Walmart No Longer Selling Kindle Fire

September 21, 2012 -

Walmart will no longer carry Amazon's Kindle Fire in its retail stores. The retailer joins Target, who gave up on the Android-based device in May of this year. Walmart is still selling Barnes & Noble’s Nook as well as some other e-reader devices. Some think this move is in response to its own plans to launch its own e-commerce strategy, which it has apparently been working on for awhile. In other words, Amazon.com is a direct competitor and Walmart doesn't want a device tied to a competing e-commerce destination.

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Amazon Not Offering Pre-Orders on Wii U

September 14, 2012 -

While other retailers are loudly proclaiming that they are offering pre-orders for Nintendo's Wii U, one online retailer seems to be thumbing its nose at Nintendo's latest console and the consumers who might want to lock a purchase down early. Amazon is telling customers that pre-orders for the Wii U are "not available at Amazon.com at this time," and are providing no explanation why.

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Kindle Fire Has Sold Out, Claims Amazon

August 30, 2012 -

The Kindle Fire has literally sold out, according to Amazon, and the Android-based device won't see a new production run. The company said that those who want a Kindle Fire but can't find it at retail will have to wait until later this year when Amazon releases a new version of the device. The device was originally released in November of last year and did pretty well by Amazon's own accounting.

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Google, Facebook Join The Internet Association

July 26, 2012 -

According to this BBC report Facebook, eBay, Google and Amazon have joined a new lobbying group that will push issues they deem important in Washington. The new lobbying group is called The Internet Association, and will open up shop in Washington D.C. in September. They will handle political and regulatory issues in the capital.

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Google's Kindle Fire and iPad Antidote: The Nexus 7

June 28, 2012 -

Not to be outdone by Microsoft's new Surface tablet, Google announced a new tablet of its own that it hopes can compete with Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle Fire line. Google's new tablet, the Nexus 7 will be an Android-based games ready device using Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor. The tablet will be manufactured by Asus, runs on Android 4.1 ("Jelly Bean"), offers a 1280 x 800 display, a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, a 12 core GPU, and will support the Google Play marketplace.

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Gamers Review-Bomb 'Link' Book over Ubisoft Lawsuit

April 20, 2012 -

Link, the 2001 sci-fi fantasy book at the center of a lawsuit filed against Ubisoft and GameTrailers, is getting review bombed by angry gamers. Beiswenger, who is also a research engineer that holds over 20 U.S. utility patents, published his novel Link in 2002. The first Assassin's Creed video game was released in 2007. In his lawsuit against Ubisoft and GameTrailers, he alleges that Ubisoft stole core ideas from his book and used them in their games.

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Federal Court Gives Amazon a Win Against Colorado Sales Tax Reporting Law

April 5, 2012 -

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Amazon in a case it filed against the state of Colorado for trying to collect sales tax under a new law. The court found that because the company didn't have a physical presence in the state that Colorado didn't have a right to collect and that its new law ran afoul of the Interstate commerce clause in the Constitution - specifically, legislation forcing out-of-state retailers to report their customers' purchases to the state's tax authority.

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Amazon Video Now on PS3

April 4, 2012 -

If you are a PlayStation 3 owner and also an Amazon Prime subscriber, you'll be happy to know that you can watch all that unlimited video that Prime offers on your Sony device. Prior to the service being available on the PS3, Amazon Prime video was only available via the Internet, Roku devices, and select smart TVs. Sony has also agreed to feature the app on all PS3 systems sold in the U.S.

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Amazon Appstore Sells "Millions" of Apps

March 16, 2012 -

One year after launching its Appstore, Amazon offers around 1,000 games and apps, and that it has sold "millions" of them to Kindle Fire and Android device owners. The company did not give a specific number. While it's a good start, Amazon's App Store is way behind Google's 300,000 apps and 10 billion downloads, and the Apple's 585,000 apps and 25 billion downloads.

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Amazon Sells 4 Million Kindle Devices in December

December 29, 2011 -

Amazon.com announced that it has sold four million Kindle devices in the month of December, or one million a week. The online retailer did not break down those numbers into specific Kindle devices, but one would assume a good portion of those devices were Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire has held the top spot on its bestseller charts over the holiday season.

On December 15, Amazon announced that Kindles had been tracking at one million devices per week for the preceding three weeks, but very little had been shared about sales before then.

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Strategy Analytics: Amazon to Sell 15 Million Kindle Fires by 2013

September 30, 2011 -

According to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics' Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies service, Amazon will sell 15 million Kindle Fire tablet devices by 2013. The forecast was published this week in "Amazon's Fire Reignites Entry-Level Tablet Market," and comes to this conclusion under assumption that Amazon will add two additional Fire models between now and 2013. It also assumes that Amazon will make the device available to Western Europe, Japan and other developed markets during 2012.

