Why Does the Left Support Wall Street?

Leftist Rhetoric vs. Reality

The rhetoric from the Left is intransigent in its denunciation of wealth. As long as someone is wealthy, there is inequality. This is because there has always been and will always be someone who is poor. So the very existence of a rich man serves as a rebuke to the Left’s worldview, and a fly in the social justice ointment.

An example of a false choice offered by Germany’s communists in the 1920’s: the poster reads: “Voters, decide! Do you want the dictatorship of Stinnes, or the dictatorship of the proletarians?”. In other words, no matter how you choose, there’s only dictatorship for you. Stinnes was a winner of the inflationism of the post WW1 era – a prototypical state-capitalist. However, the poster still backfired, as he happened to be highly popular with his workers.

However, Leftists in power behave differently than their rhetoric would lead us to expect. They enact legislation and regulation which actually helps enrich crony businesses, such as big banks. The common refrain is that these politicians are corrupt, and on the take. Wall Street is simply buying their favor.

While this is true to some extent—certainly Wall Street spends a lot on lobbying—it’s not a satisfying answer. How do we fully explain the seeming anomaly between ideas and action on the Left?

A Devious Strategy

It is no anomaly at all. To see why, look at it from the Left’s point of view. It has to be frustrating when the voters reject the policies of Marxism. Unlike in many other parts of the world, the American people do not hate wealth—not yet. If you were a Leftist, how would you go about changing this?

Even today, many Americans if not most of them, feel at a basic gut level that if you work hard you can get rich, and you deserve it. The Left has to find a way to undermine this. The Left wants to migrate Americans to the attitude held in socialist countries: the feeling that if someone is rich then he must be on the take.

151013092704-hillary-wall-street-banks-780x439Hillary Clinton – a left-wing politician who in stark contrast to her rhetoric, is well known for being funded by Wall Street banks (according to CNN, “Wall Street has made her a millionaire”). As Ludwig von Mises once noted: “The struggle between the two systems of social organization, freedom and totalitarianism, will be decided in the democratic nations at the polls. As things are today, the outcome in the United States will determine the outcome for all other peoples too. As long as this country does not go socialist, socialist victories in other parts of the world are of minor relevance.”

If you wanted to devise a strategy to get the population on board your socialist agenda, I can think of no better way than to create a class of very rich people who get their riches off the backs of the people.

Create thousands of real-life fat cats whose villainy is infamous. Show the people that this is what it means to be rich: to be on the take. That the rich do not produce, but amass a fortune at the expense of others, at your expense. Put that in the public spotlight.

Once the voters believe this, deep down in their hearts, it’s over. The free market is done. Stick a fork in it. Support for the rights of property or contract will fade away. Then, the path is paved for some kind of socialist takeover and totalitarianism.

Image captions by PT

The above article originally appeared on Acting-Man.com, written by Keith Weiner.

Dr. Keith Weiner is the president of the Gold Standard Institute USA, and CEO of Monetary Metals. Keith is a leading authority in the areas of gold, money, and credit and has made important contributions to the development of trading techniques founded upon the analysis of bid-ask spreads. Keith is a sought after speaker and regularly writes on economics. He is an Objectivist, and has his PhD from the New Austrian School of Economics. He lives with his wife near Phoenix, Arizona.

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3 Acquisitions That Would Immediately Change Apple’s Valuation Debate

Summary

  • Despite pleading by analysts and Carl Icahn, investors aren’t going to suddenly start valuing AAPL differently.
  • But with ~$200 billion in cash, AAPL can force investors to view and value the company differently.
  • Acquire FIT to dominate the $70 billion wearables market.
  • Acquire PAY to vertically integrate and dominate the $210 billion U.S. mobile payment market.

Acquire WATT and Ossia (private) to dominate the IoT market.

Michael Santoli didn’t waste any time after our panel discussion on CNBC’s Closing Bell last week to chide Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White – again – for suggesting investors need to “look at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) through a new lens” and value it appropriately.

I agree wholeheartedly and said so later in the segment.

