Connect with us

Technology

Is Nintendo Switch The Console For You?

Published

on

Last year, rumors swirled around Nintendo’s new console, codenamed NX, to replace the ailing Wii U. On October 2016, Nintendo officially unveiled the NX to the world, now named the Switch. The company showed off a slick video that showed how the Switch could transform from a home console connected to a TV, to a handheld console to be played on the go. It’s a logical evolution from the Wii U’s tablet controller that could stream games from the Wii U console to the controller. Earlier this month, Nintendo held a presentation that detailed more features that the Switch would have as well as a definitive launch date and price. The Nintendo Switch will be launching on March 3rd for $299. Nintendo looks to revolutionize how and where we play our games. With that said, here are three things you need to know about the Nintendo Switch

JoyCon Controllers

 

switch controllers

The JoyCon controllers are the key to the Switch’s versatility. The two small controllers slide onto either side of the Switch console, turning it into a mobile gaming console. The JoyCon can also slide out and be used independently as separate controllers, useful for split screen multiplayer games like Mario Kart. While playing single player games, the JoyCon can either be used in each hand similar to the original Wiimote and Nunchuk or they can slide into a separate JoyCon Grip for a more traditional gaming experience. If that wasn’t enough, Nintendo revealed during their January 12th press conference that the controllers are also motion controllers with gyroscopes and accelerometers. Nintendo showed off different games such as ARMS and 1-2 Switch, which make use of the motion controls for gameplay. The left JoyCon has a share button that allows you to share screenshots and videos. The right JoyCon has an NFC sensor for Amiibo figurines. Finally, both JoyCon have what Nintendo calls “HD Rumble” which just a marketing term to describe enhanced rumble features to detect more subtle and realistic vibrations. For those hardcore gamers out there who prefer the feel of a regular controller, Nintendo will also be selling a Pro controller for the Switch.

Switch Console

nintendo switch

The main console itself is a tablet with a 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 720p resolution. It can connect to the Dock which enables gameplay on an TV and keeps the Switch charged. Speaking of charging, one welcome feature is the inclusion of a USB Type C connector. This allows other devices such as a battery pack to be connected…which is good because the battery life varies wildly depending on the game. Nintendo says battery life is anywhere from 2 ½ hours to 6 hours. Graphic intensive games like Splatoon or Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are likely to tax the battery heavily while lighter titles like NES/SNES games will last a bit longer. Spec-wise, little is still known about the Switch as Nintendo has been reticent to release any detailed information. The only confirmed hardware spec is the custom NVIDIA graphics processor. Most analysts believe it is the NVIDIA X1 Tegra chip using the Maxwell architecture instead of the latest Pascal architecture. This would mean that the Switch is more powerful than the Wii U but not nearly as powerful as the PS4 and Xbox One. On the positive side, the Switch can connect to other Switch consoles to engage in local multiplayer sessions (now you can trash talk in person instead of online!).

What About The Games?

nintendo switch

Back in October, Nintendo announced a bevy of third party developers that would be creating games for the Switch. Unfortunately, the day one launch games doesn’t contain as many system selling games as one might expect. The games releasing on March 3rd are:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 1-2 Switch
  • Just Dance 2017
  • Skylanders Imaginators
  • Super Bomberman R

As you can see, the major first party game on launch day is The Legend of Zelda. Fortunately, more hard hitting games will come out this year such as:

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • ARMS
  • Splatoon 2
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Minecraft
  • Sonic Mania
  • Steep
  • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • I Am Setsuna
  • LEGO City Undercover
  • NBA 2K18
  • Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth

Nintendo also plans to release their online service to enable multiplayer online play. It will be a system like Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus where players can subscribe to the online service for a monthly or yearly price. Like Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus, Nintendo will allow subscribers to download a free NES or SNES game per month…with a HUGE caveat. While Xbox and PlayStation allow subscribers to keep their downloaded games, Nintendo will only allow subscribers to keep the downloaded game for the month it is available. Afterwards, the subscriber loses access to the game unless it is bought. The Switch is likely Nintendo’s last ditch effort to win back gamers after the failed Wii U. Business moves such as not allowing players to keep their free NES/SNES games may come back to haunt Nintendo as a potentially anti-consumer policy. Regardless, the Switch is an innovative and exciting entry into the gaming market. Time will tell if Nintendo is able to woo gamers (and third party developers) back to its platform. It will also be interesting to see how Nintendo will juggle the Switch with its other handheld offering, the 3DS. Nintendo is betting on mobility and based on their massive sales of the 3DS, it looks like they might just be onto something.

Business

You Need To Know What Happened To Snapchat Stock

Published

on

snapchat stock

Released in September 2011, Snapchat brought time-sensitive photos to the social media realm. It encouraged users to rely on those images to show their friends interesting, funny or memorable things. March 2018 data reveals Snapchat stock is down more than 15 percent compared to the previous month, leading some people to wonder if it’s too risky to own Snapchat shares. Well-known pop culture stars can capture the attention of people all over the world by posting material on social media. Snapchat got reminded of that twice recently. What’s happened with the brand recently to cause the downward trend in Snapchat stock? And what’s likely ahead for the app?

