Sony's PlayStation 5 launch set for late 2020

In this file photo taken on June 13, 2017, gaming fans walk past a logo at the Playstation games section at the Los Angeles Convention Center on day one of E3 2017. (AFP)
Updated 08 October 2019

Sony's PlayStation 5 launch set for late 2020

  • The company says a major new feature of the updated console would be its immersive controller
  • The new controller will offer "haptic feedback" that brings players closer to the action of games

SAN FRANCISCO: Sony said Tuesday its next-generation PlayStation 5 console, with new immersive features giving players the tactile experience of virtual worlds, would launch for the 2020 holiday season.
The Japanese electronics firm, which had teased its new console earlier this year, said a major new feature of the updated console would be its immersive controller.
"One of our goals with the next generation is to deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games, and we had the opportunity with our new controller to reimagine how the sense of touch can add to that immersion," said Jim Ryan, president and chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment.
The new controller will offer "haptic feedback" that brings players closer to the action of games.
"With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field," Ryan said.
"You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud."
Another feature will be "adaptive triggers" incorporated into controls "so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain," he added.
Sony, which leads the console segment, announced the move as more gamers move away from these boxes to streaming games powered by the internet cloud on a variety of devices.
Google, Apple and others have launched game subscriptions which compete with Sony's PlayStation Now cloud video game service.
According to NPD Group, a market research firm, 73 percent of Americans ages two and older play video games, an increase of six percentage points since June 2018.
Mobile remains the most popular gaming platform, with mobile gaming appealing to gamers across all consumer segments, the NPD survey showed.


STC postpones its acquisition of Vodafone Egypt for second time

Updated 13 July 2020

STC postpones its acquisition of Vodafone Egypt for second time

  • Kingdom’s largest telecom company says it will need an additional two months to complete the deal

CAIRO: The Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the Kingdom’s largest telecom company, said that it will need an additional two months to complete a deal to purchase a 55 percent stake in Vodafone Egypt.

In January, STC was in agreement to buy the stake for $2.4 billion. In April, it extended the process for 90 days due to logistical challenges stemming from the spread of COVD-19. The company said in a statement that it would extend the period again to September for the same reason.

The Public Investment Fund, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, owns a majority stake in STC. The ownership of Vodafone Egypt is divided between 55 percent for Vodafone International, which is the target percentage of the Saudi purchase offer, 44.8 percent for Telecom Egypt, and the remaining 0.2 percent for small shareholders.

Telecom Egypt is awaiting the results of Vodafone’s evaluation of the final share price to announce its position on the deal. A Telecom Egypt official stated that the company is still awaiting STC’s position regarding the purchase of the share. If the deal is not completed, it may be presented with its rights to acquire Vodafone’s share, which would allow it to take over 99.8 percent of the company’s shares, leaving 0.2 percent for small investors.

Ashraf El-Wardany, an Egyptian communications expert, pointed out the importance of waiting until the procedures between STC and the Vodafone Group are complete. The results will determine the next steps by Telecom Egypt.

El-Wardany said that the Saudi operator must, after completing the relevant studies, submit a final binding offer at the share price and any conditions for purchase. If approved by Vodafone, it must submit the offer with the same conditions and price to Telecom Egypt, provided that the latter responds within a maximum period of 45 days to determine its position regarding the use of the right of pre-emption and the purchase, or lack thereof, of Vodafone’s share.

According to El-Wardany, there are other possible scenarios. Vodafone International may not be convinced of the offer or the conditions presented by the Saudi side and the sale may be withdrawn, or the Vodafone group may be ready to sell and has prepared another buyer for its stake in Egypt in the event of rejecting the Saudi offer. It may also it back away from the deal and continue to operate in Egypt for a few more years.

El-Wardany said that if Telecom Egypt decides not to use the right of pre-emption to acquire the remaining Vodafone shares for any reason, it will continue with its 44.8 percent stake.
It may also resort to selling all of its shares or part of it to the Saudi side or to any company that wants to acquire its stake.

“This raises the question of whether STC can acquire all of Vodafone’s shares,” El-Wardany said, adding that the coming months “will make the answer clear.”