Industry

Amazon announced Monday that the company negotiated a deal to purchase Twitch.tv for the small sum of $970 million. Google (YouTube) had been in negotiations since May to acquire Twitch, but were unable to close the deal. This gives Amazon the most popular avenue for game streaming. Although Google owns YouTube, Twitch reaches a very different market, and this can't be seen by Google as anything other than a slap in the face. It will be interesting to see if Google rises to the challenge and duels it out with Amazon – hopefully bringing their YouTube streaming service to a more complete status (corporate blood sport, how wonderful).

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RAM Prices Continue Rising -- Here's Why

By Published July 26, 2014 at 8:00 am

RAM prices are on the rise again. If you've watched the market prices on RAM -- either through our weekend sales round ups or just through shopping in general -- you'd have noticed the price of an 8GB 1600MHz kit has nearly tripled. Around the end of 2012 through the first few months of 2013, the price of our example kit was in the mid $30-40 range; since that golden period, the price has raised pretty steadily toward the current resting spot. Prices had a major peak around the end of last year after supplier Hynix's factor fire, but February saw prices settle at what appeared to be a fairly steady $70-80 range.

It seems that this is no longer the case.

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Starting around June of this year, prices began climbing once again. The current price appears to be in the mid $80-90 range and is poised to climb even higher. DDR3 hasn't changed much -- why is the price so volatile? To adequately answer this, let's recap RAM's position in the PC world and talk about how it's made.

With the beginning of the third fiscal quarter for 2014, we see analysts filing revenue reports and public companies announcing performance. We recently posted about the boon to desktop PC sales for 2014 -- recovering nearly 6% of a projected 7% decline -- and now it looks like Intel has similarly good news for the PC industry.

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The semiconductor giant has reported 2Q14 revenue as $13.8B -- an 8% hike over 2Q13's $12.8B -- netting a $2.8B profit. Intel's quarterly profits have risen 40% over its 2Q13 reports of $2B. Promisingly for the world of PCs, Intel showed an $8.7B revenue in its PC Client Group (including desktops), a 6% increase over last year.

ASUS recently predicted a boon in desktop PC and AIO shipments in the face of a slowdown in tablet sales, further amplified by the discontinuation of Windows XP support. With the second quarter of the year effectively behind us, the International Data Corporation (IDC) has reported that the desktop PC business has declined at a “markedly better” pace than previously forecasted.

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In the most recent update to the DFC Intelligence Forecast for the games industry, the metrics group notes that a $36 billion industry growth to $100 billion is expected by 2018. This is right in line with what we've been told previously, but new statistics suggest that thirty percent of the entire games industry will be owned by the mobile gaming space.

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2013 saw the explosion of mobile gaming, bringing in $10 billion in total revenue from the industry's 1.17 billion gamers. The intelligence firm projects a $19 billion mobile growth -- a total of $29 billion -- by 2018, comprising 30% of total game software revenue. This expansion doesn't come without its growing pains, though:

Asustek (NASDAQ: ASUUY) Chairman Jonney Shih predicted in ASUS' Tuesday shareholder meeting that traditional desktop PC shipments would increase substantially in 2H14. The company believes that XP's expiration will be cause for a boon in desktop shipments in the business-client sector, but also noted that demand for tablets has died down in the consumer market.

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It is little wonder to anyone who’s watched any eSports that the entertainment medium is growing. Twitch.tv just recently announced that it now streams 12 billion minutes of video content per month to 45 million unique monthly viewers, a 2x growth over 2012’s year-end stats. Those metrics measure streaming as a whole, but the competitive gaming scene has grown its own niche and is clinging on tight.

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Online gaming service Raptr has come out with some interesting data regarding consumer spending on video game hardware and software. Headlining this data is information that 74 percent of gamers plan to upgrade their PC hardware and/or console within the next 12 months.

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On May 15th, the current net neutrality rules are going up for preliminary vote at the FCC. This initial vote is only a step in the overall process for the unfair segregation of web traffic to come to life. Our first article broke down the basics of what is in flux, so if you're unsure of what's going on, that's the place to check first. Our second article was a short opinion piece (read: doused in sarcasm and lit aflame with satire) on Chairman Tom Wheeler's response to "reassure" us.

net-neutrality-infographic"What is Net Neutrality?" infographic.

We felt that we should give readers a decisive guide to voicing views and making a difference. Reddit has good recommendations from people who are, and were, involved in the government. Their insight is invaluable to those wanting to do something helpful. Some of the basics are calling the FCC, contacting your Congress and Senate Representatives (they work for you, so use them), and a few other ways to get your voice heard. When reaching out to representatives, one of the most important things to remember is to be polite, professional, and friendly so that you are taken seriously; the people answering the phones are likely interns of some variety -- they'll mark your comment down, ask your name and zip, and then hang up. No need for aggression. Short of money, the means through which most lobbyists get their way is because there is not a big enough outcry from the public to counter them, or those who do complain aren't taken seriously because of how they object.

If you've followed our coverage of net neutrality proceedings in the US, you'll know that there's been a fierce emboldening in the US Government's enablement of a class-based internet. AT&T's patent-pending approach to deploying a micro-transaction-esque content delivery hierarchy for streamed video and gaming content is starting to look a lot scarier right now.

net-neutrality-comicImage Source: CFC Oklahoma.

After the FCC's proposal to allow ISPs the dictation of "normal speed" and "low-speed" traffic in the form of extorting content providers (Netflix, YouTube), internet backlash has prompted a disingenuous addendum by the Commission. Federal Communications Commission Chariman and mendacious troglodytic neophyte of technology Tom Wheeler is reported to have added to his plan:

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