The App Got a Recent Redesign

In November 2017, Snapchat revamped the application’s interface, but that decision caused an uproar among some users. Despite the pushback, Snapchat is sticking with the new look. Before rolling it out, site representatives acknowledged some users find Snapchat “difficult to understand or hard to use”. The app partially prompted a different layout that allows people to sort the content they see, among other things. Snapchat clearly aims to keep the service fresh and exciting for current and potential users. But, besides the new layout that’ll reportedly be tweaked throughout this year, what else can people expect?

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel spoke favorably about the facelift, saying, “While we are still very early in the rollout, we are optimistic about the potential to unlock additional growth with the redesign of our application. As expected, it will take time for our community to get used to the changes, but overall, we are pleased with the initial results and will be making the redesign available to our entire community in the first quarter.”

Indeed, it does take time for people to adjust to change, and user bases often aren’t happy when their favorite social media sites debut significant changes. That’s why I expect this displeasure about Snapchat’s evolution will blow over soon. However, that’s not the only problem the service has dealt with lately, and you can see it in Snapchat stock.

Unfavorable Mentions From Two High-Profile Celebrities

 

First, in February 2018, Kylie Jenner confessed she doesn’t open Snapchat anymore and asked if anyone else had stopped using it. Afterward, Snapchat stock prices sank 6.1 percent, causing a loss of $1.3 billion in market value.

kylie jenner

Then, less than a month later, Snapchat came under fire again for allowing a phone game advertisement to run that asked viewers if they’d rather “slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown.”

Many angrily took screenshots of the offensive ad and recalled the 2009 incident, which involved Rihanna and then-partner Chris Brown. He was arrested after an assault on her that occurred the night before that year’s Grammy Awards ceremony.

Soon, Rihanna posted a response on her Instagram feed. It’s no longer visible there, but people quickly took screenshots of it while reporters quoted the singer’s irate words.

Rihanna Snapchat

In a quote given to the BBC, Snapchat said, “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware. We are sorry that this happened.”

The apology did not stop people from accusing Snapchat of allowing content that made light of domestic violence. The site might be doomed after Kylie Jenner and Rihanna’s comments. After Rihanna’s statement, Snapchap stock plunged again by nearly 5 percent.

Also, people chimed in to say if Rihanna advised people to delete their Snapchat accounts, they would. The hubbub even caught the attention of former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, who called the ad “just awful” in her own tweet.

It’s also likely there will be more sudden action with Snapchat stock prices. Despite the plunges due to Kylie Jenner’s and Rihanna’s comments, the company had the biggest one-day jump in Snapchat stock history this February due to news it added nearly 9 million more daily users.

Snapchat Bans ICO Ads

Snapchat announced a ban of all advertisements for initial coin offerings (ICOs). They’re following the lead of fellow social media site Facebook, which outlawed all cryptocurrency ads of a non-educational nature. The news came in mid-March shortly after the Rihanna incident. T could cause some people to wonder if the site is cracking down on other kinds of advertising.

That recent occurrence is not the only evidence that suggests the two social media sites pay attention to each other’s actions. Last spring, Facebook began letting people post content that disappears after 24 hours, just like Snapchat stories. Users could also personalize the Facebook content with stickers and filters, which Snapchat offers too.

New Features Are Continually Available

At the end of January 2018, Snapchat announced a way for people to depend on visual references from selfies while creating their Bitmojis. They are Snapchat avatars that represent site users. Snapchat calls the feature “Bitmoji Deluxe.” It lets people study selfies to make their bitmojis as realistic as possible.

A couple of years ago, Snapchat dropped hints about the possibility that people could create Bitmojis automatically with help from facial recognition technology. There’s no sign of that ability in this latest update. But since an increasing number of today’s gadgets identify people by their faces, it makes sense Snapchat might offer it relatively soon. They’re already focusing on making the Bitmojis better.

When Snapchat made the Snap Map feature available last summer, it attracted attention while catering to people’s desire to know what’s happening in real time. Although some might say Snap Map triggers FOMO, other people think the location-sharing feature is cool. Those who don’t want to use it have the option to stay in “Ghost Mode.”

Snapchat Merchandise

I think Snapchat will incorporate a much more stringent ad-screening process based on the recent Rihanna fiasco. Plus, 2018 could be the year Snapchat re-enters the physical merchandise realm after its 2016 foray that saw it offering glasses that take pictures from a first-person perspective and let people upload them to Snapchat.

The company is reportedly currently developing new versions of those spectacles that are water-resistant. They come in more than one color and could be available as soon as this fall. That effort for the company to diversify makes sense, especially if Snapchat wants to profit from indirect income streams.