You’ll recall, billionaire Carl Icahn peddled a similar line of reasoning to White’s in early 2015 to no avail. In an open letter to Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) followers, he wrote:

It seems to us that the market is somehow missing a very basic principle of valuation: When a company’s future earnings are expected to grow at a much faster rate than that of the S&P 500, the market should value that company at a higher P/E multiple.

On the surface, White and Icahn’s argument sound logical. The only problem? In Apple’s case, reality trumps logic.

Apple has grown earnings faster than the market for years. Yet the stock has seldom commanded a premium market multiple. In fact, since the end of 2011, it has actually traded at an average discount of 23% to the S&P 500 P/E ratio, based on Morningstar data. And if we strip out Apple’s cash, the discount is even more pronounced.

No matter how hard a sell-side analyst, and even a billionaire try, investors aren’t going to suddenly start valuing Apple differently. Not in its current form.

So what would it take?

Armed with over $200 billion in cash, I can think of at least three moves the company could make to change the narrative and in turn, the valuation.

Move #1: Acquire Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) to own the wearables market from top to bottom.

The wearables market is on fire. In the third quarter, unit sales increased almost 200% to 21 million, according to IDC. No doubt, fourth quarter numbers will be similarly strong, thanks to the holiday shopping season.

There’s no end in sight to the growth either. Gartner predicts the wearable tech market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 49% through 2020. In terms of unit volumes, IDC estimates 72.1 million wearable devices will be shipped this year, rising to 155.7 million units in 2019.

Fitbit has benefited handsomely from this robust trend, commanding the majority of the market share. But let’s be fair. It’s done so because of a lack of any true competitors. That’s no longer the case. In fact, as I’ve argued before, Fitbit is in jeopardy of becoming the next one-product tech wonder, a la GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO). It would be wise to sell out to Apple at this point.

It’s worth noting that Fitbit only sells basic wearables – a category that’s expected to lose share over the next few years, leaving Apple poised to become the next market leader for all wearables. – IDC

For Apple, the acquisition would allow the company to dominate the wearables market from top to bottom. (The only device cheaper would be the Mi Band fitness tracker from China’s Xiaomi).

Apple Fitbit Combined Product Lineup

Source: Company Websites

I know, I know. Apple is a stickler for design and Fitbit’s product lineup hardly fits into Jony Ive’s aesthetic. But that’s a design challenge I’m certain Apple could tackle in a couple of quarters, post-acquisition.

Even if Apple paid a princely sum of $10 billion for Fitbit, it would be worthwhile, given the wearables market is expected to ramp from $20 billion this year to almost $70 billion in 2025, according to IDTechEx. All told, the move could boost Apple’s top line growth by up to 10%, as the wearables market takes off.

Move #2: Acquire VeriFone Systems (NYSE:PAY) to vertically integrate – and dominate – the mobile payment market.

According to a new forecast from eMarketer, mobile payments at point-of-sale (POS) terminals are set to explode from $9 billion this year to more than $27 billion in 2016. That’s a 200% year-over-year increase and represents an acceleration of the 125% growth rate expected this year. By 2019, mobile payment volumes are expected to eclipse the $210 billion mark – a 2,233% over current levels. And that’s just in the United States.

Source: eMarketer

I’ve long viewed Apple as a strong play on mobile payments. In fact, I predicted that the company would enter the market on CNBC’s Closing Bell in January 2014 – well ahead of the official October 2014 announcement. As expected, Apple Pay is off to a solid start.

Roughly, 20% of consumers with an iPhone that supports Apple Pay have used it, according to Trustev. Over time, usage is bound to increase because Apple Pay possesses the three main ingredients to captivate the masses – familiarity (i.e., brand recognition), simplicity, and security.

The switch to chip-and-pin technology (known as EMV) promises to provide a near-term bump in adoption, too. In short, the status quo is changing from a simple swipe of a credit card to a lengthy 15-second (or more) process. Suddenly, a motivation for consumers to make the switch to mobile payments en masse exists because it’s much quicker.

By acquiring VeriFone, Apple can accelerate its market penetration and assert its dominance by positioning itself on both the consumer side and retailer side of the mobile payment boom.

