After 2 Shootings, Walmart Removes Violent Video Game Displays—Still Selling Firearms

I don’t want to open up a big fucking can of worms here, but seriously Walmart?

Let’s recap the senselessness.

  • July 30, two Walmart employees are shot and killed in Mississippi.
  • August 3, twenty-two people were tragically killed in a mass shooting in at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
  • August 8, some dumb motherfucker strolls into a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri armed with a rifle while donning body armor and military-style clothing.

Walmart has an problem here. So the dumb corporate fucks do the most sensible thing… Take down displays of violent video games, of course.

Many gun control advocates are rallying to get Walmart to at least temporarily stop sales of firearms. I mean what’s worse, a poster of firearms in the electronics section, or actual fucking firearms. Walmart, however, does not agree with this logic, as per spokesman Randy Hargrove:

“There’s been no change in policy,” adding that the retailer has been focused on caring for customers and employees in the El Paso community. “It’s horrible … what’s happened.’’

USA Today

Stopping sales of firearms, even temporarily, will obviously harm Walmart’s bottom line. It’s easier to just go back to the good ole standby that old, out-of-touch, limp dick politicians and corporations have been using for years. Blame the video games.

Toys ‘R’ Us is Officially Back—Opening in Two Test Locations

It was no secret that I was irrationally upset when I learned that Toys ‘R’ Us was closing down.

Grief turned to optimism when news came that the iconic store was primed for a resurrection. Now, I’m as euphoric as a teenager after receiving his first wristy. Toys ‘R’ Us is back baby, and will re-open in the finest state in the union, New Jersey.

The best bits from the official press release below:

Tru Kids, the proud parent of the Toys“R”Us brand will bring Toys“R”Us stores back to the United States this holiday season. Tru Kids and b8ta, the software-powered experiential retailer have entered into a joint venture to launch a new store experience that will deliver the hottest toy products and brands, carefully curated and showcased in highly immersive smaller-format spaces.

The first two new Toys“R”Us stores will open this holiday season, located in The Galleria in Houston, Texas, a Simon Mall, and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. Brand partners and experiences will be announced in the coming weeks.

The new Toys“R”Us stores will serve as must-visit destinations for kids to learn, play, and fall in love with the latest and most popular toys, and for parents to have fun with their children and ignite their own childlike sense of play. The stores will be highly interactive with new events and activities every day, from seeing toys displayed out of the box to test before making a purchase, to visiting different brand stations to driving learning through play embracing STEAM, or just having fun with Geoffrey® the Giraffe in the open playspace.

The companies plan to open additional locations in prime, high-traffic retail markets within the U.S. over the course of 2020. To learn more about Toys“R”Us, and stay in the know about new store openings and offers, visit http://www.toysrus.com.

Tru Kids Brands

Toys ‘R’ Us will always be synonymous with video games for me. Back in the day, I remember my mom taking me to the store as a kid, where I would pick up a game ticket, pay, and then pick it up at the “cage.” Fucking magical.

This holiday, I’m taking my girls to Paramus and we WILL make purchases. This institution must be supported and never again taken for granted. The world is a better place place with Toys ‘R’ Us.

Seriously, do you prefer to buy toys from a fucking Bond villain like Jeff Bezos?

GameStop’s Has a Hail Mary Plan to Save the Business

GameStop has a plan to save it’s business in a world that is becoming more comfortable downloading games and less interested in overpaying for used titles.

Think less seedy pawn shop, and more Apple Store, I suppose.

GRAPEVINE, Texas, July 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), today announced a strategic partnership with global innovation design firm, R/GA, to strengthen its focus on creating unique in-store experiences as part of its strategic move in re-affirming its place in the video gaming culture.
The partnership with R/GA’s Austin and Chicago teams is part of GameStop’s broader business transformation strategy to evolve its efforts in cultivating innovative customer-centric opportunities to bring video game culture to life in every neighborhood. GameStop’s renewed customer-first focus stems from qualitative and quantitative research led by GameStop and R/GA that identified four major motivations gaming fans have for playing video games – immersion, achievement, creativity and community.
Together, GameStop and R/GA are developing and piloting new and streamlined physical store concepts, introducing new ways for gamers to try new titles before they buy them, and giving stores a unique layout and purpose that appeal to gamers. From store concepts that offer competitive sessions in home-grown e-Leagues to locations that sell strictly retro gaming software and hardware, GameStop will pilot the new store concepts in a select market to present something new to players both old and new, and searching for experiences in gaming beyond the console.
“We’re on a journey to use our vast retail footprint to provide an engaging and well-thought-out experience that enhances our consumers’ gaming interests. Among its many strengths is R/GA’s ability to leverage consumer insights and technology to reimagine the experience our consumers can have in our physical space. Our investment in this partnership is the next stage of our transformation and growth strategy,” said Frank Hamlin, Chief Customer Officer at GameStop.
According to the research, video games are no longer just a form of entertainment, but are a fundamental part of the fabric of a modern customer’s life. This consumer believes gaming is the most immersive, most challenging, most creative and most inclusive form of entertainment and vibrant storytelling available, and in many cases is an important facet of their identity. No other specialty retailer understands this more than GameStop. As the world’s largest video game retailer, it appreciates gaming fans’ thirst for compelling experiences, immersive adventures and virtual world escapism.
“GameStop has always had a role in the gaming ecosystem,” said Candice Hahn, SVP, Managing Director at R/GA’s Austin office. “We’re focused on filling the needs and desires of gamers, and amplifying the core assets of the business, to turn GameStop into a reimagined format for its consumer base of today and tomorrow.”