Google recently debuted its Cilps camera, which uses artificial intelligence to decide when to snap photos that seem most interesting. Similarly, there are rumors Spotify wants to start selling products such as speakers.

The months ahead will be action-packed for people who use Snapchat regularly. Those who are curious about the performance of this social media service will be following closely. If the service can achieve the growth it seeks from the redesign and continual rollout of features, it’ll likely be in the headlines even more than usual.

Continue Reading

Business

Why Amazon’s Second HQ Should Choose Nashville

Published

on

Amazon's Second HQ

Nashville is amongst 20 cities being considered for Amazon’s second headquarters site. The “Country Music Capital of the World” hopes to boost their state’s job market with the new Amazon Headquarters. Amazon’s second HQ expects to invest more than $5 billion to build the 8-million-square-foot facility and promises to create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next 15 years. Before any decisions are made, the company created specific requirements to be met for each city. Some of the requirements include a metropolitan area with over a million people, a time distance of 45 minutes from an international airport, direct access to public transportation, and to be able to expand 8 million square feet in the next decade.

The Unemployment rate is on the rise in Nashville. City officials have their sights set on the on the jobs that Amazon’s Second HQ will provide for 50,000 residents. “It is going to increase the size of the economy,” University of Tennessee Economist Bill Fox stated, “It is going to bring in a really highly skilled labor force that is not already there, a lot of community leaders. To have somebody with the worldwide vision of Amazon look at Nashville and say, ‘This is the place we want to be’ is really good for the brand.”

The aspect of new jobs may not be enough for some to welcome the online retailer with open arms. Residents of Nashville fear the new site would affect the housing market for low income families  in the process. “If you look at the size of Nashville, a headquarters like this bringing tens of thousands of jobs, it’s going to radically affect what the housing landscape looks like,” said Javier Vivas, Realtor.com’s director of economic research. Amazon’s decision creates an atmosphere for the conservation of gentrification not only for Nashville, but the other 19 cities in the running. “We have a housing crisis now and all this would do is throw gasoline on the fire,” said John Summers, a former Metro Council member who now leads the Coalition for Nashville Neighborhoods. “We cannot build affordable housing to replace what’s being lost by the rapid gentrification in all of our inner-city neighborhoods.”

The community of Nashville are now able to broadcast their opinions on Amazon. While state officials deal with the financial benefits, agencies and businesses within Nashville are now able to give insight on their city as well. This is why Amazon’s second HQ should choose Nashville.

If you are an agency from Nashville, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

Continue Reading

Business

Why Amazon’s Second Headquarters Should Choose Northern Virginia

Published

on

Amazon’s second headquarters

Among the top 20 shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters, Northern, Virginia is not a stranger to the massive tech company. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have frequently conducted business in the region. Bezos is known to own The Washington Post and Amazon’s cloud service AWS is situated in a huge data center in the northern Virginia region. It is no surprise that Northern, VA is listed on the list. This region proved to be a safe home for Bezos’ businesses, it would only make sense that Northern, VA is the next home for HQ2.

While the nation waits for the announcements of Amazon’s second headquarters, speculations rise as Amazon employees crowd ARLnow.com. The local news-source for Arlington Virginia have reported major traffic from an internal Amazon site. The article reporting the county’s green building council had received over 6,000 page views and 3,500 visitors from an Amazon web page that is only visible to Amazon employees. Amazon’s interest in the community’s dedication to sustainability is predicted to help the company’s future development of a sustainable building of their own.

The area is surrounded by copious international airports including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Richmond International Airport for Amazon’s consideration  of transportation. The bid for Amazon had reports of the Hub property as a potential site for Amazon’s second headquarters. This 85-acre undeveloped location is near the Dulles Airport, perfect for Amazon’s demands.

Amazon’s second headquarters

Amazon announced that they are developing a second headquarter of up to 8 million square feet in order to accommodate 50,000 workers. The plan to bring in 50,000 lucrative jobs to the new location will create billions of dollars in investment for the community. This opportunity for economic expansion does not come often, but neither does a perfect business location in Northern Virginia that is close to Bezos’ other businesses.

A possible site for Amazon’s second headquarters is on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun counties along Metro’s Silver Line. “We are very excited that Northern Virginia is included on the short list as a potential location for Amazon’s second headquarters,” spoke the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova. “Fairfax and Loudoun counties are able to offer a great quality of life coupled with an innovative and business friendly culture for future Amazon corporate neighbors and employees. With our highly educated and talented workforce and a location close to Dulles International Airport and a new Silver Line train station, we hope we will have the opportunity to welcome Amazon HQ2 to Virginia.”

Small businesses and agencies within Virginia are able share their professional insight to Amazon now as well. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Virginia.

If you are an agency from Virginia, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

Continue Reading

Trending