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GameStop Begins Selling PC Hardware Such as GPU’s and Gaming Laptops

Ben Smith

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Gaming retail store GameStop has expanded its product catalog to include PC gaming hardware such as the new series of GeForce RTX 3000 graphics cards and gaming laptops.

In earnings call last week, GameStop CEO George Sherman announced that the company will begin selling computer monitors, gaming tables, gaming TVs and graphics card among others. The move comes as the retail store attempts to address the change in consumer’s needs, as more and more people get into PC gaming. Sherman also stated the companies desire to break its reliance on the cyclical nature of the console market, and that the best way to do so was to increase their PC gaming related offerings.

Along with the earnings call, the company also released a new weekly ad that shows the company’s plan to sell RTX 3000 series graphics card, motherboards, power supplies, and even desktop PC cases.

By searching GameStop’s website, you can already see listings for motherboards and graphics cards along with gaming laptops, but many of these products remain unavailable due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage which has halted production of electronics worldwide.

In addition to offering the new products, GameStop has launched their own dedicated PC Gaming page on their website, which sells prebuilt desktops, VR headsets, and various PC gaming accessories such as speakers, headsets, webcams and LED lights.

Many PC Gamers are hoping to see graphics cards become available in physical GameStop locations, as selling cards in physical locations will make it harder for botters and scalpers to buy up the inventory as has happened since the release of the RTX 3000 series. While there is no confirmation on whether these products will be available only online or in stores as well, Sherman noted in the earnings call that GameStop plans to invest heavily in their already existing e-commerce, noting the rise in e-commerce sales since the Covid-19 pandemic began last year.

The news comes over a month after the Reddit-fueled short squeeze that saw GameStop share prices spike, but when the fourth financial quarter came to a close last week, GameStop reported a decline in revenue, to $2.12 billion dollars, down from $2.19 billion a year prior.

It remains unclear as to whether or not the move will increase overall sales for the retail gaming giant, but what is becoming apparent is that PC gaming is becoming more and more mainstream. With the rise of influencers from Twitch streaming and E-Sports, PC Gaming has seen its largest increase in decades, with now over half of all gamers playing on PC. Now, GameStop will provide competition to popular online retailers such as Newegg, B&H, and Amazon for gamers looking to get their hands on some of the hardest to find PC parts of 2021.

Ben is a professional writer who writes about PC hardware, gaming and anything else related to computers. When Ben isn’t writing, you can find him gaming or watching basketball.

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Facebook

Facebook begins testing popup to quell misinformation spread

McKenzie Elyse

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Facebook wants to make sure that its users have read the articles that they share with a new popup feature, which was rolled out to 6 percent of global Android users on Monday. It announced the feature on Twitter, a platform which began testing a similar concept in June 2020.

The popup will only appear on articles that the user hasn’t opened, asking them if they would like to read the article before they continue sharing it. The popup is accompanied with a warning message: “sharing articles without reading them may mean missing key facts.”

Facebook has long struggled with the spread of misinformation and “fake news” on its platforms, particularly during the 2020 election. The announcement of the new popup feature came days after its newly established Oversight Board, a committee of lawyers, politicians, and speech experts, upheld a ban on Former President Donald Trump’s account.

Twitter’s version of the popup feature has received mostly positive feedback, and has prompted users to open articles 40 percent more often than before its release. The feature rolled out to all of its users in September 2020 after three months of testing.

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Microsoft

Why There May Not Be Another Next Gen Xbox

Chris Rausch

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The latest generation of Xboxes were highly anticipated after 8+ years since their predecessor’s launch. In this time, hardware advanced exceptionally and improvements in processor power, storage, and video resolution capability made the Xbox Series X|S formidable machines. But, they may be the last in their line.

Why A New Console Doesn’t Make Sense

The criticism of PC gaming is often how quickly parts become inferior, making it expensive to maintain a high-end PC. Consoles don’t share this depreciation within their own console gaming industry, but they do in the gaming industry overall. As more games are tailored to PC gamers and developers work to ensure compliance with all the innovations in the market, it doesn’t take long for consoles to be underpowered for delivering the ideal gaming experience.

However, with the introduction of Xbox Cloud Gaming – a service that streams games to a browser or app that requires far fewer resources to run – the need for incremental upgrades for both PCs and consoles may diminish. With cloud gaming, older Xbox consoles would be able to “run” games at optimal performance by streaming them to the console. This would then only require the console to handle the display and user input which is far less resource intensive.

Plus, a company like Xbox can’t be too excited to create a whole new console once a decade at a loss. A recent report from the shows that Microsoft has never profited off of a console itself – most income comes from subscriptions and games. Both of these income sources remain even without the addition of a new console, giving even more reason to stay on current gen.

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Business

Sony is Being Sued Over PlayStation’s Digital Store “Monopoly”

Jesse Hoyt

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Sony has had a busy week defending itself from claims of unfair business practices and unwillingness to work with other companies like Epic. The newest of Sony’s problems is a class-action lawsuit against them for having an illegal monopoly with its digital store. This lawsuit came on Wednesday in a California court. The claim was that PlayStation blocking users from buying third-party download codes is in violation of antitrust laws and competition laws. 

Players were initially allowed to purchase these third-party codes from various companies like GameStop and Amazon. In 2019 a memo was leaked that confirmed PlayStation users would only be able to purchase PlayStation games from their own digital storefront. This is the basis of the claim that Sony has created a monopoly. 

This exacerbates an existing issue with digital purchases being considerably more expensive than physical copies of games. We’ve seen a similar scenario with Call of Duty games remaining at the same $60 it was at launch on Steam when physical copies can be purchased for less than half the price. Sony’s “monopoly” allows them to retain absolute control over the price of digital games, essentially eliminate any digital competition, and take a larger cut of revenue by way of overcharging for games. Sony made $17 billion from digital content on PlayStation Network alone, so it’s pretty obvious why they want to corner the market like this. What do Sony’s actions mean for players? It means that games are going to maintain high prices (except during sales) and will almost certainly be charged more than a game is supposed to be. This isn’t too surprising based on Sony’s past behavior especially with things like cross-platform gameplay. They’ve been extraordinarily opposed to crossplay, citing that it would interfere with revenue streams for PlayStation.

This lawsuit comes hot on the heels of another high-profile gaming-related case involving Apple, Google, Epic Games, and violation of antitrust laws. Epic had implemented its own payment system for Fortnite on mobile. They claimed that Apple and Google were also creating illegal monopolies since they were using their payments were required to go through their respective services instead of purchasing directly from Epic. This is identical to the lawsuit currently happening with Sony. The Epic vs Apple case hasn’t concluded yet and neither has the class-action lawsuit against Sony so the potential results still seem unclear, but history tells us that this will be an uphill battle for both Epics Games and Sony. Antitrust cases have been notoriously difficult and typically sway in favor of large corporations. We can ask for a favorable outcome but don’t get your hopes up just yet.

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