VeriFone is the global leader in secure electronic payment solutions. It makes the POS terminals, which support the new credit cards with chips, as well as NFC. At the end of 2014, around 28% of merchants worldwide used NFC-enabled POS terminals. But by 2020, Berg Insight estimates that the number will hit 70%. Put simply, the company represents a pure-play on the hardware side of the mobile payment boom, which is in the midst of a massive upgrade cycle.

Again, let’s assume Apple pays up for the acquisition. A purchase price of $5 billion, equal to a 60% premium, would conservatively add 7% to 10% to Apple’s top line growth, based on current revenue estimates for both companies.

Move #3: Acquire wireless charging companies Energous (NASDAQ:WATT) and Ossia (privately held) to solidify dominance in the mobile market and enable dominance of the Internet of Things (“IoT”) market.

In case you haven’t noticed, incremental innovations in smartphones don’t provide sustainable competitive advantages anymore. Within roughly one design cycle, whatever Apple rolls out (Force Touch, for instance), Samsung quickly follows (see here). And vice versa.

However, being able to ditch the power cord and charge mobile devices at a distance of 15 feet (or more) would be a true differentiator. That’s possible with the technologies being brought to market by Energous and Ossia. Although each company’s approach is different (pocket-forming vs. multipath calibration), both deliver wireless power over radio frequency (“RF”) waves. Yes, there are regulatory risks involved with transmitting power over RF. But who better to address and overcome those concerns with the FCC than Apple?

Obtaining wireless charging capabilities to cement its dominance in the mobile market should be viewed as a defensive move, as much as an offensive one for Apple. If it doesn’t acquire these companies, Samsung or Xiaomi easily could given the cheap valuations.

Beyond that, Apple should make a move to own wireless charging technology (and the intellectual property) to give it the opportunity to dominate the IoT market.

No matter what estimate you choose for the number of internet-connected devices expected – 21 billion (Gartner), 34 billion (BI Intelligence) or 500 Billion (John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO)) – it’s clear the IoT is arguably going to be the “Biggest Thing Ever.”

Before it becomes a reality, though, five barriers loom large (security, privacy, connectivity/interoperability, decipherability and electricity). I believe the most critical barrier to overcome is the last one. The prospect of regularly changing batteries on billions of devices is daunting and highly impractical as a permanent solution, to say the least. Hardwiring every IoT device isn’t feasible, either. As a result, all roads lead to wireless charging.

Energous is the closest to providing a solution to overcome this barrier. Not only has it already attracted a Tier 1 partner, rumored to be Samsung or possibly even Apple, it’s only a few months away from having a commercially ready chipset to be incorporated into wearables, IoT, and mobile devices.

The reason it makes sense for Apple to acquire Ossia, too, is simple – doing so allows the company to own all of the relevant IP for wireless charging at a distance via RF. Not to mention, Apple can do so on the cheap. Energous currently trades at a market cap of about $131 million and Ossia has only raised $24 million in financing, likely pegging its valuation at much less. That’s a pittance for the potential to dominate the IoT market.

Bottom Line

As the largest company in the world, Apple can’t afford to only be a leading player in its end markets. It needs to dominate every market it serves. And the only way to change the narrative and convince investors to start valuing the company differently is to start dominating more markets. That process can begin if Apple makes any or all of the noteworthy and logical acquisitions above.

Without any of the acquisitions, I’m still bullish on Apple, just not as bullish as before. I’ve been banging the table to buy since January 2014. Back then, the stock traded around $72 (split adjusted) and it’s up about 50% over that period. If the company can keep “blocking and tackling” in the iPhone business (upgrades, Android conversions and international expansion) – and deliver a better-than-expected holiday quarter now that analysts have universally lowered iPhone expectations – shares could reclaim their 52-week high in the year ahead, representing about a 25% upside to current prices.

The above article originally appeared on Seeking Alpha, written by Lou Basenese.

Nintendo Reveals Further Plans for E3, Including Pokemon, Legend of Zelda

zeldae32

We’ve already known that Nintendo was eager to show off the upcoming The Legend of Zelda for Wii U at this year’s E3 and were dedicating their entire booth space to the title. Now, the company has revealed further details on their plans for E3 including how fans at home can get in on the fun.