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Amazon Halts Persona 2: Innocent Sin Shipments After Numerous User Complaints

September 27, 2011 -

According to Game, Set, Watch, online retailer Amazon has stopped taking orders for the Atlus game, Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Apparently customer complaints over damaged product reached a point where Amazon took notice. The company said that it would halt its offering of the game "because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it's described here."

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Amazon v. California, Round II

September 6, 2011 -

While Amazon might be on the precipice of usurping legislation passed earlier this year by the state of California with a voter referendum this November, lawmakers are on the attack. The New York Times chronicles the fight going on in California in this article, which is interesting because it pits traditional retail in the state against online retailers.

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Tax Wars: Online v. Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

July 18, 2011 -

A war is brewing in California (and beyond) between traditional retail and online retailers on sales tax. For years politicians said they would not tax the internet, but a recent change in laws has made it so that Amazon.com has to collect sales tax from any affiliate doing business in the state. While traditional brick-and-mortar retailers applauded this change (they see it as leveling an uneven playing field) online retailers are, to turn a phrase, pissed off. Among other efforts, Amazon.com is seeking to rally anti-tax Americans by proposing a voter referendum in California to overturn the new state law.

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Court Denies Preliminary Injunction Against Amazon for 'App Store' Use

July 7, 2011 -

A federal court judge has put the kibosh on Apple's attempt to get a preliminary injunction against Amazon for its use of the term "App Store." While the judge denied Apple's request his order suggests that Apple may still have a slight chance to prove trademark infringement at trial. Still, with the injunction attempt denied it seems like Apple may have a hard time proving its case.

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California to Out-of-State Online Retailers: Collect State Sales Tax

June 30, 2011 -

California has told out-of-state online retailers to start collecting sales tax for customers residing in the state Beginning July 1. This includes Amazon.com, Overstock.com, and GameStop.com. Beginning Friday this new requirement for retailers takes effect, along with a 1-percentage-point drop in the tax. The new tax collection scheme is projected to raise $317 million a year in new state and local government revenue.

Besides the slight cost to California customers, there are other adverse effects for companies connected with Amazon and similar retailers. Amazon and online retailer Overstock.com have reportedly told thousands of California Internet marketing affiliates that they will stop paying commissions for referrals of click-through customers. This is due to the fact that the new requirement applies only to online sellers based out of state that have a connection to California, such as workers, warehouses or offices.

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Consumers Amazon Bomb Capcom's RE: The Mercenaries Product Page

June 29, 2011 -

Capcom has felt the wrath of consumers on amazon.com ticked off by its "one save" scheme in its new 3DS game Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. According to a Destructoid report, fans have "Amazon Bombed" the product page of the game on Amazon, giving the game negative reviews and leaving less than flattering comments about the game.

What set consumers off is a "one save" scheme in the game that basically only lets the original owner unlock the extras within the game. Once they are unlocked they are unlocked for good, even if the game is resold or given to someone's friend. Fans are very upset with this new way in which Capcom is trying to fight against second sales of their games.

And the user reviews are not pretty:

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Judge Warns Apple: 'I Will Probably Rule Against You'

June 23, 2011 -

Apple has faces a major setback in its lawsuit against Amazon.com's App store; a federal court judge said this week that she will "probably rule against the company." Apple had argued that Amazon.com's use of the term "app Store" infringed on its trademark and would cause "brand confusion." A federal court judge sees things differently - or at the very least doesn’t believe Apple has a case.

US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton commented that she was "probably" going to deny Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction against Amazon in order to stop it from using the term "app store."

Judge Hamilton told Apple that she had not seen any "real evidence of actual confusion." Because of this, she said it was unlikely that the company would prevail.

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Amazon UK: Game Trade-Ins Popular With Consumers

May 23, 2011 -

Amazon.co.uk’s video games manager Liz Hosmer tells MCV that its new used game trade-in program is already doing pretty well and that consumers have "reacted positively." In January some criticized the UK arm of the popular online retailer for planning to offer trade-ins: ShopTo's former marketing manager Phil Driver told MCV that consumers would be met with an intolerable experience if they traded their games online as opposed to traditional retail. But if Amazon.co.uk is to be believed, Driver is sadly mistaken.

“Trading in with Amazon.co.uk is quick and easy, providing customers with a great way to exchange their old games and save money on future purchases,” she told MCV. “We’ve had a very positive response from customers.”

