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8 Retro Games Consoles We Want this Christmas Instead of the Sony Playstation 4

December 18, 2013 by consolpartners

I can picture it now – teenage boys all over the world have spent the last few months counting down the days until launch, craning necks around a huddle trying to catch a glimpse of the demo model in store, leaving catalogues around the house open on the right page so their mums know EXACTLY what to get…. Yes, the Sony Playstation 4 has dropped … right in time for Christmas.

The PS4 is undoubtedly Sony’s most advanced console yet, with redesigned control pads, improved operating interface, and yet more online capabilities. Gameplay is crystal clear, super fast and smooth as glass. Although clearly designed to compete fiercely with arch-rival Xbox One, there are some clear differences in strategy. While Xbox have focused on voice and motion user control, PS4 are sticking to traditional gamer-pad relationships. Personally, I prefer to sit motionless in total silence, channelling all energy into the pad, rather than be seen through the curtains flapping and gesticulating wildly whilst shouting random commands towards the TV.

And yet every time a new, more advanced, more impressive, more hi-tech games console is released I can’t help but feel a pang for the games I played as a teenager. Playing a video game in the 80’s and 90’s was almost ritualistic…. blowing the dust out of the cassette and the drive, fiddling with a tangle of RGB and SCART cables in the back of the telly, unwrapping the pad from it’s neatly curled wire and sitting poised while the game loads… not to mention the delightful torture of getting a new game on Christmas day and enduring hours of television until your family fell asleep and you could commandeer control of the remote.

And so, whilst teenage boys across the world continue to hope for a PS4 beneath the tree next week, we at ConSol Partners will be writing to Santa for some of the following classics…

 

1. Have you Played your Atari Today?

Launched in 1977, the Atari 2600 is undoubtedly the daddy of all games consoles as we know them.  The better the game, the more bleepy the soundtrack, characteristically becoming faster as the levels advance. With classics like PacMan, Space Invaders and Street Racer still recreated today on modern devices, the spirit of Atari lives on.

 

2. ZX Spectrum – The “Speccy”

Affectionately named the “Speccy”, the ZX Spectrum hit homes in 1982 with its sticky rubber keys and Rainbow motif, a nostalgic beacon breaking up the bleakness of a decade most would rather forget. They revolutionised home gaming with more advanced games than ever before including “Sim City”, “Football Manager” and “The Hobbit”, as well as some more obscure titles like “Granny’s Garden” , “Battle of the Toothpaste Tubes”  and “Bored of the Rings”.

 

3. Sega Megadrive – All Systems, Full Power!

Home to Sonic the Hedgehog, possibly the most exciting platform adventure game ever created, the Sega Megadrive holds a special spot in the hearts of most 90s gamers. Although the 1988 launch coincided with competitor Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros 3, Sonic has stood the test of time as Sega’s ambassador in much the same was as Mario has for Nintendo. Originally proposed as an Armadillo, Sonic was designed in the same cobalt blue as Sega’s logo, with boots modelled on Michael Jackson’s 1987 album Bad and a “can do” attitude based on Bill Clinton.

 

4. Wild Gameboy Appeared!

First released in 1989, the Nintendo Gameboy dominated the 90’s handled-gaming market. In the days before kids played music on their phones out loud on public transport, they bleeped and tapped furiously on Gameboys. And who can blame them? With classics including the Pokemon series, Super Mario and super-retro Tetris, the Gameboy has to be, without doubt, the best travel companion EVER.

 

5. The SNES – Now you’re Playing with Power, SUPER Power!

Nicknamed the “SNES” , the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1992 as a follow-up to the “Nintendo Entertainment System” (NES). Offering an all-round more “Super” gaming experience, the NES & SNES first brought Mario and his cronies to homes across the planet in a vicious battle for gamers against their nemesis, the Sega Megadrive.

 

6. It’s-a-me, Nintendo 64!

Named after its at-the-time super advanced 64-bit CPU, the 1996 Nintendo 64 remains popular despite advancing technology. Owning an N64 today instills the same jealousy in your friends as it did when you were teenagers. Classics such as Super Mario, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong and Zelda are still re-invented on modern Nintendo consoles, whereas hardcore N-64ers are still today blowing the dust out of 007 Golden Eye, Perfect Dark and Mortal Kombat.

 

7. Playstation – HADOUKEN!

The most nostalgia-inducing console for me, and with an unbelievable catalogue of games, the first generation PlayStation was launched in 1994 and has been a market leader ever since. I can’t pick a stand-out favourite for this, so I’m just going to list awesome Playstation 1 games. This can also be read as a wish-list, which I will be forwarding to Santa. Reminisce at your own leisure.