June 8

The Legend of Zelda Twitter campaign for Miitomo in-app gifts: Miitomo users should check @NintendoAmerica on Twitter today for a special tweet kicking off a collaboration between the mobile app and the Legend of Zelda franchise. If the tweet gets a combined 10,000 retweets worldwide, Nintendo will issue a “Link’s new hair wig” as an in-app gift to all users of Nintendo’s Miitomo mobile app. If it gets 20,000 combined retweets, Nintendo will give all Miitomo users a “Link wig” in the Miitomo app.

June 14

More of The Legend of Zelda in Miitomo: Miitomo will continue its celebration of The Legend of Zelda with a themed Miitomo Drop game that will give players the chance to win The Legend of Zelda-themed in-app gear for their Mii character. Players will also be able to use Miitomo coins in Miitomo to purchase The Legend of Zelda collaboration items. An additional The Legend of Zelda collaboration gift will be available on the My Nintendo website, and players can exchange their My Nintendo Platinum Points for this item.

Nintendo Treehouse: Live – Day 1: Nintendo’s kickoff to the E3 trade show begins at 9 a.m. PT, with an introduction by Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime and the world’s first look at live gameplay of The Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U console. Viewers can also catch the first live gameplay of the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon games. Watch Nintendo Treehouse: Live via Nintendo’s channels on YouTube and Twitch, as well as on http://e3.nintendo.com.

Nintendo eShop sale: Starting at 11 a.m. PT until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 21, Nintendo is offering discounts on some of its most popular games as a special treat for fans. My Nintendo members who are signed in will also get a special bonus if they buy select games included in the sale. Anyone who hasn’t signed up for My Nintendo yet is encouraged to do so now to avoid the E3 rush. To get the extra discount, My Nintendo members must link their Nintendo Account to their Nintendo Network ID and access Nintendo eShop on their device at least once before they make a purchase. The discounted games can be purchased in Nintendo eShop or at http://e3.nintendo.com. Details about the discounts can also be found at http://e3.nintendo.com.

June 15

Nintendo Treehouse: Live – Day 2: Starting at 10 a.m. PT, the Nintendo Treehouse: Live programming will showcase upcoming Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games, including Monster Hunter Generations from Capcom, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. The day will start with a special Pokémon GO developer Q&A. Watch all of Nintendo’s action from the E3 show floor via Nintendo’s channels on YouTube and Twitch, as well as on http://e3.nintendo.com.

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U will launch in 2017 for the console, and the game will also debut as a title for Nintendo’s next console, currently codenamed Nintendo NX. Check back here during E3 for our updates straight from the convention floor!

How Samsung Is Winning Mobile VR Revolution

Summary

Samsung is a pioneer in the mobile virtual reality market. Its consumer version of Gear VR is available for sale now just for $99.

Increased shipment of smartphones, strong brand recognition and the rise of the VR market are the main catalysts for company’s growth.

Currently, Samsung is a major manufacturer of hardware virtual reality devices for mobile customers.

In November, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) launched a new marketing campaign to promote its virtual reality device Samsung Gear VR. The campaign is a part of Samsung’s global initiative called It’s Not a Phone, It’s a Galaxy.

The ad shows a wide variety of people that use Samsung Gear VR to watch a different kind of content that is available for the device. And the slogan is clear: Virtual reality just got real. And that’s true. Last year, there were a number of VR devices announced to be released anytime soon and “hungry” developers already started to explore this relatively new technology for their own use. Samsung’s Gear VR is one of the pioneers in this industry, with the consumer version available for sale now just for $99. This puts the company at the top of the smartphone VR spectrum in terms of quality and price. And considering the fact that Samsung has enormous resources and a properly-built ecosystem, it seems that its VR device will be there for a long time.

Catalysts for growth

If we look at the current virtual reality market, we would see that there are two different types of VR devices. The first ones are built for PC and consoles and offer a greater experience and a better graphics to the end user. However, they cost more and customers need a more powerful platform to use them. The examples are Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Oculus Rift and Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation VR. The second category of VR headsets is created for smartphones. They don’t offer the same quality of graphics and physics as VR devices from the first category, but they’re cheaper and more accessible for buyers.

