Biz Break: Pokémon Go set to go live in Nintendo’s home, Japan

Top Of The Order:  

Home, At Last: Back in my somewhat younger days, I lived in Japan for three years. Needless to say, it was quite the experience. The trains really are never, ever late. People love to non-ironically throw up the two-fingered “peace” sign in nearly every photo they take. And they have what might be the single greatest piece of technology in human history: The beer vending machine. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched one of these boxes deliver a quart-sized bottle of Kirin Lager into your waiting hands.

Well, the beer vending machine may have to take a back seat to a new technological wonder that that is set to arrive in Japan on Wednesday: Pokémon Go.

Yes, the game that is being given credit for doubling Nintendo’s value in less than two weeks is finally going to be available in its home country. On Wednesday, millions of Pokémonmaniacs will get their chance to put their smartphones up to their faces and begin wandering around Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and every other part of Japan in search of all the Pokémon they can find.

One place that will get a lot of Pokémon action will be Japan’s approximately 3,000 McDonald’s restaurants. McDonald’s is said to have partnered up with Nintendo and Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go that is part-owned by Nintendo, to turn its Japanese restaurants into gyms for the game where Pokémon Go players can work out and clean up on collecting Pokémon.

Can’t wait to see the first videos of Pokémonners (my new name for Pokémon players) hovering over someone at a McDonald’s because they found a Pokémon standing on top of that person’s Big Mac. Yeah, this is going to work out well.

Middle Innings: 

Microsoft On The Rise: Microsoft shares were set for an upbeat start to Wednesday’s trading session, as the software giant reported what were seen as upbeat fiscal fourth-quarter results on Tuesday.

Microsoft said it earned $3.12 billion, or 39 cents a share, on revenue of $20.61 billion for the quarter ended in June. Excluding one-time items, Microsoft earned 69 cents a share. The results were highlighted by gains in Microsoft’s cloud, productivity and business process, and Surface business units.

Spare A Quarter, Mister?: Sure, the Snapchats and Ubers of the world are growing so quickly that they have no trouble attracting venture capital investment dollars. But where does that leave every other startup that’s working out of the proverbial garage?

Most likely, holding its hand out.

According to Bloomberg, a new study by KPMG and CB Insights says global activity in funding startups is on the wane, and if it continues on its current path, will just manage to surpass the number of deals made in 2013. And the main reason fewer deals are being done is because investors are putting more money into the likes of the aforementioned Snapchat and Uber. By the time the investors have cut their checks to those bigger startups, there has been little left for the smaller guys out there.

Bottom Of The Lineup: 

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Tuesday…

Movin’ On Up: Gains came from VMware, Cypress Semiconductor, Rambus, Oclaro and YuMe.

In The Red: Netflix shares fell more than 13 percent in the wake of the company reporting weaker-than-expected new subscribers during the first quarter of the year. Others on the slide included Super Micro Computer, Glu Mobile, Quotient Technology and GoPro.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.4 percent to 5,036.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up by 0.1 percent to 18,559.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ended the day down by 0.1 percent to finish at 2,163.

Quote Of The Day: “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect.” — Melania Trump, in her speech before the Republican National Convention Monday night. The wife of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump became embroiled in a controversy about whether the quote above and other parts of the speech were cribbed from a speech that Michelle Obama gave in 2008.

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Photo: A gamer holds a Pokémon mascot and his mobile phone as he plays with the Pokémon Go application in central Rome on July 19, 2016. Pokémon Go was schedule to go live in Nintendo’s home country, Japan on Wednesday. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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