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GDC 2019: Google’s new service could be ‘Netflix’ for video games
Posted on 19th March 2019
This week, more than 25,000 members of the video game industry are scheduled to descend on San Francisco for the geeky, and often sleepy, an annual gathering known as the Game Developers Conference.

This year, though, more people than usual are paying attention. Google is set to unveil a video game service, codenamed Project Stream, that will reportedly allow people to play Fortnite and other modern titles in a web browser or on a television using inexpensive hardware. If it’s successful, the system might herald the biggest shift in the $180 billion a year global gaming market since Super Mario jumped from arcades to the living room.

Google has been privately testing Project Stream since last fall and just touted its announcement planned for Tuesday with a video trailer. The service will deliver games on demand, rather than as downloads, and is expected to support even the most fast-twitch and graphic-rich games, without the need for a PlayStation, Xbox or other high-end game consoles. It’s unclear whether it will work with existing Google devices like Chromecast or Google Home, or whether it will require players to buy new hardware.

Nevertheless, the project is already being heralded as a portent of the industry’s future, where games are streamed over the internet and a new phalanx of heavyweights could dominate—not just Google but Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and maybe even telecoms. The major cloud providers control massive data centres, lightning-fast content delivery networks and other assets that allow them to reduce the lag associated with playing games over the internet. “Cloud gaming creates this moment in the industry where the multi-billion-dollar companies like Google and Amazon have a chance to buy their way in, in the same way, they’ve done in video and music,” says Joost van Dreunen, a managing director at market research firm Nielsen.

Google isn’t the only company that sees an opportunity in creating a sort of Netflix for video games. Nvidia Corp., a chipmaker not known for its consumer products, was one of the first to sell a streaming-games console based on Google’s Android. Amazon, meanwhile, has been busy hiring gaming veterans like the man responsible for the Command & Conquer franchise.

The game industry’s current juggernauts are looking to fortify their positions from a possible shift to streaming. Sony Corp. has offered a subscription service for years called PlayStation Now. Electronic Arts Inc. acquired a streaming business last year and is building a platform called Project Atlas. Last week, Microsoft Corp. showed off a demo of something called Project xCloud, which will allow gamers to play cutting-edge games like online racer Forza Horizon 4 from just about any device with a screen and an internet connection.

Analysts suggest companies with technical expertise in cloud infrastructure will be better-equipped to compete. One lingering question is around business models. Will Google and its new rivals sell games individually or offer access to a large library via subscription, a la Netflix?

We’ll find out for sure on Tuesday, but Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter believes the major game publishers aren’t quite ready to sacrifice profit margins to try something new. Like movie studios, game makers will likely view subscription revenue as cannibalistic to their main business of selling games, he says. Publishers typically offer up older games or lower-profile releases through the current crop of streaming products. As the tepid response to those services show, gamers want access to the newest, hottest titles. “Everyone wants to be the Netflix of games, but I’m utterly confident it won’t work,” Pachter says.

However, he hastens to add that new cloud gaming services could expand the market, rather than steal share from existing options. “There are a couple billion people out there with internet access and only 250 million consoles,” Pachter says. “This could at least double the industry.”


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This helicopter company stock zooms 112% in six weeks
Posted on 18th April 2019
Shares of Global Vectra Helicorp surged 9 per cent to Rs 127 in the intra-day trade on Thursday, gaining 53 per cent in the last one week on the BSE, on expectation of strong earnings growth. The stock was trading close to its 52-week high of Rs 131 on April 23, 2018 on the BSE.

In past three weeks, the stock has rallied 112 per cent from level of Rs 60.30 on March 8, 2019, as compared to 7 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.


Hyundai eyes leadership position in compact SUV segment: MD
Posted on 18th April 2019
Hyundai Motor India is eyeing a leadership position in the compact SUV segment in the country with its upcoming model Venue, a top company official said.

The company will face stiff competition in the sub-4 metre compact SUV segment from the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Motors Nexon, Mahindra XUV300 and Honda WR-V.


Mahindra, Ford to co-develop mid-sized SUV for India, emerging markets
Posted on 18th April 2019
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Ford Motor Company on Thursday said they have signed a definitive agreement to co-develop a mid-sized SUV for India and other emerging markets.

The new agreement reinforces the steady progress made since the announcement of a strategic alliance between the two companies in September 2017, followed by an announcement on powertrain sharing and connected car solutions in October 2018.


JustDial data leak exposed personal details of 100 million users: IT expert
Posted on 18th April 2019
Justdial, a company that provides local search for different services in India over voice calls and internet, suffered a data breach last week that compromised the personal details of 100 million users, according to independent cyber-security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia.

Inc42 quoted a senior JustDial executive on Monday as saying that the company is investigating the alleged loopholes in its database and that the company's systems are foolproof.


Now, Mamata Banerjee objects to no non-veg on Air India
Posted on 18th April 2019
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a new attack front against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and registered a delayed protest against the decision to stop serving non-vegetarian food to economy class passengers of Air India's domestic flights.

Air India does not serve non-vegeterian food in economy class. Only business class passengers are entitled to have chicken. Why will Modi babu decide what others will eat? the firebrand leader lashed out when addressing a public meeting at Kandi in Murshidabad.


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