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PC gaming is not quite dead, generates $18.6 billion in 2011

The latest report from the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA) paints a different picture to the "PC gaming is dying/dead" argument, citing record software sales reaching $18.6 billion in 2011, a 15-percent increase over 2010.

 

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This increase in sales, is said to be attributed to China, where they're seeing a growth twice as fast as the global market, generating $6 billion for a 27-percent jump on-year. Surprisingly, no geographical market declined in sales, with the US, UK, Germany, Korea and Japan seeing a nice 11-percent boost to $8 billion in revenue.

 

PCGA does not that free-to-play games provided a very nice slice of that profit pie, with Zynga alone reporting $1.1 billion in sales. The report reads:

 

The PC gaming juggernaut continues unabated, across the industry and geographic boundaries. While reports of gaming sales at retail show signs of struggle, the impact hasn't been as great for PC gaming which had an earlier adoption of newer formats, business-models and delivery...

 

This is something quite surprising, given the state of the economies of the world. People find solace in gaming, instead of going out and spending at retail, on cars, houses, etc. Gaming is an escape from the crumbling world around us. So, PC gaming isn't dying, but it is changing. We've seen a departure from the bleeding-edge graphics, next-gen graphics engines outed every 12 or so months, mod-friendly platforms, "hardcore" gameplay, and so on.

Continue reading 'PC gaming is not quite dead, generates $18.6 billion in 2011' (full post)

Valve Corporation is now worth $3 billion, Gabe is worth $1.5 billion or more

Forbes has a nice article out, where they've stated that Valve co-founder and managing director, Gabe Newell is one of the richest people on the planet, with an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion, he ranks in at 854th out of 1,226 global billionaires.

 

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Newell made his debut on Forbes' list of world billionaires, as Valve had a smash-hit 2011. Valve had massive success in both in-house developed games such as Portal 2, but as a game distributor, where Steam doubles its sales for the seventh straight year, and now features over 40 million users.

 

With the "most conservative estimates", Valve's enterprise value sits at more than $3 billion, and because Newell owns more than 50-percent of the company, he is worth in excess of $1.5 billion. The privately-held Valve Corporation are hush-hush when it comes to revenues, and Newell himself doesn't comment on his personal finances. So, Forbes consulted with video game industry insiders, equity analysts, investment bankers, and technology analysts to figure out just how much Valve is worth.

Continue reading 'Valve Corporation is now worth $3 billion, Gabe is worth $1.5 billion or more' (full post)

NVIDIA intro new GeForce logo, brings sexy back, yeah!

NVIDIA has had their current GeForce logo for quite a while now, and most of you won't remember how long, so here we go: since the introduction of the GeForce 8800 GTX. Even I forgot how long it had been until now.

 

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Pictured above, is the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX logo, and as we can see, there's some serious capitilization there to emphasize the name itself, so instead of saying "NVIDIA GeForce GTX", it'll be the "NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX". If this were a forum or Reddit, people would be telling NVIDIA to turn off their caps lock, because they're shouting.

 

The new GEFORCE GTX logo is NVIDIA's new way of pointing out that these graphics cards are for serious gamers, with the GPUs starting at around $150, going all the way up to the dual-GPU GK110 card that we should see in the coming months. I love it, personally. It looks 'new', compared to the older logo, and feels very 2012 for some reason.

 

Nice job, NVIDIA.

The US has filed paperwork to extradite Kim Dotcom from New Zealand

The US is hungry for blood over the MegaUpload debacle, and now US prosecutors have filed papers that seek the extradition of Kim Dotcom, founder of MegaUpload, along with three colleagues, who are charged in the US with allegedly running a criminal enterprise responsible for online piracy of copyrighted goods.

 

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The extradition papers jumped over the pond on Friday and found themselves on the desk of the North Shore District Court in Auckland, New Zealand, confirmed by the country's Ministry of Justice's spokeswoman said on Monday, according to PCWorld. It was decided on Wednesday by the High Court of New Zealand, Auckland Registry that Dotcom could stay free on bail, after government prosecutors acting on behalf of US authorities appealed a February 22 decision of the District Court to grant Dotcom bail.

 

The judge has said that he understands the extradition hearing won't take place until August, and also observed that for Dotcom "to be incarcerated for another six months awaiting the extradition hearing, the risk of flight has to be a real one". Dotcom has an electronic monitoring device monitoring his every move, which was one of his bail conditions, which has reduced the risk of flight, he said. He added:

Continue reading 'The US has filed paperwork to extradite Kim Dotcom from New Zealand' (full post)

AMD sells GloFo shares to ATIC for a cool $425 million

Just three years after spinning its semiconductor manufacturing arm into a separate entity called GlobalFoundries (or, GloFo), AMD is now giving up the remaining shares they hold of the company to Abu Dhabi-based Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC).

 

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The deal was announced late-Sunday, which includes a $425 million payment by AMD to GloFo over two years, as well as a renegotiated wafer pricing deal. This year, both firms have agreed on a fixed water pricing under a "take or pay" arrangements. On top of this, they've also established a framework for wafter pricing in 2013, as well as agreeing that AMD's additional 2012 quarterly payment obligations specified in the 2011 amendment, totalling $430 million, will be waived.