Samsung Gear VR fits into the second category and is compatible with all of the Galaxy smartphones. All you need to do is slip your phone inside the headset and you experience the world of virtual reality. The first consumer versions of the device were released last November and became one of the best-selling products on the market. Engadget called it a no-brainer and CNET said that it offers the best VR mobile experience so far.

As I said before, Samsung Gear VR is designed for mobile platforms. And it’s obvious that the company will benefit from the rising smartphone market. According to Statista, global smartphone shipments will rise in the next couple of years:

(Source: Statista)

And the fact that Gear VR is comparable only with Samsung devices is not a big deal because the company has the biggest share of the smartphone market in the world and it seems that it will only expand further and increase the number of its users.

(Source: Counterpoint Research)

As the virtual reality industry gains traction, more and more competitors will join the field. That’s why for Samsung it’s important to establish a presence in the industry as fast as possible. According to the data from research company TrendForce, the global value of the virtual reality market will grow consistently each year, from less than $10 billion in 2016 to around $70 billion in 2020:

And as we can see from the picture above, hardware will play a crucial role at the first stages of this fast-growing market. And the market is not that populated at the moment. Samsung’s main competitors in this field are private companies like Freefly, Noon, Zeiss and others. However, most of them are selling only online and don’t have the luxury to be available for sale at the major retail franchises. And Samsung’s ecosystem offers far more greater experience than all of those companies. At the same time, the competitors’ price is in the range of $70 to $120 and the quality of the product can be questioned.

The last factor that plays an important role in Gear VR success is Samsung’s brand recognition. Long ago, the company established itself as a major player in the electronics market and people love to buy its products, thanks to the great quality and relatively low price.

Conclusion

The virtual reality industry is just gaining traction. A lot of companies are already developing their own devices and hope to take some chunk of this fast-growing market. And while big tech giants like Facebook, Sony and HTC are making their product for the powerful platforms like the PC and next-gen consoles, Samsung is taking the most out of mobile customers.

At this point in time, it’s important for the company to establish itself as a major manufacturer of hardware virtual reality devices. And that’s what Samsung is doing great at the moment. All of its headsets are already sold out and pre-orders are way off the cliff. With the strong presence in the industry, the company could afford to invite the best software developers to create content for the Gear VR. I believe that Samsung had a great launch for its VR device last November, and with the resources that they have and all of the catalysts that I described in this article, the company is poised for growth.

The above article originally appeared on Seeking Alpha, written by Dana Blankenhorn.

Nintendo to give gamers the perfect reason to buy a 4K TV

NINTENDO’S new NX console could have a big say on whether you buy a 4K TV in the future.

Nintendo-NX-

More information supposedly connected with the Nintendo NX project has surfaced today, revealing more on what the new console could be like.

A list of new details have appeared on Reddit, from a verified Reddit user by the name of UntypedHero.

For those who want to know, the Reddit moderators of the board say they have been able to verify that the poster has got connections with Nintendo development.

According to this new report, the Nintendo NX will include a wide range of compatibility options and be able to handle ports of current-gen titles, although no specific stats were included.

One of the most interesting titbits of information given to us from UntypedHero concerns the NX’s potential to output games at 4K, which could prove as stiff competition for the promised 4K ready PS4 that’s also supposed to launch this year.

Here are the full details from the Reddit post:

• The retail name for the NX is unknown to developers (or they are holding back). I’ve asked multiple sources.
• I know of at least 1 third-party Wii U game that has/have been successfully ported to NX.
• Amiibo are still supported (if you hadn’t already guessed).
• Friend codes are still a thing (unfortunately).
• I don’t know when the NX will be announced. Speculation is this month.
• There are multiple “gimmicks” with the NX, one is optional.
• There are physical dev-kits out in the wild, I don’t have access to these.
• I don’t know the model of the GPU, however there is little doubt (from what I’ve been told) that it an AMD.
• The NX is capable of outputting 4k. Consensus is up-scaling and streaming.
• DDR4 Memory (between 6GB – 8GB).”

As with every rumor it’s still worth taking everything with a pinch of salt until Nintendo confirm these details themselves.

