By Wares May 01, 2017 VR, computing & games

A round-up of some of the latest local and international VR, computing & games category news

  • ANZACs love to Switch – Nintendo Switch sold more units during its launch weekend across Australia and New Zealand than any other Nintendo hardware. What’s more, launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, not only saw the best ever launch weekend sales in the series’ 30-year history but is now also the biggest-selling Nintendo hardware launch title ever in this region, even outselling Wii Sports (previously the biggest-selling Nintendo launch title ever in this region) in terms of first weekend sales.
  • Oh Brother! – Brother monochrome printers and multifunction centres (MFC) have been named Buyers Laboratory (BLI) Line of the Year for 2017. BLI is an independent provider of analytical information and services to the digital imaging and document management industry. Buyers around the globe rely on BLI to help them differentiate products’ strengths and weaknesses and make the best purchasing decisions.
  • Good Karma for Noel’s – The Go Pro Karma, the only drone custom-built for Go Pro (right), is now available for pre-order in New Zealand for the first time, exclusively through Noel Leeming as the only authorised New Zealand retailer. It comes in two package options, with a Go Pro Hero 5 camera ($1,949) or without ($1,449). The go date is 7 May.

Who’s the boss in detachables?

Data from IDC on the New Zealand market for detachable tablets (those with a detachable keyboard designed to function as a standalone slate tablet as well as a clamshell device) indicates that Apple has overtaken Microsoft – by a single percentage point.

Apple captured the top spot in 2016, with a total market share of 32%. In number two was Microsoft, with a total market share of 31%. This is the first year since 2013 that Microsoft has not held the highest full year shipments share in the detachable market.

A total of 80,000 detachables were shipped in to the New Zealand market in 2016, growth of around 45% year on year.

HP (9%), Samsung (7%), and Acer (7%) made up the remaining top five vendors for the year, with the rest of the market accounting for less than 15% of shipments.

IDC NZ says Microsoft is facing increasing competition from the wide range of detachable models, running Windows but at a lower price point, which appeal to price-focused Kiwis. In this respect, another factor in its loss of leadership has been its move upmarket with its Surface product.

In 2017, IDC forecasts detachables to grow by 25-30%, before beginning to flatten off as the “wow factor” of detachable models reduces.


Kiwi games market still walking away from traditional retailers

In 2016, New Zealand digital and mobile game sales were worth more than double the value of traditional retail sales, according to the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA).

New Zealand video and computer games revenues in 2016 comprised $125 million in traditional retail sales and $299 million in digital and mobile sales.

However physical and online sales through traditional retailers in 2016 were 9% down on 2015, with hardware and software sales both declining.

At the traditional retailers, console and portable software were worth $59 million, which was negative 10%. Console hardware was negative 5% in units but accessories +5.4% by value.

In contrast, revenues from digital and mobile continued their upward trajectory in 2016, ending up +16% on 2015 at $299 million.

Mobile games ($167 million, +15%) remained the largest revenue source in 2016, with downloadable games ($95 million, +20%) and downloadable content (+21%) seeing the most growth.

Overall the New Zealand video games industry generated $424 million in revenue in 2016, +7% on 2015 sales, with digital purchasing by Kiwis far outweighing the decline in traditional retail sales, says the data compiled for IGEA by Telsyte and NPD Group.


Lexar JumpDrive Tough USB Drive

Combining a rugged exterior with secure, high-speed performance, Lexar’s new JumpDrive Tough high-performance USB flash drive was created to withstand tough conditions such as impact, pressure, weather, and water. It also quickly and securely transfers photos, videos, and files with speeds up to 150MB/s read and 60MB/s write, is USB 3.1 compatible, backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0 devices and comes in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities.


NETGEAR Nighthawk S8000 8-port Gaming & Media Switch

NETGEAR is launching a versatile, high performance, easily configurable, Layer 2 switch for expert gaming and HD media streaming. The company says the Nighthawk S8000 offers the industry’s first consumer-friendly advanced switching technology packaged in a sleek, modern design. Nighthawk S8000 extends the speed and performance of Nighthawk family with ultra-smooth gaming and streaming so you can host a multi-user gaming party, video chat in HD with friends, surf the internet at blazing speeds, or stream 4K UHD content from the internet or your own local storage and all without competing for bandwidth on your wireless network.


Everki EKB460 ContemPRO Commuter Laptop Bag

Amongst the brand new range of Everki Bags is the EKB460 ContemPRO. Available in black and navy models, the soft-bodied briefcase style bag accommodates up to 15.6-inch laptops with superior organisation and a relaxed and modern appearance that includes a splash of color. Slimmer, sleeker and less bulky than its hard shelled counterpart; this bag marries the classic with the contemporary in a one-handed carry briefcase.


Epson L310 Single Function Printer

With its integrated high-capacity ink tanks, ink is supplied continuously, so there are no cartridges to replace, you simply top up the tanks with Epson ink bottles and keep on printing. Plus, no less than two years’ worth of ink are included (printing up to 4,000 pages in black and 6,500 pages in colour), as is a three year Return to Base Warranty with registration. Replacement ink bottles are low cost starting from $19.99 and the ink tanks easy to top up.


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