Huawei guns for top smartphone spot

HuaweiHuawei continues to retain resilience in a crowded and competitive global economic environment, aiming to become the top global smartphone vendor in five years’ time, according to ABI Research.

Its successive year-on-year rises in smartphone shipments particularly impressive, as Huawei managed to achieve its high ranking without effectively breaking out of its home market. To become a global electronics brand, the company will need to gain a strong foothold in the US and western European markets, but runs the risk of falling victim to the same plights as its larger competitors.

“Ranking by volume as third largest global smartphone vendor, Huawei is attempting to expand its reach by creating its own chipsets and mobile operating system based on Android. It may succeed with chipsets, but many other competitors tried similar OS development tactics in the past to no avail. It will be tough for Huawei to achieve this goal, even with improved global brand strength and volume gains,” said David McQueen, Research Director of ABI Research.

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Mobile gaming fuelling gaming market growth

abi researchRising demand for mobile games is driving the video game market to reach US$80 billion in 2020, up from under US$70 billion last year, according to ABI Research.

Traditional PC and console segments, on the other hand, will see a one- to two-percent annual growth.

Triple-A titles have the potential to dramatically change a developer/publisher’s financials, but gaming’s long tail is equally important to the continued growth of the industry. This is particularly true in the mobile space where a hit title can catapult a mobile game developer into the upper echelons of the market — as was true for developers such as King Digital (Candy Crush Saga) and Supercell (Clash of Clans).

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Sony follows Microsoft into China gaming console market

Though made in China, gaming consoles were banned in the country from 2000. That has since changed with the lifting of the ban last year, which allows gaming console makers in a free trade zone in Shanghai to sell to China.

This has prompted Microsoft, and this week, Sony to announce that they will be entering the gaming console market.

Microsoft plans to ship the Xbox One in September through a joint venture. And Sony intends to do likewise with two joint ventures with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development. It’s not only the international big boys that are keen on a slice of this pie. Huawei Technologies, TCL and ZTE are reportedly among Chinese companies keen to enter the market with Android-based consoles.

Global video game market to reach US$93b

GartnerThe worldwide video game marketplace, which includes video game console hardware and software, online, mobile and PC games, will reach US$93 billion in 2013, up from $79 billion in 2012, according to Gartner.

Driven by strong mobile gaming and video game console and software sales, the market is forecast to hit US$111 billion by 2015.

Mobile games are the fastest-growing segment of the market, with revenue set to nearly double between 2013 and 2015 from US$13.2 billion to US$22 billion.

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Microsoft Xbox One tops ABI Research’s Game Console Competitive Assessment

Microsoft Xbox One consoleThe gaming console market is highly competitive with Microsoft just edging Sony for the top position in ABI Research’s game console Competitive Assessment, based on expectations for the impact of Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One game consoles.

ABI Research evaluated a number of companies across three device categories: game consoles, smart set-top boxes, and TVs/Blu-ray players. Several factors were used to score each company based on two main axes of Innovation and Implementation. The assessment provides deep insight into consumer electronics ecosystems and modern video experiences in the connected home.

Sony fell to second in the game console assessment in part because key PlayStation 4 (PS4) differentiators such as cloud gaming are still untested (and won’t be fully available at launch), but largely because Microsoft has shown more features on the broader entertainment front (eg hybrid premium/OTT services). Nintendo secured the third position but a significant gap remains between it and market leaders.

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Smart watches poised to take off in 2014

CanalysFancy a new accessory? How about a smart watch? It looks like smart watches are going to be the next “must have” item. According to Canalys, the worldwide smart watch market will exceed five million units in 2014.

Canalys estimates that over 330,000 smart watches were shipped in 2012, led by Sony and Motorola. Kickstarter-backed Pebble Technology has joined Sony as a market leader in 2013. More than half a million units will be shipped this year. Smart watches are then set to explode by the end of 2014, growing tenfold as a new generation of devices from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and others are launched.

Unlike earlier products, these smart watches will provide more sophisticated software and more elegant hardware. Glanceable information, integration across sensors and hooks into web services will be key features. These companion devices will not replace smart phones, but rather complement them as ‘appcessories’.

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New NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs extend battery life, enhance performance, enrich experience

GeForce 700MFive new NVIDIA notebook GPUs deliver a trifecta of technologies that seamlessly and automatically maximise a consumer’s notebook performance and experience. With no effort or input from the notebook user, the technologies work in the background to save battery life, enhance performance and enrich the visual experience — providing the best notebook experience the GPU can deliver. They include:

  • New NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 technology, which intelligently adjusts GPU clock speed to maximise graphics performance.
  • NVIDIA Optimus technology, which enables extra-long battery life by switching the GPU on and off so it runs only when needed.
  • GeForce Experience™ software, which adjusts in-game settings for the best performance and visual quality specific to a user’s notebook and keeps GeForce drivers up to date.

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NVIDIA PhysX and APEX support Sony’s PlayStation 4

NVIDIANVIDIA has announced support for Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation 4 with the popular NVIDIA PhysX and NVIDIA APEX software development kits (SDKs).

Game designers use PhysX and APEX technologies for collision detection and simulation of rigid bodies, clothing, fluids, particle systems and more across a wide range of platforms, including desktop PCs, game consoles, and mobile and handheld devices.

NVIDIA PhysX technology is the world’s most pervasive physics solution for designing real-time, real-world effects into interactive entertainment titles. The PhysX development environment gives developers unprecedented control over the look of their final in-game interactivity.

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NVIDIA announces new camera capabilities with Chimera

ChimeraAvailable in the NVIDIA Tegra 4 family of mobile processors, the NVIDIA Chimera Computational Photography Architecture offers a number of features never before available on mobile devices, including always-on high-dynamic range (HDR) photos and videos, HDR panoramic and persistent tap-to-track capabilities.

Previous mobile device architectures have made it difficult to use the best tools for different parts of complex image processing. Chimera architecture removes those boundaries by providing the power to conduct nearly 100 billion mathematical operations per second to perform image processing, using computational techniques used in X-ray CT scanners, deep space telescopes and spy satellites.

“We developed the Chimera Computational Photography Architecture to take mobile photography far beyond where it is today,” said Brian Cabral, Vice President of Computation Imaging at NVIDIA. “We’re enabling developers and users to not only use image processing to enhance their photos, but also use computer algorithms to create images no lens can capture alone.”

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