Buying and selling used games has proven ultra-lucrative for Gamestop, who in 2008 revealed sales figures of $8.8 billion. Despite the current global recession, Gamestop expects that number to grow by another billion dollars in 2009. Such sales figures are proving too large to ignore, with Walmart being the latest to test the used game waters.
According to Gamasutra, Walmart has leased store space to Ohio-based E-play, and third-party automated kiosk company. As part of the limited pilot program, "Video Game Buyback" stations have been placed at 77 of Walmart's 3,656 U.S. locations.
The way it works is users looking to sell their used games will scan the UPC code from the game's case. A value will appear on-screen, and if the owner decides to sell, he will then need to enter in his credit card and driver's license information. Once the game is inserted and authenticated, the value is then put on the credit card. Because of the authentication process, buy backs are limited to Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii console games.
"I can't see this having tremendous appeal to hardcore gamers, unless the credits are substantially higher than those offered at GameStop," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter." Even if this takes off, it's not going to make much of a dent in the used market. I don't see it being a big deal."
Do you see this going anywhere? Hit the jump and sound off.
Flock takes its Web 2.0 experience a few notches higher with the release of version 2.5 of its social networking browser. The new version updates its core code to Firefox 3.0.10, the latest Firefox build (in final release form) currently available.
New in version 2.5, Facebook Chat has now been integrated as an instant messaging service As has been Flock's M.O., users have the ability to drag content from web pages directly into the chat box. The Flock team also completely overhauled the browser's Twitter integration. Replies, now called @mentions, and direct mentions are now separated in the sidebar, and a new widget added to MyWorld makes it possible to perform and save Twitter searches.
Other new features include FlockCast, which allows users to broadcast actions from the web directly into Facebook, and the addition of Bebo as a People service.
On hindsight, Jammie Thomas may one day look back and wish she would have taken whatever deal was being offered during a court-mandated settlement conference just days ago. Certainly that seems to be what her lawyer, Brian Toder, must have wanted her to do, as Toder is now attmempting to withdraw from the case less than a month before a retrial in the RIAA's first copyright infringement suit to go to a jury is scheduled to take place.
According to what Toder told U.S. District Judge Michael Davis of Minnesota, he is owed nearly $130,000 "that will never be recovered, coupled with the likelihood that a similar, additional amount will be incurred if ordered to continue representation of defendant."
The RIAA doesn't appear to be opposed to Toder withdrawing from the case, but at the same time, it doesn't want another delay. Should Toder get his way, a delay would seem inevitable, as "there's no way another lawyer could try this case by June 15," Toder said in a telephone interview with Wired.
If you haven't been following, Jammie Thomas was found guilty of copyright infringement in 2007 and fined $222,000 for allegedly sharing 24 songs via Kazaa. Judge Davis later declared it a mistrial on the basis that he falsely instructed the jury that just by making available copyrighted works on a file sharing program constituted copyright infringement, even if it couldn't be proved that anyone actually downloaded the songs.
Barring another delay, a retrial is scheduled for June 15.
Biostar's second Core-i7 compatible motherboard, the TPower X58A, is now available for sale, and here's why the company believes you should look at upgrading to the platform, price be damned.
"Although Intel X58 chipset based motherboard is sold at a relatively higher price in the market, Biostar still has an excellent reputation for TPower series, in which TPower X58 and TPower I45 are very popular with a lot of power users," Biostar writes in its press release.
Alrighty then. But quirky marketing aside, the revised TPower X58A does come with some enthusiast features, such as adopting an overclocker-friendly 12+2 power phase design (12-phase CPU and 2-phase memory), Ferrite core chokes, all Japananese manufactured solid capacitors, support for up to 24GB of DDR3-1333/1600/2000, three PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, eSATA support, and a 'Rapid Debug 3' POST LED display to help you figure out which device(s) might be failing.
It's worth noting that Biostar has made a major push in the past 12 months to shed its reputation as a budget option and compete at the high end, snagging overclocking and frontside bus world records along the way.
Dell today launches it's "student rugged" Latitude 2100 netbook, a colorful new netbook line designed specifically for K-12 students. As such, a number of features separate the 2100 from your standard-fare netbook.
Custom-built Mobile Computing Station for classrooms to store up to 24 netbooks with a single Ethernet and power cord
Network Activity Light so teachers can monitor wireless connectivity
Offered in five bright colors (School Bus Gold, Chalkboard Black, Ball Field Green, Blue Ribbon, and Schoolhouse Red)
Personalized window on back of battery pack for school logo or name
Hardware-wise, the 10.1-inch 2100 comes equipped with an Intel Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), up to 2GB of memory, HDD or SDD (16GB SSD comes standard), integrated Intel GMA950 graphics, 3-in-1 media card reader, and choice of Ubuntu, Windows XP, or Vista. Dell also says the optional touchscreen is a first for education netbooks.
