Microsoft challenges Sony with powerful new Xbox One X

Fans customize controllers with Xbox Design Lab at the Xbox Media Showcase at E3 2017 in Los Angeles on Monday on June 12, 2017. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)
Updated 13 June 2017
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Microsoft challenges Sony with powerful new Xbox One X

LOS ANGELES: Microsoft on Sunday unveiled Xbox One X — billing it as the most powerful video console ever made, and escalating a battle with market king PlayStation 4.
The $499-addition to the lineup was built with the muscle for seamless play on ultra-high definition 4K televisions and will be available worldwide on November 7, according to Xbox team leader Phil Spencer.
Spencer introduced the much anticipated Xbox One X, called Scorpio during development, at a Microsoft event ahead of the official opening of the major Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles,
Aiming at the hearts of gamers, Microsoft also showed off 42 coming games, with 22 of the titles being tailored for exclusive play on Xbox One consoles.
Game play on 4K screens, whether they be televisions or personal computer monitors, is expected to be among themes at E3 this week. Enabling ultra-rich visuals also tunes into the budding trend toward virtual reality games.
Sony PlayStation 4 has dominated the market when it comes to the latest generation of consoles, outselling Xbox One by 2-to-1, according to industry trackers.
PS4 consoles from the outset could power virtual reality, and Sony sells head gear for those experiences.
PlayStation has become the prime driver of revenue and profit at Japan-based entertainment giant Sony, according to executives.
“We are selling every single one we can make,” Sony Interactive Entertainment worldwide studios chairman Shawn Layden said of PS 4 consoles.
Nintendo’s recently-launched Twitch has been a winner, with fans snapping up the console and a “Legend of Zelda” game that has become a must-play title for fans.
PS4 and Xbox One are both performing better in the market that their respective predecessors, and Nintendo “is back in a big way” with Switch, according to NPD analyst Mat Piscatella.


Start-up of the Week: The app that restores work-life balance

Updated 19 June 2018
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Start-up of the Week: The app that restores work-life balance

  • MRSOOL helps consumers to transport goods from any store to their door
  • Since 2017 MRSOOL has had more than 80,000 couriers across the Kingdom, potentially earning the couriers an average SR 10,000 ($2,700) within two months.

JEDDAH: Too many errands, too little time? This is how MRSOOL co-founder Naif Al-Simri used to feel, so he decided to do something about it — and not just for himself.

Realizing that he was not managing to successfully juggle the demands of his job and his family, he started to think about how he could manage things better.

His thought processes eventually led him to develop MRSOOL, an app that helps consumers to transport goods from any store to their door. All consumers need to do is post their orders, and an MRSOOL courier will go to the store to pick up and deliver the desired items to them. 

“I used to work a lot and I was not at home. My family always needed something, but I could not do it for them because of work commitments. So I would suffer because I could not do their errands and also could not find a solution. The fact that I could not find a solution would upset my family,” he said. 

Thinking about the problem — and how it affected so many people in the modern world — triggered a lightbulb moment for Al-Simri. He came up with the idea of creating a platform that would deliver anything, without him having to leave the office and pick up his family. 

“If I had to run errands I would have to leave the office and take them (to the shops). That is like five trips, so I thought to myself what if I have someone who lives close by pick up what is needed on his way and make money by doing it,” he said. 

He started to outline his idea to some of his close friends who work in app development. He talked through whether they thought there was market demand for such a service and analyzed the challenges. As he threw around ideas with friends, he was starting to formulate a business plan. It was at this stage that he started to see the potential.

He discussed the concept with Ayman Al-Sanad (a friend?), and although Al-Sanad had come up against Al-Simri’s ideas before, and was cautious about practicalities, his future partner was impressed by the proposal. Nevertheless, Al-Sanad made some suggestions for tweaking the original idea. 

“I took Ayman’s feedback and went back to the drawing board. We were both working at the time so we would touch base on weekends to discuss our development and progress,” Al-Simri added.

The two future partners started working together to develop the application, which was eventually launched in 2015. Today MRSOOL serves the whole country and there are plans to expand to the GCC and Arab countries.

Not only is MRSOOL now ranked in the top 10 applications in the Kingdom, with a star rating of 4.8 out of 5, but it is even listed in the top 200 active applications by the US Apple store. 

Since 2017 MRSOOL has had more than 80,000 couriers across the Kingdom, potentially earning the couriers an average SR 10,000 ($2,700) within two months.