 

  • Street Fighter
  • Tekken
  • Crash Bandicoot & Crash Team Racing
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil
  • Spyro the Dragon
  • Tomb Raider
  • Quake
  • Silent Hill
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Tony Hawks
  • Metal Gear Solid

 

8. Nintendo GameCube – Choose your Character!

Available from November 2001, the GameCube was the first console to use characteristic mini optical discs. This console split opinion in the market, but I’m a big fan. Many an hour has been spent both as child and adult tearing around courses on Mario Cart, sneaking around frantically on TimeSplitters and arguing over characters on Super Smash Bros. The best thing about the GameCube? 4 controller sockets equals halved waiting time for your turn!




Despite the awe-inducing advancement of technology in modern games consoles such as the Xbox One and Playstation 4, the truth remains that a great game is defined in its concept as much in its execution. The simplicity of platform, adventure and racing games over the years is what makes them enjoyable, and always better fun with friends. Interestingly, social capabilities driven by online connectivity continue to drive the advancement of consoles as much as the tech-spec itself, and I believe this will be more important in the long-term than features such as voice control and ergonomic design.

Game Over

 

From ConSol Partners

Follow ConSol on Twitter: @ConSolPartners

 

 

Holiday Hiring – 5 Reasons Why December is the New January

November 12, 2013 by consolpartners

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With 2013 coming to a close, many individuals will be making the most of the opportunity to wind down and bring the year to a natural close. Much like those in-betweeney days after Christmas and before New Year are spent thinking about how much you ate/drank, and what a great person you’re going to be starting 1st January, December in the work place is a time for reflection, consolidation and forward-planning.  January presents a fresh start, with blank league tables offering endless opportunities and renewed optimism. January is the perfect time to hire new staff for your team – isn’t it?

Actually, no. Here’s why:

 

1. In January, everyone wants to be running full steam ahead

Amid the start of year chaos that is sales kick-offs, budget planning, new product releases and customer meetings, January is the busiest month of the year for most businesses. Expectations are high, and over-indulged employees back from their Christmas breaks are under pressure to make up for a slow December, punctuated with Christmas parties, hangovers and last-minute holidays. During this time, are your staff really going to be motivated to take time out of their day job to complete a hiring process?

 2. You need a different game plan to your competitors

So you’ve seen some great CVs and set up interviews for next week, confident one of them will be right for the job. Meanwhile, all your competitors are interviewing the same candidates in a frantic scramble for the best talent. Companies hiring in January have to be extra-competitive with job offers and move at the speed of light to even get a shot at securing their preferred candidates.

3.       Lost time in January is lost money for the rest of the year

You’ve probably never considered November/December as a logical time to focus on hiring, but if you want to up headcount in the New Year, it makes sense to complete the hiring process during the quieter holiday season when the team can give it their full attention. It’s easier for candidates to get time off to interview, and if you’re smart about reaching out to passive candidates who are more-often-than-not thinking about a career move come the new year anyway, you get pick of the bunch without having to battle other would-be employers.

4.       You’ll be amazed at the impact of getting new starters up to speed before January

Starters in December have the opportunity to get to grips with the new environment at a comfortable pace, whilst in January when there’s no room for error. The team will be feeling extra welcoming with all that Christmas spirit flying around, and by the time their first month is up your new hire will think they’ve landed their dream job. Queue January, and they have no excuse not to hit the ground running and contribute fully to the year. This way, you get the best out of them with no lost time and a smooth, comfortable integration. Happy days!

5.       Hiring in Q4 is a proven strategy favoured by industry leaders

One of ConSol’s longest-standing customers, a globally leading telecommunications and internet service provider, have found ever the years that hires starting between Q1-Q3 are slow to make an impact and trickier to integrate. They complete the vast majority of their hiring in Q4, with very little activity throughout the rest of the year. They believe that by following this pattern, not only do they get the maximum business value out of new staff for a full business year come January, they also get their pick of the best talent as other companies have slowed down their hiring.

 

Some business owners will be reluctant to bring on new staff in December, who have to be included in budget for Christmas parties and a pay period in which staff are inevitably less productive than usual. But you can still get a head start – there’s no reason not to use December to complete the hiring process – complete interviews without pressure and cherry-pick candidates ahead of the competition. A job offer is made and accepted, hands are shaken, mince pies are shared and everyone goes away for Christmas. The new starter arrives in January, fresh as a daisy and raring to go.

So, if you’re currently thinking about your hiring strategy for 2014, now is the time to get the wheels in motion. Stop planning to plan your hiring plan, and get started on identifying candidates for the roles you want to fill – the impact come January resonates throughout the year and is well worth the extra work before Christmas.