This follows news last week that the new-look revamped Playstation 4 and Nintendo’s secretive NX console will both release before Christmas.

That was the verdict of industry insiders after computer maker AMD announced custom chips for both machines were being prepared for 2016 releases.

Playstation is so far refusing to publicly announce its revamped PS4K machine – which is rumored to come with a new God of War game.

But leaks have suggested it will launch with double the graphics power of the current PS4 and 4K video capability.

That means images will be up to four times better than the current 1080p HD quality of most flat screen televisions.

This post was originally published on DailyStar.co.uk

Nintendo unveils new line of official amiibo diorama kits

AD 1

Why leave your inactive Nintendo heroes out on the shelf when you can give them a proper home?

Nintendo hit an absolute home run with its amiibo line. Before it was launched, skeptics wondered if gamers would be willing to buy one of the game-enhancing figurines, but the real question has turned out to be what collectors should do with the multiple amiibos they’ve purchased but aren’t currently using.

The easy answer is to stick them on a shelf, but is such a mundane space really the proper environment in which to display some of the most imaginative and iconic video game characters ever conceived? Nintendo itself seems to think not, and so the company’s Japanese division has announced that it will soon start selling amiibo diorama kits.

AD 2

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Two different kits will be initially available. Given the expansive crossover roster that shows up in Super Smash Bros., a diorama based on the multi-player franchise was an obvious choice for one of the inaugural offerings.

AD 4

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Not quite as versatile, but no less charming, is the Kirby diorama, a perfect home for the all-consuming hero plus his friends and adversaries.

▼ It even comes with a handful of props.

AD 6

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The dioramas can fold flat when not in use, with their respective series logos prominently displayed.

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Both are priced at 864 yen (US$7.75), a few hundred yen less than an amiibo figure will cost you in Japan, and go on sale April 28. If they prove to be as popular as the amiibos themselves have been, you can bet that we’ll eventually see Hyrule, the Mushroom Kingdom, and Planet Zebes added to lineup.

This article was originally posted on Rocket News

Nintendo Mobile: Miitomo, A Sign Of Things To Come?

Summary

  • Miitomo released in Japan and 1 million users signed up in the first 3 days.
  • Miitomo is unconventional and will be an excellent marketing tool if global downloads are strong.
  • We still need to see a traditional Nintendo game on mobile with proper monetization.

Introduction

Nintendo’s(OTCPK:NTDOY) long anticipated first mobile app was released in Japan on March 17th. Miitomo, a social networking app, garnered over one million users in Japan within three days of launch. As I write this article, NTDOY is up 5.5% with the share price rise driven apparently by the bullish adoption figures and the clear power of the Nintendo brand in the mobile space. This is good news for NTDOY investors as the mobile strategy is in the very early phases and the pent up demand for Nintendo on mobile is massive.

What is Miitomo?

Miitomo is an odd thing– not really a game, and not really a proper social network either. The easiest way to explain Miitomo is that it is a new version of Tomodachi life with a larger potential user base and mobile phone connectivity.

You start by creating a Mii avatar and answering some random personal questions. You can add friends from your other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Your avatar and your friends avatars interact and ask each other questions in sort of a “virtual life” simulation. Interactions earn you coins which you can spend on in game items like clothing or accessories for your Mii avatar.

Additionally, there is a pachinko like mini game which uses in game coins as well as a photo application that allows you to incorporate your Mii into real world pictures you take with your phone. Photos are stored on Nintendo’s servers and not on your phone. For more detail I strongly suggest you take a look at this article which has an excellent summary of the app.

In app purchases are free, but you can buy more coins with real world currency. Nintendo has stressed that users do not need to spend real world currency to get a full experience in Miitomo. This is good to hear as a predatory monetization strategy would surely limit widespread adoption of Nintendo’s mobile offerings.

How does Miitomo fit in with the broader mobile strategy?

Miitomo is an interesting choice for the first mobile application released. Tomodachi life was not a major success, but it sold reasonably well at +3 million units sold globally. There is potential for Miitomo to perform far better and reach a vastly larger audience given the app is free and available on iOS and Android to hundreds of millions of mobile phone users.

