Tag Archives: Game

Watch Out, Sony and Microsoft: Google Is Developing a Video Game Streaming Service
February 7, 2018 6:10 pm|Comments (0)

Google, which has largely sat on the sidelines of the video game industry, seems ready to get in the fight.

The company is working on a new service codenamed Yeti, which would let people play games streamed to them online, potentially eliminating the need for a dedicated console like the PlayStation 4 or a high-end gaming computer.

News of the service first broke via The Information. Gaming industry insiders, who were not authorized to speak on-the-record, tell Fortune that Google is targeting a holiday 2019 release for Yeti, though the company is currently behind schedule and that date could shift.

Google recently hired Phil Harrison, a long-time gaming industry veteran. Sources indicate he is closely involved with the project. Harrison spent 15 years as the head of Sony’s network of game studios and three years as a senior member of Microsoft’s Xbox team. Since leaving those companies, he has served as an adviser and board member to various gaming companies.

Google declined to discuss the initiative, citing a company policy of not commenting on rumors or speculation.

Some details about Yeti are still fuzzy. It could be a dedicated streaming box or could operate through the company’s Chromecast device. How it will overcome issues of in-game lag is one of the biggest hurdles. But Fortune has learned that several major publishers are working with Google on the project.

Yeti would compete with Sony’s Playstation Now streaming service, which carries a $ 19.95 monthly fee (or $ 100 annual fee). That service, built off of one of the pioneers in game streaming, has not found an especially large audience, in part because of the high price and older catalog of games. Microsoft has previously discussed launching a game streaming service, but has not made any announcements about a new streaming product.

Google has flirted with the game industry before. It almost acquired Twitch in 2014 for $ 1 billion, but the deal fell apart in the final stages. (Amazon would later acquire that game streaming service.) Since then, Google’s YouTube division has dramatically increased its presence in the video game world, live streaming from E3, the video game industry trade show, and enabling live game streaming.

There’s certainly a big financial incentive for Google in video games. The industry saw revenues of $ 36 billion in the U.S. alone in 2017. Globally, it generates over $ 100 billion each year.

Tech

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Watch Out, Sony and Microsoft: Google Is Developing a Video Game Streaming Service
February 7, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

Google, which has largely sat on the sidelines of the video game industry, seems ready to get in the fight.

The company is working on a new service codenamed Yeti, which would let people play games streamed to them online, potentially eliminating the need for a dedicated console like the PlayStation 4 or a high-end gaming computer.

News of the service first broke via The Information. Gaming industry insiders, who were not authorized to speak on-the-record, tell Fortune that Google is targeting a holiday 2019 release for Yeti, though the company is currently behind schedule and that date could shift.

Google recently hired Phil Harrison, a long-time gaming industry veteran. Sources indicate he is closely involved with the project. Harrison spent 15 years as the head of Sony’s network of game studios and three years as a senior member of Microsoft’s Xbox team. Since leaving those companies, he has served as an adviser and board member to various gaming companies.

Google declined to discuss the initiative, citing a company policy of not commenting on rumors or speculation.

Some details about Yeti are still fuzzy. It could be a dedicated streaming box or could operate through the company’s Chromecast device. How it will overcome issues of in-game lag is one of the biggest hurdles. But Fortune has learned that several major publishers are working with Google on the project.

Yeti would compete with Sony’s Playstation Now streaming service, which carries a $ 19.95 monthly fee (or $ 100 annual fee). That service, built off of one of the pioneers in game streaming, has not found an especially large audience, in part because of the high price and older catalog of games. Microsoft has previously discussed launching a game streaming service, but has not made any announcements about a new streaming product.

Google has flirted with the game industry before. It almost acquired Twitch in 2014 for $ 1 billion, but the deal fell apart in the final stages. (Amazon would later acquire that game streaming service.) Since then, Google’s YouTube division has dramatically increased its presence in the video game world, live streaming from E3, the video game industry trade show, and enabling live game streaming.

There’s certainly a big financial incentive for Google in video games. The industry saw revenues of $ 36 billion in the U.S. alone in 2017. Globally, it generates over $ 100 billion each year.

Tech

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Watch Out, Sony and Microsoft: Google Is Developing a Video Game Streaming Service
February 7, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

Google, which has largely sat on the sidelines of the video game industry, seems ready to get in the fight.

The company is working on a new service codenamed Yeti, which would let people play games streamed to them online, potentially eliminating the need for a dedicated console like the PlayStation 4 or a high-end gaming computer.

News of the service first broke via The Information. Gaming industry insiders, who were not authorized to speak on-the-record, tell Fortune that Google is targeting a holiday 2019 release for Yeti, though the company is currently behind schedule and that date could shift.