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Report: Amazon Web Services Used in Sony Hacker Attacks

May 16, 2011 -

Amazon.com's Web Services were used by hackers in the April attack against Sony’s online entertainment services, according to a Bloomberg report citing a "person with knowledge of the matter."

According to the report, hackers rented a server through Amazon’s EC2 service and launched the attack from that location, according to Bloomberg's source. The source is obviously someone that either knows the hackers that rented the services or an Amazon insider because he or she also said that the account had been shut down.

The development sheds light on how hackers used the so- called cloud to carry out the second-biggest online theft of personal information to date. The incursion, which compromised the personal accounts of more than 100 million Sony customers, was “a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack,” Sony has said.

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IGDA Criticizes Amazon Android App Store Terms

April 15, 2011 -

The International Game Developers Association posted a lengthy criticism of the recently launched Android App Store after its distribution terms and profit sharing requirements were revealed. The post, which was signed by "The IGDA Board of Directors," lists serious concerns the trade group has with the terms Amazon wants developers to accept before selling an app. Speaking to developers, the IGDA warned that Amazon reserves the right to control the pricing of games and the right to pay "the greater of 70 percent of the purchase price or 20 percent of the List Price."

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Amazon vs. The World

March 17, 2011 -

Retailers have been gunning for amazon.com for a long time and have tried in the past to use political muscle to "put them on a level playing field." When I say "level playing field," what that translates to in the eyes of retailers is "force them to pay state sales tax." Retailers have lamented that it is unfair that they have to make their customers pay sales tax while Amazon does not.

Now brick-and-mortar retailers have a new weapon to take on Amazon - the Alliance for Main Street Fairness. The group is pushing hard to change sales-tax laws in more than a dozen states including Texas and California. Before the group was associated with smaller, local businesses. Now it has the backing of retailers like Target, Best Buy Co., Home Depot, Sears, and Wal-Mart.

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Carole Lieberman Bookstormed Over "Games Lead to Rape" Comment

February 9, 2011 -

Psychologist and author Carole Lieberman is not very popular with some people right now.

Yes, her sex in games leads to real-life rape comment in yesterday’s FoxNews story seems to have rubbed a few folks the wrong way.  As such, she’s joined Jack Thompson and Cooper Lawrence as someone whose, shall we say, ill-advised comments have prompted the less mature of us to mosey on over to Amazon and give her book a negative review.

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Who is Greener, Activision or EA?

October 19, 2010 -

Newsweek has released its annual list of how the top 500 largest publicly traded companies in America rank in terms being environmentally friendly.

Electronic Arts clocked in at number 378 on this year’s Green List (it was number 381 last year), while Activision Blizzard took 391st on the list, improving from last year’s ranking of 416.

On the retail side, Office Depot grabbed the highest Green ranking, coming in at number 18 overall, followed by Wal-Mart (#51), Target (#61), Best Buy (#86), Amazon.com (#162) and GameStop (#318).

Dell came in first overall on the list, with Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Johnson & Johnson and Intel rounding out the top 5.

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Rapid Online Discounting of Madden NFL 11 Raises Eyebrows

August 18, 2010 -

In a strange move, online retailers GameStop and Amazon have already instituted dramatic price reductions on Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 11, which has been out for barely over a week.

Michael Comeau, a columnist for Minyanville, noticed the price drops and dubbed the actions “worrisome” due to their timing—according to his recollection, while Amazon typically is a quick discounter, it didn’t adjust the price of last year’s Madden game until 20 days after release.

On Amazon, the 360 version of Madden NFL 11 is now $49.99, a $10 drop, while the Wii version had $3 knocked off to $46.99 and the PlayStation 2 entry received a $7 reduction to $32.99. The PlayStation 3 version is still full price ($59.99).

GameStop matched Amazon’s discounts on the 360, Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of Madden NFL 11 and went two better, knocking $10 off the PlayStation 3 game and $7 off the PSP version, which now sells for $32.99. (GameStop's discounted prices are applicable online only, not in-store)

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Analyst: Amazon Might be Prepping Steam-type Service

March 26, 2010 -

One analyst’s check into the hiring ads of online retailer Amazon leads him to believe that the company is preparing its own digital delivery service for games.

Via MCVUK we hear from Lazard Capital Analyst Colin Sebastian, who wrote, “Our periodic checks of job postings uncovered a search by Amazon in the video game category to help implement a new digital distribution platform.”

The analyst said that Amazon has about 1,250 open positions, with 511 of those centering on software development.

Sebastion continued:

As in other segments of digital media, we expect Amazon to pursue new opportunities as an aggregator of online games, similar to Steam (PC), BigPoint (browser) and others.