Purely from curiosity and familiarity with the Nintendo brand, many will download the app just to check it out. If the experience is interesting and offers enough social network “stickiness” some might even hang around and spend some money.

Miitomo will be successful at pulling in users to the Nintendo mobile ecosystem and will generate buzz in social media to increase awareness of future Nintendo mobile titles. In a sense, Miitomo is a marketing tool for Nintendo to lay the early foundation of their mobile strategy. I do not believe it will be a major contributor to revenues or profits, but if leveraged successfully when the big name mobile games are released, Miitomo will be the platform that drives the hype and generates consumer awareness.

Conclusion

Nintendo still needs to release an actual mobile game incorporating their primary IP. Miitomo feels like a small thing designed to help market the brand and build up an early user base. If one million users have already signed up in Japan, imagine what an actual Mario title will do if released into the mobile platform.

I remain very bullish about Nintendo as they are sitting on a gold mine of IP and backlog that will be incredibly profitable if they can execute an effective mobile strategy. The share price is up as of today, but there is still significant upside potential with the impending release of major information on the NX as well as the lineup of future mobile games. Expect major news around E3 in June which will certainly drive the share price higher.

The above article originally appeared on Seeking Alpha

 

Expect PS4K and Nintendo NX This Year

Much has been rumored about new consoles from Nintendo and Sony. Both Japanese companies have been secretive about their plans for their new game systems. In Nintendo’s case it’s the NX, a console that’s seen its fair share of speculation with everything from resolution and frame rate to well-orchestrated fake controllers. As for Sony, since GDC 2016 we’ve seen more than a few murmurs of a PS4K – allegedly a souped-up version of the PS4 for gaming at higher resolutions and for enjoying enhanced VR.

And while both companies have been quiet in the face of never-ending speculation, Nintendo being silent as it always is, and Sony’s executives preferring to tweet that they’re playing Dark Souls 3 in VR instead of tackling fan questions head on, the biggest indicator lies in their common partner, AMD.

According to the graphic giant’s latest financials, you can expect new consoles “in the second half of 2016.”

Now, while AMD hasn’t explicitly said who is launching what, its complete statement is as follows, as highlighted on NeoGAF:

“In our EESC segment, we had record shipments of our semi-custom SoCs powering the Playstation 4 and Xbox One game consoles. Demand for game consoles looks strong for 2016 and we remain on track to generate additional revenue from new semi-custom business in the second half of 2016. Game consoles — we see units going up 2016 to 2015. We’ve also said in the enterprise embedded and semi-custom segment that we will be ramping some new design revenue in the second half of 2016. We have new products being introduced in both the businesses with the new design wins in the second half on the semi-custom side.”

With Microsoft’s Phil Spencer quashing all rumors of an incremental Xbox One, that effectively rules it out. Considering that AMD’s chips have been powering all three consoles makers, it leaves both Nintendo and Sony with products to showcase.

This article was originally posted on Gadgets 360

How the fake Nintendo NX controller was made with a 3D printer

There’s no other way around it, people, we’ve been duped. Those pictures we posted of Nintendo’s supposed NX controller? Fake. Just intricate 3D constructs. While the first “leaked” image did look somewhat bogus, the second image appeared to be the genuine article. A trusted Nintendo insider yesterday claimed that the images in question were bogus but there was still uncertainty over whether or not these were actual pictures of the NX controller. Today, we know for certain this was all just an elaborate hoax, and those responsible for the images have come forth to reveal how they fooled the Internet.

The first image was created by a man named David Im, who has in the past made video game mock ups. Inspired by the patent leaks from last year, he created a 3D model of the NX controller and inserted that into a picture using Photoshop. He uploaded the video below to YouTube to reveal that it was all a hoax (while not so subtly making poking fun at people who believed it to be real). He also posted mockups of the controller on DeviantArt.

The next pair of images were created by Frank Sandqvist, who is the co-founder of CNC Design in Finland. The reason his fake looked so real is because it was an actual physical object created using a 3D printer. For the geeks out there, the 3D modeling tool used was the Fusion 360. The model was printed in black resin and acrylic. Below is a video of how he made his controller.

