Misc news: Updates, WII U sales, NX predictions, Weather and the tech baffled.

I’ve a video arriving shortly with an incredibly interesting interview with Michael Horn, which I’ve put much attention into, its an important interview for me and I’m sure you’ll be impressed at how insightful and intelligent Michael is as well as the information which he has to offer being incredibly relevant to today.

I’ve watched the UK news on the figurative periphery these last few weeks and although I am in the North East of England for the Christmas period this year hoping for a peaceful and relaxing time, I see that even in the NE, its not completely avoided the storms which have hit the country.

A rambling on modern technology and the baffled.

My neighbour has a skill, the ability to break things.  If you gave him a calculator, he’d be able to identify a set of buttons that could crash the thing,  so it comes as no surprise that his purchase of an Android box would end in tears….mine that is.

Whilst we march into this digital revolution of everything being sold with a “smart” moniker; smartphone, smart TV etc, the list perhaps shows that whilst technology may be cheaper and easier to use, there is still a market to help those who when faced with a tech issue, have the ability to break even the most fool proof systems and the one thing that certainly can’t have the “smart” title is the average user.

518873630_c_294_220What part of “If anything goes wrong, leave it and give me a call” is difficult to understand?  Well in the case of my neighbour, the answer is all of it, because when a problem occurred with his Android Box (his net connection went down due to a fault at the local exchange) he started to press buttons.  Quite how he managed in his blind fumbling to reach the menu that reset the box to its factory settings, wiping everything that had been set up on his box, is anyone’s guess.

Suffice to say, my neighbour presented himself to me shortly afterwards, baffled and clutching a vanilla install Android box, to which yet again, I found myself going through the laborious task of getting it back to the way he wanted it.  Since this isn’t a business of mine and I do it out of kindness, I really hope there is such a thing as karma, because if there is, I’m due for a Bill Gates payout.  I have a confession too, when another neighbour presented similar issues to me, dealing with packages I have not used (but could have found out) I referred them to someone who repairs them for a living.

Have you ever tried to explain to the tech baffled that HD space and memory (RAM) are two separate things?  My advice is don’t bother trying, somewhere in recent times one tech hapless individual has declared to another tech hapless individual that the two are the same and its gone viral to all the other tech hapless individuals on the planet and it doesn’t stop there.  I recall with fondness trying to get one of these individuals to understand that a bootable linux USB stick was not a “computer” and could not be plugged into anything to perform as such.

This episode of tech deja vu got me thinking (as similar incidents occur with many people in my life), is that there some people (probably in their millions) who should have no involvement in technology at all.  Cast your eye over at the net result of the average person discovering computing.  We have Facebook drama’s, malware so simple in its deception yet millions falling victim.  Scams a plenty which would have any reasonably intelligent person saying “you’ve got to be kidding” yet millions of people giving out their details (or worse) for the promise of the good life in a random email by a person with a made up name.  Oh and you have the government and its associated agencies, baffled at the fact that people who have been learning with technology all their lives in education and as a hobby, are infinitely more advanced with it than they are.

Whilst its great there’s so many people using and interested in something which for a long time was considered “geeky”, is it not time we returned to the 80’s where the only people using computers and online were the ones who knew what they were doing?  I’d quite happily trade the world wide webs average user, for a quieter experience and be labelled a geek.

wii-u-top1Its time for the WII U!

I think customer loyalty is and always has been a transient thing in the tech world – If it wasn’t, after the NES took the world by storm in the 80’s we’d all be Nintendo owners now.  The market today sees people switching between console platforms (or having all) rather than in the 80’s and 90’s where people generally picked a “side” and stuck with it.

This Xmas (and the sales leading up to it) have, from my observations noticed that many retailers are selling out of the WII U (or at least showing very good sales) now its being bundled at a reduced price.  I checked Argos in the UK for an indicator of what was happening and whilst they still had consoles in stock, it seems the games like Mario Maker were sold out in all the stores that I looked at.  Maybe this is an indicator that there’s many a WII U under the Xmas tree?

I don’t personally think this is in any way indicative of a sway from PS4 or Xbox One, but more that at the lower price, it offers something a little different and good value and its now viable to own as a “as well as” console.

So what’s different about the WII U? Well there is no argument that the specs of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One are significantly higher than that of the WII U, but Nintendo offer something which is quite a draw – No subscription costs for online gaming for starters.  Secondly you have that controller/screen which makes 2 player games on one console all the better (no split screen needed).  You’ve also got the ability to move out of the room your console is in and play your games in another room (via the screen controller).

That’s not to mention the exclusives such as the much loved Mario series and Splatoon.

So whilst Nintendo might not be pleased with shifting consoles at a lower cost, as far as the users are concerned, this is great news, now, its not unreasonable to have two consoles to ensure you get the best possible gaming experience in the home, where the ideal choice (in my view) would be a PS4 and a WII U.

As a parent, I like the Nintendo market better too.  The games (generally) are far more suitable for younger players and often promote more creativity from the user.

I think Nintendo has an opportunity here to maybe make up for lost time and ensure that the titles planned for 2016 hit the market on time.

NX Rumour mill – my views.

I think over the last few years my predictions in the tech world speak for themselves as being accurate and on that note, here’s some more.  The NX will not be a handheld console.  I think Nintendo has seen that the “handheld” war has been won between Apple and Android devices and there’s no inclination or need on behalf of the users to move to another platform.  The NX may well have features enabling crossover between devices (tablet/phone -> NX) but a handheld? No.  It won’t happen.

As for release date, I don’t think it will be early 2016.  I think a summer release (at the earliest is reasonable) with a Xmas 2016 more likely.

No DVD/BluRay drive?  Yes, I can believe this, although I’d expect a huge HD as standard, I’m thinking 1/2tb.  And if Nintendo are going to release this without some innovative new piece of tech (such as the WII when it had it’s release) then its going to have to be considerably more powerful than the PS4.  The price will have to be considered too.  Look at the staying power of the PS3 and the popularity of the PS4.  I think this will be a major hurdle for a new console to overcome unless it is seriously over-spec’d compared to the market or priced at such a silly price, it makes no sense not to jump in.

The more I consider the 2016 release date, the more I doubt it.  Since in my view the 2016 came from reliable sources I’ll give my opinion pertaining to that rumour.  If I was to give my own view, I’d say Nintendo should not be considering this release until at least 2017.  Lets give the PS4 and Xbox One to hit the limits of their tech in games.  I’m not seeing this happening yet and just like on the PS3, even now, produces some titles way above that which was expected it could handle.

Give people time to want a new console, not thrust an alternative onto an established market, otherwise what will happen is that the new console won’t sell and when the established market goes for the upgrade they will again be looking at PS5 or Xbox Two which will most likely have better specs than the NX.  Maybe the biggest problem Nintendo have is that they are out of sync with the rest of the market (in terms of new console releases).  The NX may be better spec’d than the PS4, but when PS4 owners are asking for a new console, I’d be surprised if the NX matched up to the future specs of a PS5.  “Out of sync” in my view is Nintendo’s biggest issue here.

Tim.

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