 

Still, AMD continues to be one of GlobalFoundries' key customers, with the breakup giving AMD more flexibility in sourcing its chips. It also gives GloFo a better position to diversify its customer base. One of the first things to come from this newly-formed deal, is that AMD are now no longer bound by an exclusive arrangement to manufacture their 28nm-based APUs at GlobalFoundries, something that has been rumored since November due to a slow, low-yield production ramp.

Kodak sell online photo gallery to Shutterfly, snaps up $23.8 million

Kodak have just recently entered into an agreement with Shutterfly, where they'll sell their online photo sharing service to them for $23.8 million. The deal includes Kodak transferring more than 75 million Gallery customer accounts and associated images in the US and Canada, on top of Kodak overseeing the deal to ensure a smooth transition.

 

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Kodak Gallery is similar to Shutterfly, where it manages online photo galleries and allows customers to print photo books and stationary. When the sale is fully complete, Kodak customers that do not wish to have their photos and personal data handed over to Shutterfly do have options. They can opt to download all of their saved content, or have Kodak make their data available for purchase via DVD.

 

The deal is not 100-percent yet, as Shutterfly have entered into a stalking horse bid with Kodak for the online gallery. A stalking horse agreement, has the debtor (Kodak) essentially testing the market in advance of an auction to maximize the value of an asset. This allows other companies to submit competing bids for Kodak Gallery before the company seeks Bankruptcy Court approval for sale and auction by late-March.

Intel create $100 million fund for Internet-aware car technology

Ever wanted to buy a car with an 'Intel Inside' sticker on it? Well, soon you'll be able to. Intel is creating a new venture fund to invest in companies that develop technologies used in cars and other powered vehicles.

 

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Intel is planning on putting $100 million into the fund over the next four-to-five years, promising research for automotive hardware, software, and services. The investments could be for a range of things, from navigation to in-car entertainment systems.

 

Intel is wanting to bust out of the bubble they've created for themselves with a market of processors for laptops and PCs. We can see this as they want to get into the smartphone and tablet market, but now cars? Sales of computing products is expected to decline over time as domestic and global markets become saturated. This should be translated to "because people don't need faster upon faster desktop processors as their dual- or quad-core smartphones and tablets are more than powerful enough'.

Continue reading 'Intel create $100 million fund for Internet-aware car technology' (full post)

Blizzard cut 600 of their staff, reportedly from their customer service department

Blizzard have reportedly axed 600 positions from their global workforce, they announced earlier today. The layoffs reportedly come as a result of reviews of the company's organizational structure, with the press release stating:

 

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Approximately 90% of the affected employees will come from departments not related to game development. The World of Warcraft development team will not be impacted.

 

An ex-Blizzard employee who is familiar with the organizational issues explained to Vox Games that the layoffs are predominately from customer service. This is because over the years Blizzard have automated some of these positions, such as the reclaiming of compromised accounts, has now led to increased efficiency of each customer service representative.

Continue reading 'Blizzard cut 600 of their staff, reportedly from their customer service department' (full post)

WD will swap a few HDD assets with Toshiba, edges closer to Hitachi GST merger

Western Digital has just announced they've reached an agreement with Toshiba Corporation to divest certain hard drive manufacturing assets in order to meet the requirements of regulatory agencies reviewing the company's close-but-not-quite-there acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST).

 

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Within the deal itself, Toshiba will acquire manufacturing and released IP from WD for 3.5-inch hard drives, as well as the firm's near-line storage unit for server application use. WD has also announced they've agreed, subject to completion of the divestiture transaction, to purchase Toshiba Storage Device Thailand (TSDT), a hard drive manufacturing facility that has not resumed operations since the 2011 Thailand floods.

 

WD plan to slide TSDT facilities and employees into existing operations in Thailand. Financially, nothing is known from these agreements, yet.

AMD acquires SeaMicro, wants to float into the cloud micro-server market

AMD is entering what they're calling a 'disruptive server strategy', where they've just acquired an Intel micro-server partner, SeaMicro. Until now, SeaMicro had been building micro-servers using Intel's Sandy Bridge, or Atom-based processors.

 

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AMD have reportedly paid $344 million for SeaMicro, and is set to use them to push itself into the server market as a component, and also, hardware supplier. This is a setback for Intel, as SeaMicro's server designs were flexible enough to accommodate up to 786 Atom processors in one server.

 

SeaMicro won't even need to have any special configurations to support AMD's x86-based chips and are flexible enough to accept ARM-based chips as well as MIPS-based processors. SeaMicro and Intel were quite close, where SeaMicro had been Intel's main partner in the burgeoning micro-server market, which has been forecasted to take 10-percent of the total server market by 2015.

 

AMD CEO Rory Read has said:

 

We are accelerating AMD's transformation into an agile, disruptive innovator capable of staking a data center leadership position. The unmatched combination of AMD's processing capabilities, SeaMicro's system and fabric technology, and our ambidextrous technology approach uniquely positions AMD with a compelling, differentiated position to attack the fastest growing segment of the server market.

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