Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Microsoft sold over 1 million of its new Xbox One game consoles within 24 hours of their hitting store shelves on Friday, on par with Sony’s PlayStation 4 despite launching in far more countries.

The new console, which launched in 13 countries, set a record for first-day Xbox sales and is currently sold out at most retailers, Microsoft said in a statement.

Sony said it sold 1 million PS4 units in 24 hours after launching last Friday in just the United States and Canada. The PS4 expands to other regions, including Europe, Australia and South America, from November 29. It then hits Japan in February.

Microsoft is locked in a console war with Sony this holiday season. The software giant hopes the Xbox One not only entices gamers but attracts a broader consumer base of TV fans and music lovers with its interactive entertainment features and media apps.

“We are working hard to create more Xbox One consoles,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing and strategy at Xbox.

Robert W Baird & Co analyst Colin Sebastian has said he expects shipments of 2.5 million to 3 million units for both the Xbox One and PS4 in the fourth quarter.

Both the PS4, priced at $399 in the United States, and the Xbox One, with a price tag of $499, offer improved graphics for realistic effects, processors that allow faster game play and a slew of exclusive video games.

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Google has launched Helpouts, a marketplace of live video-based help services it has been testing for months.

The search giant has signed on more than 1,000 service providers offering tips on computer repair, yoga lessons, health care, baking and music instruction, among other services.

People can sign up to schedule a help appointment or get an instant session. Available on the Web, Helpouts is also launching on Android

“Very often you don’t know what questions to ask,” says Udi Manber, vice president of engineering at Google.

Helpouts allows people to use their Web cams or mobile phones to show service providers what they are doing and get live feedback in a video-conferencing session.

Google’s Helpouts service uses Google+ for login, Google Wallet for payments and Google Hangouts to provide the video interactions.

Helpouts allows people to sign up for services by the minute or by the job, with varying prices. Google takes 20% of the transaction and the service provider takes the rest.

People shopping for services can check out prices, ratings, reviews and qualifications for tasks. Google offers a money back guarantee on the services.Google Helpouts service providers are by invitation only. Service providers will be available from the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Canadian providers will offer services in both French and English.