"While 3DR is a much smaller studio now, we will continue to operate as a company and continue to license and co-create games based upon the Duke Nukem franchise," the developer said in a press release.
The way 3D Realms tells it, though, Duke Nukem Forever – finished or not – won’t be able to release until Take-Two and 3D Realms kiss and make up. Previous agreements between the two companies have put Duke in his current predicament, but according to 3D Realms, it’s not like Take-Two hasn’t broken an agreement before.
"Take-Two never paid 3DR advances or any signing bonus or any other funds related to DNF, up until July 2008, at which time they paid $2.5m in connection with another agreement for an unannounced game," added the company. "This is the sum total Take-Two has paid 3DR in connection with DNF."
That lack of funding effectively killed the game’s development cycle last week. Take-Two allegedly attempted to right the sinking ship by offering to acquire the Duke Nukem franchise and 3D Realms, but due to such stipulations as “no upfront money, no guarantee minimum payment, and no guarantee to complete the DNF game,” 3D Realms refused.
Now the two companies are gearing up for a long, painful court session, which at this point, just seems like Fate giving us a big middle finger for ever hoping Duke might see the light of day. Is some news better than 12 years of no news? In this case, we're not so sure.
Google recently announced that they have planned to retake all of their photographs for the Japanese version of Street View thanks to their cameras being too high for most resident’s fences.
The new images will be taken from 16 inches lower than before, and will blur out license plates to protect the privacy of those potentially in the camera’s view. Japan Probe argues that the height difference will make little to no difference, because many images that have been deemed inappropriate weren’t behind fences. Examples include a high school girl’s chest being touched, a man who has passed out in his own sick, and a couple entering a “love hotel.”
Given what passes for a game show over there, I’m surprised that this is what people are having issues with.
Just this quarter Acer beat out Dell for second place among laptop shipments worldwide thanks to the gigantic influence of netbooks on the PC market.
In the first quarter of this year HP continued to hold the number one spot with their market share growing to 24.1 percent (more than 7.3 million units shipped). But, the number two spot, which was previously held by Dell, was handed over to Acer thanks to their 18.8 percent market share. Much of this is comprised of netbook shipments, a market that Acer has 30.5 percent of.
31.6 percent of Acer’s shipments were netbooks, while others such as HP, Dell, Toshiba and Lenovo shipped out less than 10 percent of their volume as netbooks.
Google recognizes that there’s been a lot of talk about the energy needed to power the Internet, and they’ve decided to publicly throw in their two cents by boldly stating that the carbon emissions required to get a glass of orange juice is equivalent to 1,050 Google searches.
“Our engineers crunched the numbers and found that an average query uses about 1 kJ of energy and emits about 0.2 grams of carbon dioxide,” wrote Urs Hölze, Google’s Senior Vice President of Operations. “We have a team of dedicated engineers focused on designing and building the most efficient data centers in the world. In fact, through efficiency innovations, we have managed to cut energy usage in our data centers by over 50 percent, so we're using less than half the energy to run our data centers as the industry average. This efficiency means that in the time it takes to do a Google search, your own personal computer will likely use more energy than we will use to answer your query.”
The blog post also noted that to do one load of dishes in an EnergyStar compliant dishwasher was equivalent to 5,100 searches, a give mile trip in the average U.S. automobile was 10,000 searches, a cheeseburger would run you 15,000 searches and just one month’s worth of electricity used by the average U.S. household clocks in with 3,100,000 searches. Sure makes you think, doesn’t it?
In an ironic twist, Dell, who was the last major OEM to add AMD chips to its server line, will now be the first to give VIA a spin in select low-power servers, The New York Times reports.
"This one is a big, major win for us, said Epan Wu, senior director of chip marketing at VIA, about the Dell system.
The 'major win' consists of Dell outfitting 12 full servers powered by VIA's Nano processor in a single 3.5-inch high case dubbed the XS11-VX8. Each server will only consume from 15 watts to 30 watts, or about 10 percent that of a typical server, and run at 1.3GHz to 1.6GHz.
According to The New York Times, the XS11-VX8 isn't intended for the masses and will instead be sold as a specialized system targeting companies that buy in bulk to host websites. As such, the new server will only be offered through a special group within Dell responsible for creating custom hardware for its bigger customers.
Nevertheless, Wu has reason to be excited, as the deal puts VIA on the map with Dell, something that didn't come easy for AMD.