Over the weekend Microsoft announced to the media it would be hosting a ‘major’ announcement after the bell on Monday. The announcement was shrouded in secrecy and across the internet rumors were rampent. As the presentation began Steve Ballmer came on to the stage and started touting Microsoft’s Windows software as the “most flexible software ever created” and that “Windows has exceded our expectations” and now “powers over a billion PCs”. Ballmer goes on to say “with Windows 8, we did not want to leave any seam uncovered. We wanted to give it its own companion innovation.” Then he introduced the new Microsoft Surface tablet PC.
The Microsoft Surface is 9.3mm thick and has a scratch resistant liquid metal case, with a stand built into the device. The presenter touts it as having the best WiFi and briefly connects to Netflix and the movie loads almost immediately. It also has HDMI and the cover has a 3mm touch keyboard attached. The Surface has a 10.6″ HD display and stylus pen that allows the user to write on it using ‘digital ink’. The presenters all call the Surface a PC and were very careful not to call it a ‘tablet’. Click here to read all of Microsoft’s Major Announcements.
Xbox 720 by 2013?
A document has been floating around the internet lately that is allegedly Microsoft’s internal discussion of the next incarnation of the Xbox. Of course questions have been raised about the legitimacy of the document and whether the information in it is factual.
Several writers and analysts covering Microsoft have said that they believe it to be authentic. The document which was leaked a few months ago, also mentions Microsoft SmartGlass, which debuted at the E3 event just a couple weeks ago. The report was supposedly written in August of 2010 and provides information about some of the technical specs and features of the new Xbox.
The document calls the new console “Xbox 720″ and projects a release date of 2013. It also details the release of Kinect V2 and augmented reality glasses. The starting price point is said to be $299.99 and the Xbox 720 will include some features which its competitors already have such as Blue Ray compatibility.
From a business standpoint there are a couple interesting statements in the document. For one Microsoft expects Sony to release its next generation Playstation in 2013. The company expects the Playstation 4 to be priced at $399 or less and the Wii 2 (or Wii U as it was recently announced) to be priced at $249 or less.
The document looks somewhat unprofessional but it appears to use Microsoft’s Power Point style utilized on other internal memos. It is also a relatively extensive document by someone who knows the business very well, so if it is a fake, it’s convincing. It’s 56 pages long and mentions some employees by name.
Attorney’s for Microsoft have apparently managed to get a lot of the copies removed from the internet, however GameInformer.com kept one which can be downloaded in pdf format here – Microsoft Memo. Check it out for yourself and tell me whether it’s real or fake in the comments section below this article.
GameStop (GME) is a leading retailer of used video games and used video game consoles in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK. The company’s stock has taking a significant beating recently along with many other companies in the video game space. There are many reasons why the sector has been so weak and several other names have been hurt as well.
Electronic Arts (EA) has nearly been cut in half over the past six months. Another top player Activision (ATVI) is at the low end of an $11 to $13 six month trading range. However several of the ongoing industry wide factors driving down video game manufacturers and retailers are coming to an end. The end of this cycle and changes in the video game business have created buying opportunity in some of these companies, GameStop specifically has a huge potential upside.
The change in the video game business affecting GameStop the most was the rumor of the Sony (SNE) Playstation 4 being released as a fully online console. While game makers could still make physical disks, once the game was put into the console the player would then have to input a code to activate the game. After the code was successfully entered the game disk would only work on that specific console. This would mean gamers could no longer trade games, borrow games from friends and most importantly for GameStop, sell their used games. Read the full article here