but the default power mode undocked sees this drop to 1331MHz. However, developers can opt to retain full memory bandwidth in their titles should they choose to do so.

As things stand, CPU clocks are halved compared to the standard Tegra X1, but it's the GPU aspect of the equation that will prove more controversial. Even while docked, Switch doesn't run at Tegra X1's full potential. Clock-speeds are locked here at 768MHz, considerably lower than the 1GHz found in Shield Android TV, but the big surprise from our perspective was the extent to which Nintendo has down-clocked the GPU to hit its thermal and battery life targets. That's not a typo: it really is 307.2MHz - meaning that in portable mode, Switch runs at exactly 40 per cent of the clock-speed of the fully docked device.</p>


Basically, it's a two-year-old tablet.
nintendo  switch 
december 2016 by charlesarthur
Nintendo’s next console, Switch, is a console/tablet hybrid coming in March | Ars Technica
Kyle Orland:
<p>In a three-minute "Preview Trailer" released this morning (and teased last night), Nintendo gave the world the first glimpse of the mysterious "Project NX," over 19 months after the company first mentioned the "dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept." The system is called the Nintendo Switch.

<img src="https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/nintendoswitch-800x615.jpg" width="100%" />

As was widely rumored, that "new concept" involves a console/portable hybrid system with two detachable, one-handed controllers that sit alongside a tablet-style screen. Nintendo is referring to these publicly as "Joy-Con" controllers, which "can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options. They can easily click back into place or be slipped into a Joy-Con Grip accessory, mirroring a more traditional controller." The system will also support a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller with a more traditional dual-analog stick form factor, and support local multiplayer gaming on multiple Switch tablets at once, according to a press release.

"In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose," Nintendo said in a press release announcing the system. "The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles."</p>


I don't understand why in October you would announce something that won't be available until March. I believe that a very popular shopping season occurs in between those two dates.

(Also: looks bonkers.)
nintendo  switch 
october 2016 by charlesarthur

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