 

From ConSol Partners

ConSol Partners Announce Mike Cain will be Relocating to LA to Lead US Office

October 23, 2013 by consolpartners

ConSol Partners are pleased to announce that Mike Cain, Manager for the Permanent Development Division, will be heading up the newly launched Los Angeles office as part of a strategic plan for global expansion.

Mike joined ConSol in 2011 with the ambition of progressing his career into a senior role, and is looking forward to the move;

“On a personal level I am delighted to be pursuing a lifelong ambition to live and work in the US, and with the thriving tech scene across California the opportunity to expand our already established client base on the West Coast is huge. Being based in Santa Monica will allows us to tap into the ever growing investment into its tech community, and with our proven ability to source niche talent on a global scale the opportunities are endless. I am excited to be leading ConSol’s US offering and can’t wait to get started!”

 - Mike Cain, ConSol Partners

 

After graduating with a BSC in Management, Mike began his recruitment career at SThree, demonstrating a natural ability to lead and develop successful recruitment teams during his 5 years with the business. Since joining ConSol, he has successfully built the Permanent Development team from scratch, earning a loyal customer base including Fortune 100 companies, which will continue to expand after Mike’s transition.

Mike will be relocating to Santa Monica, recently nicknamed Silicon Beach, in December 2013. After their rapid expansion from their London HQ, the new office is a result of ConSol’s international success recruiting into the Communications, Content and Development technology sectors.

For more information on opportunities in the L.A. team, please email our internal recruiter – charlotte.collins@consolpartners.com

 

Training & Development – How to get it Right

October 23, 2013 by consolpartners

Recruitment Buzz have published an article by ConSol Partners’ Director & Founder Marc Cohen discussing ideas, challenges and successes around Training & Development.

Training & Development is very close to the heart of ConSol Partners, with Marc himself being a Dale Carnegie certified master in Sales Training & Leadership. The graduate training program and ongoing development initiatives for existing staff members has received much acclaim and Marc believes a continued commitment to Training & Development underlies the success of the business.

 

The full article can be read here at RecruitmentBuzz.

 

ConSol Partners and UEFA Recruitment Collaboration

September 17, 2013 by consolpartners

ConSol Partners have teamed with UEFA in a new initiative focused on recruiting top international IT talent.

UEFA employ some of Europe’s most talented IT staff responsible for events such as the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA European Football Championship. To continuously meet the high expectations of stakeholders year after year, UEFA utilize cutting edge technology to deliver their show piece events.

To attract leading IT professionals across Europe, UEFA has selected ConSol Partners – a leading IT recruiter – in order to achieve their headcount requirements.

ConSol Partners recruit across the Communication, Content and Web Development markets globally. Situated in London, Ben Wallin will lead the collaboration.

“This project will enable UEFA to raise their profile as an employer of choice. They have a fantastic brand and working environment, I’m confident we can help them attract the highest calibre of candidate.” 

As Europe’s governing body of football UEFA supports 54 national football associations in addition to organising its own competitions. Work is already underway in preparation for the UEFA EURO 2016 taking place in France.

UEFA’s headquarters are located on the banks of Lake Geneva in Nyon, Switzerland with 400 staff.

If you would like to learn more about UEFA’s current ICT vacancies please contact ConSol Partners +44 203 2077 999 or ben.wallin@consolpartners.com

Do you know everything there is to know when it comes to online video?

August 21, 2013 by consolpartners

You may remember reading in a previous blog that ConSol teamed up with industry experts to host an online video thought leadership event. We recognised that there can be a real struggle in defining what online video actually is, making it difficult for businesses to understand its value, and we wanted to share expert thought back into the industry.

There’s no doubt that the changing landscape has led to real transformations in the industry, and it’s important that companies understand best practice and take advantage of the growth of video. We’ve since produced a white paper, which outlines some of the key themes from the day, such as: the value of online video, how online video advertising can compete for TV spend, the economics of content, and the future of online video monetisation.

If you’re interested in learning from experts in the field from the likes of Videoplaza, Adap.tv and Stream Foundations and would like to request a copy of the white paper, please contact Marc Cohen: Marc.Cohen@consolpartners.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ConSol Partners announce Los Angeles expansion

August 1, 2013 by consolpartners

ConSol Partners rapid growth continues as plans to open a West Coast office were unveiled today. This latest development is another milestone in ConSol’s success story since launching in 2008.