Google recently hired Phil Harrison, a long-time gaming industry veteran. Sources indicate he is closely involved with the project. Harrison spent 15 years as the head of Sony’s network of game studios and three years as a senior member of Microsoft’s Xbox team. Since leaving those companies, he has served as an adviser and board member to various gaming companies.

Google declined to discuss the initiative, citing a company policy of not commenting on rumors or speculation.

Some details about Yeti are still fuzzy. It could be a dedicated streaming box or could operate through the company’s Chromecast device. How it will overcome issues of in-game lag is one of the biggest hurdles. But Fortune has learned that several major publishers are working with Google on the project.

Yeti would compete with Sony’s Playstation Now streaming service, which carries a $ 19.95 monthly fee (or $ 100 annual fee). That service, built off of one of the pioneers in game streaming, has not found an especially large audience, in part because of the high price and older catalog of games. Microsoft has previously discussed launching a game streaming service, but has not made any announcements about a new streaming product.

Google has flirted with the game industry before. It almost acquired Twitch in 2014 for $ 1 billion, but the deal fell apart in the final stages. (Amazon would later acquire that game streaming service.) Since then, Google’s YouTube division has dramatically increased its presence in the video game world, live streaming from E3, the video game industry trade show, and enabling live game streaming.

There’s certainly a big financial incentive for Google in video games. The industry saw revenues of $ 36 billion in the U.S. alone in 2017. Globally, it generates over $ 100 billion each year.

Tech

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How to Effectively Adjust Your Game Plan–Before It's Too Late
November 10, 2017 12:01 am|Comments (0)

“Your game plan is only good for the first six minutes of the game… the rest is about adjustments.”  -Roy Williams

North Carolina’s basketball coach Roy Williams is a modern version of college basketball coaching royalty. Since he took over the team in 2003, North Carolina has won three National Championships, with the latest in 2017. Coach Williams understands and thrives on the ability to adapt in a game. 

His team did just that for its title game win against the No. 1 team in the country Gonzaga in 2017. The No. 2 Tarheels gave up 13 early points to Josh Perkins, but after making some halftime adjustments, they held Perkins scoreless in the second half. Williams’ team had the mindset and training to be in the position to receive the game plan and then make adjustments for the win. 

Adjustments are quicker to happen in sports than in business because there is urgency for everyone involved. The game clock ticks down in everyone’s view, and the scoreboard constantly displays the results. The consequences are immediate. Knowing this supplies enough motivation for making adjustments efficiently and swiftly. 

In business, there is no game clock. Oftentimes, a false sense of security exists because the product or result is not always immediately evident. The tendency is to think, “We have time to fix this.”

The highly successful know that very small adjustments can have a big impact–if you make them early enough in the game. Many people struggle to know when an adjustment is even necessary.

Adjustments are needed when:

  • The competition is improving faster than you.
  • You are not in the lead. 
  • Momentum has shifted away from you.

Once it is recognized that an adjustment is needed, the following 3 steps lead to it being implanted effectively:

  1. Decide on Your One Thing. One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to implement too much at one. Doing too much will almost always result in zero sustainable positive change whatsoever. People just flat out can’t make focused change on more than one thing at a time. This is the way we are wired, and not respecting this is a losing battle. Never underestimate the impact that one small adjustment might make. To determine your “One Thing,” first determine what two or three things you or your team are already doing well. Don’t skip this step. Failure to recognize the positive often results in adjustments that are reactive and ineffective. Next, ask yourself, “What is one thing I need to improve?” 
  2. Attack, Attack, Attack. Whatever the adjustment, approach it with the “attack” mentality. Move on this action aggressively, and don’t second-guess yourself. 
  1. Evaluate. In business and in sports, the bottom-line comes down to results. Measurable results. With all adjustments, there must be a unit of measure. If not, it becomes impossible to measure the effectiveness of the change, and future decisions on adjustments become very difficult. Most think there must be some complex system for measuring impact and outcome, and that is just not true. In fact, like with most things, the more simple the better. This is yet another reason for only adjusting one thing at a time–it becomes much more difficult to measure impact when more than one variable is being manipulated at a time. 

The highly successful know the necessity of establishing a path, but they are ready to attack needed adjustments. Remember, never underestimate the impact that implementing one small adjustment can make. Don’t wait until the forth quarter to make the changes to your game plan necessary for the win.

Tech

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Online Game “Blue Whale” Blamed for Suicides Amongst Players
October 27, 2017 12:01 pm|Comments (0)

The Indian Supreme Court says online portals must spread awareness about the deadly game.

India’s Supreme Court is holding hearings by advocates who want the online game “Blue Whale” banned after blaming it for 100 suicides throughout the country, according to The Indian Express.

