Microsoft is developing dedicated streaming hardware that people will be able to hook up to their TVs to use its Netflix-like cloud gaming service.
The company is betting the future of video games will be a subscription-based model where people pay a certain amount of money each month to get access to a plethora of titles.
Its Xbox Game Pass service does exactly that, offering access to a library of games developed both in-house and by third-party studios.
That’s mostly digital downloads, but last year streaming was added with Microsoft publicly releasing Xbox Cloud Gaming. The feature is sort of like a “Netflix for games,” allowing gamers to play games that are hosted on remote servers and then streamed to users over the internet.
A number of other companies have launched similar game-streaming services, including Google with Stadia and Amazon with Luna.
Now, Microsoft is aiming to push its cloud gaming product to other platforms. It started rolling out Xbox Cloud Gaming to some users via a web browser on iPhones, iPads and PCs in April (Microsoft couldn’t launch a proper mobile app for cloud gaming on Apple devices due to a dispute over App Store policies). And on Thursday, the company announced it wants to expand the service to TVs as well.
One way it plans to do that is by partnering with manufacturers to add cloud gaming to smart TVs. But Microsoft is also developing streaming devices that users can plug into their TV or computer monitor to stream games from the cloud. The company didn’t elaborate on what those devices could look like, though it’s reminiscent of Amazon’s Fire TV and Google’s Chromecast dongles, both of which now support cloud gaming.
In addition, Microsoft says it is working with mobile carriers like Telstra in Australia to offer new Xbox, subscription models. It’s also expanding cloud gaming to four new countries — Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan — later this year, and aims to publicly launch the browser-based version of the software to all members of its $15-a-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription in the coming weeks.
Microsoft said it plans to add cloud gaming to its new Xbox Series X console, which launched last November to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 5. In the next few weeks, the company will also upgrade the servers that power its cloud gaming service from its old Xbox One hardware to the Xbox Series X.
Microsoft competes aggressively with Sony when it comes to gaming. But it’s taking a different strategy to its Japanese counterpart. While Sony is known for blockbuster exclusives that can only be played on a PlayStation console, Microsoft is focusing on embedding its Xbox services onto multiple platforms, including mobile and PC.
Microsoft has been stepping up its investments in gaming, buying the iconic studio Bethesda for $7.5 billion in its biggest video game-related acquisition yet.
The company is holding a joint event with Bethesda on Sunday as part of the E3 gaming conference to show off new games, with fans speculating they will reveal some details about a hotly-anticipated sci-fi game called Starfield.
Jumia Grabs Opportunity for Black Friday Deals
Black Friday is a concept that originated in the United States, but the yearly retail fever has had a popularity boom across Africa in recent years, with customers moving to take advantage of the best deals that retailers have available.
Jumia, which is a marketplace with its focus placed on Africa quickly grabbed this opportunity when it first introduced the Black Friday event about nine years ago across its markets in Africa, focusing mainly on Egypt and Cairo which are the company’s top two cities when considering volume of orders.
Since its inception, the company has witnessed staggering levels of success with the event, and company data reveals that the love which consumers have for Black Friday has been increasing across the continent every year.
During the 2020 Black Friday event, the top sellers on the Jumia platform saw a 141% year-on-year increase in the amount of items sold, with one out of three clicks on average being a new customer. The company also said that it witnessed an increase in brand appetite across every one of Jumia’s 10 markets during last year’s sale, which lasted every Friday in November.
The trend is expected to continue this year’s version of Jumia’s Black Friday, as it is running from November 5 until November 30.
The company which is based in Nigeria has entered into partnerships with major brands like Adidas, HP, Unilever and Diageo, as well as with thousands of sellers in order to provide consumers the best deals on a very wide range of products.
The CEO of Jumia Nigeria, Massimiliano Spalazzi told Lagos-based Vanguard that the Black Friday programme has been a success every year, and is the biggest sale of the year.
He also stated that the 2021 Black Friday campaign will place focus on strengthening the company’s position as a brand within the African market, and providing support to the sellers.
NQR Payment Solution Excites Nigerians: Everyone Can Now Pay Sharp Sharp
Since the NQR payment solution was introduced to the Nigerian market in March of this year, it has reached millions of Nigerians across major markets in different states. Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Kano, Uyo, and Portharcourt are just a few of the states that have witnessed the fast seamless, and reliable NQR payment solution.
Business owners and customers across Nigeria have embraced NQR en masse as a result of the market penetration drive, citing the convenience, speed, and reliability of the payment option.
The NQR Payment Solution is a secure QR-code-based payments and collections platform that allows customers and business owners to accept and make payments for goods and services. The payment system will bring together all of the country’s closed QR code schemes for a more consistent user experience and faster digital adoption.
The campaign was led by several popular celebrities who thrilled the market crowds and showcased how the NQR works. Mercy Johnson, Mercy Aigbe, Odunlade Adekola, Real Warri Pikin, Saddiq Sani Saddiq, Bisola Aiyeola, and Nedu were a few of the ambassadors for NQR. They encouraged business owners to sign up for NQR, and encouraged customers to make payments with NQR.
The NQR payment solution team recently toured Southern Nigeria, with comedians Edo Pikin and Real Warri Pikin leading the train to sensitize the people about how the NQR merchant app works and how customers can #PaySharpSharp with live demonstrations.
NQR agents also went through the markets educating both business owners and customers about NQR’s benefits. Representatives from several commercial banks were also on ground to address business owners’ concerns. Everyone learned about the NQR payment system and had the opportunity to test it out as well as express their satisfaction with it.
NQR is now available in a store near you.
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