ConSol, the UK’s fastest growing IT recruitment agency (Fast Track Sunday Times & Virgin), are a truly international business with placements in over 50 counties globally. With increasing revenues from North America Graeme Hubert, co-founder, believes now is the time to have a California footing;

“The US is home to many of our key customers. We’ve assisted them with EMEA expansion, now it’s time to support them locally. We’re committed to the US tech scene and firmly believe in the value we can bring to candidates and clients. It’s an exciting time.”

ConSol will be ready for business from 1st December 2013 with Marc Cohen (co-founder) leading the US operation from Santa Monica, California. Marc spent 6 years in LA recruiting for major digital media clients earlier in his career.

“Since ConSol founded, establishing an office in LA has always been part of our strategy. California is a real hub for cutting-edge technology companies. As a green card holder I’m well placed to lead this investment. We’re committed to hiring local staff and partnering with pioneering start-ups and regional multinational offices. I am looking forward to working in USA again”

ConSol Partners recruit across niche technology markets in the Internet supply chain.

ConSol Partners are currently seeking experienced and graduate staff local to Santa Monica. Please contact Charlotte Collins on +44 203 2077 999 / charlotte.collins@consolpartners.com or visit www.consolpartners.com to learn more.

ConSol Partners extends commitment to graduate hiring

July 17, 2013 by consolpartners

ConSol Partners, the fastest growing UK IT Recruitment agency, has launched its sixth graduate scheme in just three years, with a further two in the pipeline. In an era where intakes have dwindled, coupled with record graduate unemployment, ConSol Partners is bucking the trend by offering aspiring individuals their chance to join the corporate ladder.

Founded in 2008 and situated at the iconic Institute of Directors offices on New Broad Street, ConSol Partners has witnessed unprecedented growth by recruiting in niche markets across the internet supply chain.

Marc Cohen, founding director, insists graduates are key to ConSol’s future. “We’re big advocates of training and development. Young, hungry graduates with the right attitude can excel in our business because of our willingness to invest considerable time in their learning. It’s important for our culture and growth plans to employ the next generation of talented consultants, and this is a proven scheme – former graduates are now some of our biggest billers.”

The graduate scheme consists of an eight-week ‘academy’ where the selected candidates, typically between six and eight individuals, are given expert training by the award winning and ex-Pareto Law manager, Russell Beswick.

“The scheme we implement is arguably the most comprehensive I have seen in the recruitment industry, and we give graduates all the tools to succeed rather than throw them in at the deep end. I myself joined ConSol because of its overwhelming commitment to learning and development, and the graduate scheme is a major part of this strategy.”

ConSol will be scaling its commitment to graduate hiring throughout Q4 and 2014 with intakes set to rise to one per quarter.

ConSol Partners next Graduate Scheme is now open for applications. Please contact Charlotte Collins on 0203 2077 999 / charlotte.collins@consolpartners.com or visit www.consolpartners.com

 

Please accept our apologies…

July 5, 2013 by consolpartners

Our telephone and internet provider is currently experiencing technical difficulties. As a result, we’re unable to receive emails or calls at this time but, where possible, our phones have been diverted to mobiles.

Please bear with us, we’ll be back up and running as soon as we can. We will respond to all emails when we’re back online.

If you need to get in touch urgently, you can reach us on our main contact number: +44 (0) 203 207 7999

Thanks for your patience.

Is there really money to be made in online video?

June 12, 2013 by consolpartners

At ConSol, we recognise that the digital industry can be hugely complex and there’s often a lack of forum around issues, for instance with regard to online video. As such, we partnered with Stream Foundations to host the first in a series of online video thought leadership events which took place today.

The event, which was held at the Charlotte Street Hotel in London, received an excellent turnout so thanks to all those who attended! Here, we heard from leading experts in the world of video, content and enterprise on one of the most prominent issues in the video world today… monetisation. Topics explored were centred around how much online video is worth to a business, the value of Big Data when it comes to video advertising, strategies to source meaningful and effective content, and what the future holds for online video money.

ConSol has seen our clients revolutionise the web from new VoD solutions to video software and hugely interactive advertising campaigns – Consumers expect more from their web experience because the companies that attended today have pushed the boundaries.

A big thank you to all of our speakers for taking the time to share their knowledge with us: Cameron Church, Founder of Stream Foundations; Rags Gupta, CCO of Videoplaza; Brian Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Adap.tv Europe; Laura Gaffney, Senior VP of Business Development at Unruly Media (USA); Rhys McLachlan, Head of Corporate Development of Videology; Dominic Perkins commercial development director at IPC and Jamie Wilson, MD of UK Sales at Perform.

We understand the importance of sharing expert thought back into the industry, so if you’d like to find out more about what was discussed in this event, we will be producing a whitepaper on this topic. Watch this space!