NX cont2

Sandqvist modeled his 3D model after Im’s, hence their similarities. Like Im, Sandqvist put tape over what was supposedly a hidden sensor in order to match the first fake. The “confidential sticker” was apparently taken from photos of real Nintendo development kits.

Both men explained they just wanted to have fun and weren’t expecting the images to cause such a stir. I find that last part hard to believe considering how hungry people are for any information regarding Nintendo’s upcoming console. Still, these men effectively got us. Even those who didn’t believe these controllers were real talked about them (or wrote about them in our case). But no harm was ultimately done, so at the end of the day, we applaud Im and Sandqvis for giving us something interesting to talk about.

We’ll leave you with this Vine by Tim Aza demonstrating how the controller would work if it was real.

https://vine.co/v/ipgFFbXMQAU/embed/simple?wmode=transparent

The above article originally appeared on Geek.com here

The Long Case For Nintendo

Summary

  • Nintendo is coiled like a spring ready to jump.
  • The market has underestimated the NX and mobile offerings.
  • Nintendo is not currently in vogue and now is the perfect time to buy.

Elevator Pitch

Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) is extremely undervalued for the future potential contained within the Nintendo IP. Get in before the NX details are revealed in June and the stock spikes. Additionally, several big games are on the near-term horizon, including a new Zelda for the Wii U and the final reveal of the Nintendo DeNA mobile offering.

Thesis And Catalyst For Nintendo

Nintendo has long been thought of by the market as a company past its prime and headed for a dim future. I hope that this recap of the near-term horizon changes your mind.

While I agree that the past few years have not been kind to Nintendo with the missteps of the Wii U (an abysmal failure of a console due to shoddy marketing and poor timing), the future looks very bright. Nintendo has some of the most valuable and well-loved IP in the world tied up in its various franchises (Mario, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Smash Brothers).

The recent moves into mobile and the upcoming NX (new console) reveal scheduled for June/July will generate catalysts that have the potential to drive the stock price up based on hype alone. As a reference, the mere prospect of Nintendo entering the mobile space drove the share price from $14 up to $22 peaking in September at $25.

News on the first (underwhelming) mobile offering (Titled “Miitomo”) had many scratching their heads as the game seems to be more like a social network app than an actual “game”. Share price has steadily dropped since this news which you can see on the chart below.

NTDOY performance over last yearClick to enlarge

It is still not completely clear as to what Nintendo’s mobile game strategy is and it has been very tight lipped on details. I expect to see “freemium” or “free to try” offerings of a variety of games and potentially the opening up of the back catalog of Nintendo products from previous consoles. If Nintendo plays this hand correctly, it will be the top selling apps in a market that Nintendo had previously not touched.

The NX is also a bit of a mystery but I expect it will be a hybrid console/portable replacement for the 3DS and Wii U with more power and a “platform” of software that allows the same games to be played on the TV or remotely. There may even be some mobile integration which would further tie the NX as a true “Nintendo Cross” platform offering.

We should also see a new Zelda game in 2016 for the Wii U which will be a system seller building on the recent Wii U monster successes of Splatoon and Super Mario Maker. (Mario Maker is regarded by many critics as the best game of 2015)

Valuation

Nintendo is about to turn the corner and is poised to jump back into the lead in the console/video game market if the mobile offerings hit big and the NX delivers on the hype.

There are two ways to play Nintendo from my perspective. Buy the stock now and hold until the NX and mobile offering reveals (sell the news) or purchase for the long term with the expectation that Nintendo will regain much of its lost footing in the home console market.

Personally, I intend to hold until the NX/Mobile reveals and have set a sale target price of $26 based on levels seen previously when the news of Nintendo IP going to mobile was first published.

If the stock does not achieve that level in June/July, I intend to hold long term if I agree with the technical direction and business strategy that Nintendo reveals.

Variant View

What could go wrong?

If the NX or mobile game offerings are VERY underwhelming, expect the market to mostly yawn and keep the NTDOY share price in the range of $12-16 with an upside of maybe $19-20.

The above article originally appeared on Seeking Alpha, written by Jimmy Lamz.