Apple is selling less hardware, the Nintendo NX is probably a home/portable hybrid, Pokemon Go Plus gets delayed, Twitter for Android gets a Night Mode, and possibly the happiest gamer in the world.
Apple Hardware Sales Are In Decline
Apple has reported its earnings for Q3 2016, and while things are still ticking along nicely, the company’s hardware has taken a major hit. Thankfully apps and services are filling the void, allowing Apple to keep making billions of dollars.
Quarterly revenue was down, from $49.61 billion last year to $42.4 billion this year. Quarterly net income was also down, from $10.7 billion last year to $7.8 billion this year. Falling hardware sales can be blamed for this, with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac all taking a hit.
Apple sold 40.4 million iPhones during the last quarter, down 15% from the 47.5 million iPhones sold during the same quarter last year. Sales of iPads dropped 10.5% from 10.9 million last year to 10 million this year, and sales of Mac dropped 8.3% from 4.8 million last year to 4.3 million this year. So, Apple is failing (relatively speaking) when it comes to products.
However, on the flip side, Apple is succeeding when it comes to services, bringing in $6 billion during the last quarter, a rise of 19% year-on-year. The App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud are all generating serious amounts of money, and Tim Cook stated that the company expects services alone to be “the size of a Fortune 100 company next year”.
So, what does this all mean? 1. That Apple needs to deliver exciting upgrades of all three of its major product lines in the near future, which it failed to do in 2015. 2. That services are an increasingly important revenue stream for the company, so expect to invest more heavily in that side of the business going forward.
The Nintendo NX Is Probably a Tablet
Nintendo has been working on its next major games console ever since it became clear the Wii U wasn’t a hit with consumers. Codenamed the Nintendo NX, we’re expecting the Japanese company to unveil the new hardware later this year for release next year. In the meantime, the rumors are starting to coalesce.
A new report from Eurogamer seems to support earlier rumors that the NX will be a hybrid home and portable gaming system. According to its sources, the NX will be a handheld, tablet-like device with detachable controllers and a docking station allowing for gaming on a TV.
— Tom Phillips @ EGX (@tomphillipsEG) July 26, 2016
If true, the NX would be an extremely versatile gaming platform, allowing for single-player gaming on the go, using either a touchscreen or a controller, multiplayer gaming on the go, using controllers, and all of the above (and maybe more) at home. And all of this using small DS-like cartridges.
Nintendo needs the NX to succeed. The original Wii was a huge success against the odds, but the Wii U spectacularly failed to set the world alight. If Nintendo gets this right then it could finally bring its unrivaled portable prowess into the home. Unfortunately, we’re unlikely to know the truth for at least another few months.
Pokemon Go Plus Gets Delayed
Nintendo has delayed the release of Pokemon Go Plus to September. The Nintendo-made peripheral was originally meant to be released in late July, but Nintendo has now pushed that back by at least one month. The assumption has to be this is because of the phenomenal success of the game, with the delay allowing Nintendo to ramp up production.
Pokemon Go is a smartphone game everyone and their grandmother has been playing. But while a company called Niantic developed the game, Nintendo is responsible for the Pokemon Go Plus peripheral. This is a Bluetooth-enabled wearable which lets you play the game without having your phone out on display at all times. It’s expected to retail for $34.99.
Twitter for Android Gets a Night Mode
Twitter has added a Night Mode to the official Twitter for Android app. This basically switches the UI from dark text on a light background to light text on a dark background. So, it’s not particularly innovative, but it is a very welcome feature.
— Twitter (@Twitter) July 26, 2016
Although I once argued that websites with dark backgrounds suck, there are times when such design choices are rather useful. At nighttime without an external light source, for example. Sadly, there is no word yet on this feature also coming to Twitter for iOS.
Laughing at the Heavy Rain QTEs
And finally, while video games are, for the most part at least, fun, they’re not usually particularly funny. Unless things go wrong, usually due to bugs that weren’t fixed during testing, at which point moments of hilarity can ensue. However, Heavy Rain is a strange beast, as its core gameplay actually prompts laughs.
Heavy Rain, for the uninitiated, is a Quantic Dream game first released in 2010. It was a story-driven title, with plenty of QTEs (Quick-Timer Events) determining the outcomes of various scenes. Like the one in this video, which saw your character chasing a suspect through the streets.
If you got the QTEs right then your character had a painless time of it all. But get them wrong and your character had a very bad day indeed. This video shows a compilation of what would happen if someone mistimed every single QTE and got to carry on playing. And it’s all made better by the laughter of someone watching it play out. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you think Apple’s hardware sales will bounce back? If the rumors are true, will you be buying a Nintendo NX? Are you planning on upgrading to Pokemon Go Plus? Do you scroll through Twitter while in bed? What’s the funniest scene from a video game you have ever seen?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: Cave Canem via Flickr