GameStop

Not sure this is going to be enough. Too little, too late.

[Source: GameStop]

Toys ‘R’ Us to Make a Comeback in Time for the 2019 Holidays

As an old school gamer, who remembers going to Toys ‘R’ Us as a kid to buy my video games, the store’s bankruptcy and closure was a bitter pill to swallow. It felt like a part of my childhood was dead.

However, former Toys “R” Us executive and current Tru Kids Inc. CEO Richard Barry has a plan to bring the iconic store back.

Tru Kids Inc. is looking to reopen multiple stores through out the U.S. in part of a re-branding effort. According to Barry, the stores would be smaller than the originals, prioritizing play areas, and work in tandem with website for e-commerce.

This is not set-in-stone by any means, but I hope they make it happen.

[Source: Bloomberg]

GameStop CEO Very Impressed by Nintendo Switch

GameStop had their earnings call today to investors, and CEO Tim Raines is very impressed by what he saw from the Nintendo Switch.

Via Gamespot:

“The Nintendo Switch, which I played at Nintendo a few weeks ago, we believe could be another game-changer that will expand the audience for gaming… The Switch is a very interesting device…. A movement-related game is more fun for kids, you know… you can really do a lot of interesting things with that in gameplay… I think it has tremendous potential as a game-changer. We’ll have to wait and see. Like everything else in this industry, the consumers will vote with their dollars.”

This is the now the second executive that has come out recently with very good impressions of the Switch. Earlier this week, Bethesda’s Todd Howard praised console.

I can’t help but feel that Nintendo has some sort of ace up their sleeve regarding the console. I can be wrong, but it seems both Howard and Raines know something that the general public is not aware of yet. We will know in January, when Nintendo releases more information, I suppose.

Nintendo Switch Rumors and Speculation from the UK

If you have an appetite for Nintendo Switch information, then you should be following Laura Dale, as she has provided surprisingly reliable information on the console last month. Looks like her sources as still providing juicy tidbits.

According to Dale, UK retailer GAME will have two SKUs of the new console. The basic SKU will retail at £199.99, while a second SKU, with more internal memory and a pack in game will sell at £249.99. Also, Dale’s sources state that additional Switch Pro controllers will sell at £39.99.

Dale claims that Nintendo is pushing for pricing to be comparable between regions. So £249.99 in the UK would translate to $249.99 in the US. Lastly, Dale states that Nintendo is planning to make the console region-free as well. That last bit seems far-fetched, but Dale hasn’t been pretty spot on so far.

Good Luck Finding a Mini NES

Nintendo released the Mini NES today. Good luck trying to find one. Initial supply is limited, but Nintendo is promising to try to keep up.

I guess we know what this year’s hot holiday toy is.

Retro Games Now Available at All GameStop Stores

Looks like the retro game pilot program GameStop had going on at a few select stores was successful, as you can now go into any GameStop and trade in your retro games, systems, and controllers. Just don’t expect to make a ton of money, but I’m sure you already know that. We are talking about GameStop after all.

I’m hard on GameStop at times, but deep down inside, I do like them. I especially like my local GameStop where the associates there are affable, however, I don’t take advantage of GameStop’s trade-in program, because it does feel like I’m getting ripped off, and to be quite frank, their retro trade-ins and the pricing for much of the hardware and software available seems bit off a rip-off as well.

However, if you’re into retro-gaming, and money is no object, or you’re will to pay a premium for convenience, or you want that piece of mind that what your buying is going to work, you now have another option available.

Below is a screen cap of GameStop’s retro offerings.

retro-trades

Nintendo NX Leaks Aplenty

Take the following with a healthy helping of salt, but there’s been a fair amount of NX information leaking out today.

First off, there’s the following tweet from WSJ reporter Takahasi Mochizuki.

“Speculation is Nintendo would unveil NX details in coming week. I guess all we can do is just wait. No announcement from company yet.”

— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) October 16, 2016

Marketing:

  • “Interact with your game on the go.” phrase seen on a poster.
  • Strong co-branding effort with a Mario launch title on many posters.
  • Console is currently set to launch with least 4 titles on deck.
  • Stores should be receiving demo units around February.
  • Base price point seems to be sitting at $299.99

Bundle:

  • The NX is currently set to have a bundle option.
  • The contents of this bundle is currently unknown.
  • Bundle price is currently sitting at $399.99

Packaging:

  • The packaging for the NX will be slightly larger than the Wii U’s packaging.
  • The packaging is relatively clean and simple and is similar to the Wii U in terms of package design.
  • The color scheme for the packaging is white and blue (compared to the Wii U’s blue and black).
  • The packaging still says “NX” however there is still no indication if this is a placeholder or the final name.
  • The areas of the packaging that would usually depict the hardware were blurred and redacted by Nintendo in attempt to keep it hidden.

Features and Specs:

  • Games will be on cartridges – Information from another source leads us to believe that these will be about the size of a Compact Flash
  • 4k streaming has been mentioned. – What this likely means is playback of content such as Netflix, etc. Not gameplay.
  • 1080p and 60fps are being used by the marketing teams in relation to gameplay on to the console portion. I’ve heard unconfirmed rumblings of 900p for the infamous hybrid part of the device.

Who doesn’t love a good juicy rumor, just be sure to sure to take the proper precautions when ingesting.