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Microsoft says the Xbox Series X and Series S had the 'biggest launch in Xbox history' – MobileSyrup

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Microsoft says the release of the Xbox Series X and S are the “biggest launch in Xbox history” in terms of sales.

The recently published blog post written by Liz Hamren, Microsoft’s CVP of gaming experiences and platforms, says that more Xbox Series X and Series S console sold in the first 24 hours of release than any previous Xbox console generation, amounting to the “highest percentage” of new players at launch. The tech giant, unfortunately, has not revealed specific sales statistics for its new consoles.

In some sense, this isn’t surprising given that it’s been several years since Microsoft has revealed official Xbox One sales figures.

That said, video game industry analyst Daniel Ahmad recently tweeted that the Xbox One sold over oje million units in 24 hours when it launched in 13 markets back in November of 2013. If the Series X and Series S are indeed the fastest-selling Xbox consoles ever released, this means they sold over one million consoles, though this time in 37 markets instead of 13.

Hamren also says there are over 3,594 titles spanning four Xbox console generations available on the Series X/S at launch. While Microsoft’s commitment to backwards compatibility is admirable, and this is an undeniably impressive number, the console features very few notable titles at launch.

In fact, NBA 2K21 — which is also available on the PlayStation 5 is the only major game built from the ground up to take advantage of the Series X’s power. It’s important to note that the delay of Halo Infinite until 2021 was a huge blow to the Xbox Series X/S’ launch lineup.

The blog post also mentions that 70 percent of Xbox Series X and Series S consoles are “attached” to either a new or existing Xbox Game Pass membership. Again, while an impressive number, it would be interesting to see Microsoft break out how many new subscribers Game Pass gained following the Xbox Series X/S’ release.

Game Pass offers instant access to several first-party Xbox titles, giving subscribers an instant library of current and future games.

Game Pass for Console and Game Pass for PC cost $11.99 per month, while Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Xbox and PC Games, as well as Xbox Live Gold, EA Play, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly called xCloud), costs $16.99.

Check out our full reviews of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Sony’s competing PlayStation 5 console launched on November 13th. The company has yet to release any information regarding the PS5’s day-one sales.

Source: Xbox, @ZhugeEX 

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

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Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

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EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)

 

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

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Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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