Since the company already has the infrastructure to deliver digital content, we believe that increased selection and a focus on the user experience will be key factors in gaining further market share.

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Video Game Slowdown Impacts Amazon's Bottom Line

July 30, 2009 -

The Wall Street Journal reports that mega-online retailer Amazon.com posted a 14% revenue increase for the financial quarter ending June 30th, but its profits fell 10% from $158 million to $142 million.

Amazon’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak commented on the drop laid much of the bad news on declining video game sales:

You're seeing an industry slowdown in videogames and consoles.

Despite singling out games, other factors impacted the profit fall such as “flat” media sales in North American (including books and music) and a $51 million legal settlement paid to Toys R Us.

Via: GamesIndustry.Biz

Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen...

10 comments

Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on Amazon

May 29, 2009 -

Is this the next RapeLay controversy?

Although interactive DVDs aren't traditionally thought of as video games, they would appear to fall into something of a gray area between movies and games.

That may be an academic argument, but, in lodging a new protest against online retailer Amazon.com, woman-centric website Feministing treats Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love as a video game:

it looks like another game involving violence against women seems to have"slipped" past [Amazon's] radar. "Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love" is a game that allows the user to experience,

    "...a terrifyingly vivid exploration of Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition in which a captive falls in love with her kidnapper. And you play the part of the kidnapper. With a limited number of options, you must figure out how to make her fall in love with you."

This includes using poison gas on the victim, sexually assaulting her and using psychological abuse against her in efforts to make her "love" you. Unbelievable.

While RapeLay was offered by a third-party reseller on Amazon, Stockholm appears to shipping direct from the online retailer's inventory.

165 comments

UL Issues Consumer Alert on Counterfeit Chargers for 360, Wii

May 22, 2009 -

Underwriters Laboratories, which independently tests products for safety, has issued a consumer alert regarding a pair of controller chargers which it says bear counterfeit UL approval markings.

The InCharge for Xbox 360 and InCharge for Wii are manufactured by WELLFORM Industrial Ltd. of China and bear the Teknocreations label. While the UL alert does not warn consumers of any specific hazard, the fact that the manufacturer dodged the safety testing process and slapped on a counterfeit UL seal of approval is a concern - especially where electricity is involved.

The chargers are available on Amazon.com and possibly from other retailers.

3 comments

GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

May 15, 2009 -

Here's some great news for GamePolitics readers who are also Kindle owners:

GP is now available from Amazon's Kindle Store. Like other Kindle-capable blogs, there is a small subscription fee, $1.99 per month in GP's case (none of which comes to me, BTW).

As a Kindle fan I've been eager to see GamePolitics made available to the Kindle universe and Brett Schenker of the ECA made it happen. Well done, Brett!

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

UPDATE: Our ECA sister-site GameCulture now has a Kindle version as well.

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Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenObviously, the picture was created by someone who doesn't understand what the issue actually is (or, possibly, someone trying to satire said misunderstanding).09/01/2014 - 4:10pm
Papa MidnightPeople fear and attack what they do not understand.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Papa MidnightWell, let's not forget. Someone held their hand in a peace sign a few weeks ago and people started claiming it was a gang sign. Or a police chief displayed the hand signal of their fraternity and was accused of the same.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
SleakerEither people don't understand that what the picture is saying is true, or the picture was created out of a misunderstanding of what sexism is.09/01/2014 - 3:52pm
Sleaker@AE ok yah that's where the kind of confusion I'm getting. Your tweet can be taken to mean two different things.09/01/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - No. No, not even remotely. The pic attached to my tweet was not made by me; it's not a statement I'm making. It's an illustration of the complete misunderstanding of the issue my tweet is referring to.09/01/2014 - 3:13pm
Papa MidnightIn other news, Netflix states why it paid Comcast: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html?hpt=hp_t209/01/2014 - 3:10pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: Sites like Tumblr make things seem much bigger than they are. A vocal extreme minority start complaining and things go as they do.09/01/2014 - 3:09pm
SleakerAre you trying saying that specific costumes are sexist simply by being included in the game?09/01/2014 - 3:03pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Seems completely cut and dry to me (of course, I wrote it so that's not surprising). What about it do you find confusing?09/01/2014 - 2:25pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/icewind-dale-enhanced-edition-now-available-for-pre-order/ Third time's the charm, right guys? Right? Surely Icewind Dale EE can't suck as much as Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 EEs can, right?09/01/2014 - 1:37pm
Sleaker@AE I don't even know what you're trying to say in that tweet.09/01/2014 - 1:28pm
 

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