It's more than Mario, it's more than nostalgia, and it's certainly more than gaming. The Nintendo Switch is quickly solidifying itself as not only a contender against Sony and Xbox - who seem to be racing to the same goal - but it will also be the best selling console for the 128-year-old Japanese manufacturer.
The Nintendo has always felt like an eccentric cousin to Sony and Xbox, offering motion controls and simplistic enjoyment over powerhouse performance and franchise first-person-shooter games. Looking at their history, nothing highlighted that more than the Wii. The massive success cornered a niche and set-up Nintendo for what should have been years of success. However, the Wii U hemorrhaged money and position itself as a more expensive version with less content.
That's what has made the Switch, such a hit. It is a brand new console that once again has captured a novel way of playing video games and has begun refreshing triple-A titles like Mario and Zelda. Despite rampant shortages, Nintendo has begun gearing up for high demand this holiday season.
"In short, our unique and differentiated proposition with Nintendo Switch is working," said Reggie Fils-Aimé, president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America. "We're seeing ongoing momentum and strong demand for the system, since our March launch, through the Black Friday weekend, and now well into the holiday period."
Brick-and-mortar retailers like GameStop had similar problems, and small weekly shipments sold out shortly after stores opened for business in the morning. Even today, customers hunting for the must-have holiday gadget are finding it hard to track down --but Fils-Aimé assured anxious consumers that Nintendo would be able to meet demand.
"Our supply chain is very robust," he said. "Product is arriving at stores and to our dot-com retailers literally every day."
Nevertheless, Fils-Aimé offered tips for anxious consumers still hunting for a Switch to fill out someone's holiday wish list.
"The best advice is to look across the full landscape of retail," he said. "I did that this morning, and at least here in the Pacific Northwest, you could go to a GameStop location near me and find the hardware. I looked online, and Target.com had Switch available. Some retailers might have it available in their physical stores, but not online. The trick is really to just look around. Do a little bit of homework. There is supply out in the marketplace right now."
Apple Buys Tip-of-the-Tongue Music Finding Service Shazam
It happens to the best of us. You are out at a restaurant, grocery store, or just driving around, and a song comes on. It hits you. It connects with you. Maybe it's brand new, maybe it's a wave of nostalgia. But what is the name of this beautiful song? You've heard it 1,000 times before. It's right there but you can't think of it.
Have no fear, Shazam has your back. Whip out your phone and ask Siri who is playing and recieve a result almost instantly. That's right, Apple is ready to be the exclusive source of information for iPhone users when trying to figure just who the heck sings Sailing or Tubthumping.
“We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple,” Shazam said in a statement to The Verge. “Shazam is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users and we can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users.”
The $400 million dollar deal is far less than Shazam's $1 billion valuation last funding, but the partnership should be fruitful for Apple. The most obvious would be with Apple Music, where Shazam’s team could help improve the experience of the service. If Apple decides to shut down the app, it would also take away referrals to Spotify, which together with Apple Music gets 1 million clicks per day from Shazam. Also, Shazam’s music and sound recognition, which is already integrated with Siri, could gain a deeper integration with iOS, much like Google has done with its song recognition feature on the Pixel.
Apple is also likely interested in Shazam’s augmented reality technology, which could help improve its own offerings. Shazam has visual recognition tech and an AR platform for brands that could help in the development of a Google Lens-type feature and improve its ARKit efforts.
The deal should close in the coming weeks pending regulatory approval.
So Apple are buying Shazam for $400 million?? What idiots, they can get it for free on the App store.
— Scampi (@lmScampi) December 12, 2017
The Best of the Rest:
- Pixel and Pixel 2 cameras have been updated with AR stickers, giving a preview of what's in store for the augmented reality in general. It's definitely pointless, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. Then again, that's kind of been the mantra for VR from the start.
- The $4,999 iMac Pro will finally go on sale December 14th, after being hyped big time at their annual keynote. Apple's latest iMac Pro sports 18-cores, a Radeon Pro Vegas series GPU, and a massive 5K resolution. It might just be the strongest prosumer computer on the market when it launches.