The game issues various challenges to participants over a 50-day period; on the final day, players are instructed to complete the game by committing suicide.

The phenomenon has recently been in the spotlight in Iran too, after two girls attempted to kill themselves by jumping off a bridge (one died, the other was critically injured). Authorities later found an audio message recorded by the girls, bidding goodbye to their parents and proclaiming they would “take their lives to complete the Blue Whale game”, according to local news agency Mizan Online.

Read: Facebook Takes Steps to Prevent Suicide

The game revolves around an anonymous “master” who assigns various self-harming activities that become incrementally more dangerous, with acts ranging from watching horror movies to self-mutilation. Users are encouraged throughout to post photos of their daily challenges online.

Read: What Twitter’s Future Could Depend On

Blue Whale appears to have origins in the Russian social-networking site VKontakte, and was criticized for the same deadly impact on Russian teens earlier in 2017, according to RFERL.

Tech

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General Electric: Numbers Game
September 27, 2017 10:30 am|Comments (0)


Investment Thesis

General Electric (GE) is selling its industrial solutions business to Swiss rival ABB for $ 2.6 billion. The company is clearly targeting underperforming plants and putting them up for sale. This is one way to improve its free cash flow problems, and we can expect more of this in the near future. The stock has bounced from its key support level, and bulls are in full control. The new CEO is expected to give an update on the 2018 outlook in November. I expect the stock will continue to recover from its previous losses.

Free Cash Flow

It’s all about free cash flow. As we can see from the below chart, GE’s free cash flow has been sliding. Wall Street analysts estimate the company’s free cash flow for fiscal 2017 at $ 7.5 billion.

Once the company improves its free cash flow, the market will react positively. From a shareholder point of view, free cash flow is very important because it sustains confidence that the company will continue to pay dividends. From the company’s point of view, it has enough free cash flow to service its debt and further expand its business; the company is trying to improve its free cash flow through various measures, such as getting rid of underperforming assets and reducing corporate overhead.

Source: Tradingview

As we can see from the above chart, regardless of declining free cash flow, the stock has still been on the uptrend. In terms of technicals, the stock didn’t break the key support level, but bounced back instead, suggesting that the bulls are in control. With more positive news to be anticipated from the new CEO, I expect the stock will continue to recover from its previous losses.

Source: Tradingview

Oil prices are gradually recovering, so the newly merged Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), should post better earnings. With the help of BHGE and other segments, GE’s free cash flow should improve substantially.

Conclusion

Since the company is working to address its free cash flow problem, it is safe to conclude that there is no serious danger of a dividend payment cut. In 2016, GE’s industrial solutions business generated $ 2.7 billion in total revenue and posted a profit margin of 2.1% (making it one of the least profitable business units). To me, any profit is good–but underperforming business units would be pulling the company’s overall performance down. By getting rid of underperforming plants, amongst other measures, the company should be able to generate higher free cash flow. It’s all about numbers in the end, and based on those numbers, I still recommend GE as a buy.

Author’s note: Get my articles as soon as they are published by clicking the big orange “Follow” button at the top of this page. To read my previous articles, please click here.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Tech

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Vienna Game Developers Are Using The City’s Coffeehouse Culture To Create A New Kind Of Arcade 
June 5, 2017 6:43 pm|Comments (0)

The rise and fall of arcades have in large part shaped how we think about playing video games together in public places, but in their absence, young designers are finding new ways to bring social gaming out into the open.

Read more…


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This Game of Thrones Fan Film May Be the Only Prequel We Need
June 1, 2017 10:05 pm|Comments (0)

As George R.R. Martin and HBO try to figure out which (and how many!) of the five Game of Thrones spin-offs they’re working on a small group of indie filmmaker in Belfast have taken it upon themselves to make their own prequel, titled “The Wild Wolf,” a short depicting Ned’s doomed brother Brandon Stark and Catelyn…

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‘Pepper’ robot uses trial-and-error learning to master a child’s game
September 28, 2016 9:43 am|Comments (0)


Robots, much like children, are now using simple games to learn important skills. Pepper, SoftBank’s adorable humanoid robot, recently learned to play ball-in-a-cup (also called ring and pin) in an effort to better understand optimal trajectory. In the beginning, SoftBank’s team demonstrated the game to the robot by guiding its arm. By the end of the video below, Pepper no longer required their assistance. It took 100 tries, but each failed attempt left Pepper to analyze and try to improve upon past performance, much like a human. After each failed attempt, the robot attempted to alter the movement slightly in an…

This story continues at The Next Web


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‘Game of Thrones:’ Daenerys Becomes The Angriest Character On The Show
May 25, 2016 2:40 am|Comments (0)

But it was another emotional moment from last week’s episode that stole our hearts and our Twitter traffic.


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