The global gaming industry has always been a disruptive one. Nuclear physicist Edward Condon developed the first computer game in 1941 called Nim, one which pretty much saw the computer win 90% of the time.
The disruption didn’t fizzle out. Soon afterwards, the first programming guidelines were written for a chess game developed by Claude Shannon, while a decade later the US Department of Defense created a war game — STAGE.
This really set the stage for what was to come later — video games. American investor Ralph Baer wasted no time and conceived the idea of playing video games on TV, and the world’s first gaming console was released. The rapid evolution of gaming consoles coupled with gaming design and the introduction of graphics cards have taken the global gaming industry by storm.
In the last decade, the evolution of smartphones opened up a totally new segment known as digital gaming. In 2016, Activision Blizzard paid close to $6B to acquire King Digital- a digital gaming behemoth. Not one to trail far behind, the eSports segment, despite its nascency, proved to be a long-term revenue driver for top gaming firms.
Will cloud gaming be the next key driver in global games?
Now companies such as Microsoft [MSFT], Google [GOOG] and Electronic Arts [EA] aim to create a market for cloud gaming. So what exactly is cloud gaming? It’s similar to online streaming services such as Netflix [NFLX] and Amazon Prime [AMZN], but with games.
Cloud gaming will allow users to play games on their computer or mobile devices. A remote server will send players video feed and receive controller inputs. This now means that players no longer need to purchase gaming consoled to play the latest games. All you need is a stable internet connection.
Google’s cloud gaming project is called Project Stream and the company launched a beta test last month. Players required a Google Chrome browser and an internet connection of 25 Mbps or higher.
Microsoft which also manufactures the Xbox consoles announced its cloud gaming platform known as Project xCloud. It has confirmed several Xbox games for beta testing such as Halo, Minecraft, and Gears of War.
The tech giant is hoping for growing interest in cloud gaming to offset any declining sales in gaming consoles.
Following Google and Microsoft, top gaming publisher Electronic Arts has forayed into this space, with a project known as Project Atlas.
Will this move garner global attention?
The shift to cloud gaming is going to be as disruptive as any in the gaming space. Players can now subscribe and stream games online instead of spending over $300 for the latest gaming console. The cloud gaming space is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26% between 2017 and 2023.
While Netflix and Amazon have changed the consumption of entertainment via cord cutting, it is very likely that cloud gaming will soon be a hit among players in a few years time. Is this the end of the gaming console?
FAANGs Lose Over $135B Overnight
The stock market was in a sea of red yesterday. The broader markets witnessed yet another correction. Stocks such as Facebook [FB], Apple [AAPL], Amazon [AMZN], Netflix [NFLX] and Google [GOOG], also known as FAANGs led the sell-off yesterday.
FAANGs lost over $135B in market value overnight. Analysts have raised concerns over Apple’s iPhone unit shipments. Several of them have cut iPhone shipment estimates and this has driven Apple shares lower.
Apple’s market cap has fallen from a high $1.1T to its current value of $882B. During its last earnings call, Apple had also stated that it will no longer provide data for device sales further adding fuel to fire.
Facebook trades at a two-year low
Facebook shares continue to burn investor money. Shares are down 13% this month and 20% since Oct. 2018. Facebook shares have impacted after an investigative report by New York Times accused the former of promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Amazon shares fell declined over 5% yesterday. The stock faced the wrath of investors as it missed revenue forecasts last month. Netflix, on the other hand, has slumped over the last few months as there are concerns over the company’s international expansion efforts.
Have FAANG’s bottomed out?
FAANGs drove the markets for several years and generated spectacular returns for investors. A focus on developing innovative products and services have ensured market leadership for FAANGs.
However, since Oct. 18, these shares have declined significantly. FAANGs have lost a whopping $700B in market cap over the last 50 days. Does this mean that FAANGs have bottomed out and are trading at attractive valuations?
It’s too early to tell. We have seen that concerns over iPhone device sales, Facebook controversies, and decelerating growth for Amazon and Netflix have weighed in on stocks. Investors are now paying attention to fundamentals in an uncertain macro environment driven by rising interest rates and the trade wars between China and the United States.
Does this mean that the party is over? Certainly not! These companies are leaders in innovation and are expected to launch products and services that will help them maintain revenue growth in the near future.
Analysts though are still bullish on FAANGs. They have a 12-month target price of $233.47 for Apple, implying an upside potential of 26%. Similarly, shares of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google are trading 50%, 41%, 48%, and 32% respectively below their target price estimates.
3 Ways To Invest From Your Smartphone For Under $5
The numbers say 80% of Millennials don’t invest in stocks.
Reason? Half say they don’t have money, one-third says it’s for “old white men,” another third says they don’t know how.
In addition to that, there’s demographic gap. “The average age of a financial advisor is 55,”Douglas Boneparth, a New York City-based financial planner last year. “There are more financial advisors over the age of 70 than there are under 30.”
Despite these beliefs, you don’t really need much money, nor experience, to get started. (Just look at our fearless co-founder Odunayo Eweniyi and what she’s pulled off here…)
Be that as it may, here are three ways to get started for $5 or less.
What: A micro-investment app (iOS and Android) with over 30 ETFs according to industry, sector and risk tolerance.
How it works: Download the app and choose your investment.
Minimum investment: $5
Cost: Fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.
“We help people who don’t have a lot save money on a weekly basis,” CEO and co-founder Brandon Krieg said in one interview. “Stashers look like America, they look like people you meet every day: they are nurses and teachers and Uber and Lyft drivers.”
What: iOS and Android app.
How it works: Download the app and choose one of six index funds. When you buy, say a cup of coffee for $1.75, it rounds up the change to $2 and deposits the difference.
Minimum investment: $5
Cost: Just like Stash, fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.
“We’re not trying to preach austerity to the client, because that’s a bummer,” CMO Manning Field says. “Some people will say, ‘Don’t have the cup of coffee.’ We’ll tell you to have the cup of coffee and invest along the way.”
What: A commission-free investment app (iOS and Android).
How it works: Download and start buying stocks.
Minimum investment: Whatever stock you want to buy.
And by the way, if you want to get a fast start on real estate, here’s Forbes’ list of nine REITs with yields between 8% and 10%.
Analyst: ‘Bitcoin Just Collapsed Like A House Of Cards…’
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Ever since their mighty peak back in December, Bitcoin has seen a consistent plunge all year long, briefly dropping under $5k a coin today.
“Bitcoin collapsed like a house of cards on Monday,” Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, wrote Business Insider in an email.
In fact, today’s drop continues a filthy week for Bitcoin, which has now dropped to a low not seen since December, right before the wicked explosion in prices that had Bitcoin as high as $20k per coin.
Once that happened, Bitcoin basically went mainstream, with “Blockchain” and “cryptocurrency” becoming words du jour. And once that happened, it basically created a frenzy around cryptos.
Just peep this. It’s not even a hockey chart, it’s just insanity.
Aaaaaand, here’s another showing the raucous trading activity back in December 2017.
All in all, Bitcoin lost 12% of its value in the past week and nearly 20% in the last three months.
For whatever it’s worth, it’s not just Bitcoin that’s taking a beating; other cryptos are getting slammed as well. Both Litecoin ($5.10 per coin) and Ethereum ($156/coin) are down 12%.
So, who else is bullish on crypto?!