Sold Out Next Gen Gaming Consoles Let Me Found My Sanity Again

I’m a fan of gaming, not of a specific gaming platform!  Furthermore, I’m a sort of gaming fans that require the graphics to be as best as graphics can be.  This means, I expect of nothing less than the next stellar gaming graphics, and I want the next latest games to have better graphics than the last games.  Sure, the plots, gameplay, character empathy, in-game rewarding system, and other major features that many good games should have are all very important, but without good graphics and great arts such games would be mediocre to me.  Of course, you can argue that should the gameplay matter most?  How about a game plot should shine most?  Of course, there will be some addictive elements that will stand out most for a good game, but my preference for a good game is usually graphics first… there will be some exceptions though but those occasions are rare and so it’s safe to say I want great gaming graphics, always.

It’s no surprise that for the reason of great gaming graphics alone that I only see myself playing more of PC games (fyi… even with PS4 and Xbox One, games on these consoles won’t be able to match the great gaming graphics experience with games on PCs that have mid-range to high end graphic cards).  I have had PS3 and Xbox 360 for years, but I’ve rarely touched them.  Safely to say, I had not touched my PS3 and Xbox 360 for months.  Instead of playing games on consoles, I found myself login to Steam, Uplay, and Origin on a daily basis.  Furthermore, Steam has been the gaming platform where I giddily scour for great games on sale, on an alarming, addictive, frequent basis.  Such a behavior has contributed to my spending money on PC games that I may not have time to play at all since finishing a single game is already a time consuming act.  Nonetheless, I’ve to say that I don’t think I will be able to own so many games if I buy games for consoles since the games for consoles don’t easily go on sale.  Also, games for consoles don’t go on sale as frequent as Steam!

Although I’m not exactly a hardcore gamer, but I do play games a lot, therefore I thought the arrivals of the next generation gaming consoles such as PS4 and Xbox One would surely have me running for becoming the first fews to get ’em kind of things.  I usually loved it when I got it right, but this time I felt bad as I saw myself walked into Best Buy and asked if they got PS4 or Xbox One available (even though I’m a PC gamer).  To my relief and anguish at the same time as I swallowed the words “sold out” as the  Best Buy representative proudly let out.  I found a relief in this as I knew I only drooled over PS4 and Xbox One for their novelty, but whenever I got over the novelty of ’em all I probably would not hesitate to allow the consoles to be untouched, unloved and covered in dusts — wasting little money I have had away.  The anguish feeling I found in all of this confirmed that I was too just loving to be materialistic for new toys.  Nonetheless, I have to say thanks to the sold out problem that the new consoles are experiencing, I probably will stay away from ’em next generation consoles for a long long time, because after-all I’m a PC gamer.  Without being able to get my hands on the next generation gaming consoles at a whim of my desires, I found my sanity again!  Perhaps?

Desires and temptations are the fruits of all evils, but I’m only a mortal!  Let’s get the game on!!!

Best Buy’s Weak Online Presence Adds More Doubts To Best Buy’s Future

Logo of Best Buy, US-based retail chain

Logo of Best Buy, US-based retail chain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not too long back, I had posted an article on Best Buy’s closing down of 50 selected stores.  In the article I had mentioned how brick and mortar stores such as Best Buy can actually survive the onslaughts of online juggernauts such as Amazon.  Unfortunately, lately I have the feeling that Best Buy might never be able to recover and will find itself to go down the path of failed big box retailers such as Circuit City.  How come?  So far, Best Buy does not show any sign of taking customers away from its main competitors such as Amazon, and so Best Buy’s in store strategies are definitely not working to Best Buy’s advantages.  Meanwhile, personally and recently I had a bad online experience with Best Buy which confirmed my thinking now that Best Buy might never be able to regain the market dominance.

So, the story went like this.  I purchased Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings with Best Buy’s website.  I went for the digital download version.  I thought digital download version would be quicker than just drive to the store and grab a physical copy of the game.  I was wrong!  After the purchased of the digital version of Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings, I waited for at least forty five minutes to one hour more (something like that) before I received a confirmation email that contained the instruction and detail of game download.  Unfortunately, Best Buy wanted you to download Best Buy PC App first before you could download whatever digital contents you bought with Best Buy.  So I went ahead and downloaded Best Buy PC App, and I found out the app refused my login credential even though I had log into Best Buy account using the browser just fine, using the same credential of course.  I called up Best Buy for help but got redirected couple times before someone was able to help me solve my problem.  So, I thought finally everything would be smooth sailing!  Unfortunately, I found out that through Best Buy PC App, the download of the game was way too slow.  Sure, the game was huge in size, around 13 GB, but I had downloaded many things around this size so many times faster than the download speed that I got from Best Buy PC App.

My Internet connection was and still is capable of downloading stuffs up to 24 Mb/s, but my download with Best Buy PC App felt like the speed was lurking below 5 Mb/s!  I wasn’t downloading anything else at the time!  The download with Best Buy should not have any competition, therefore it should be able to download much much faster.  It wasn’t the case as you already knew!

The moral of the story was that Best Buy’s online capability is so limited that it hurts just to buy stuffs from Best Buy’s online presence (i.e., website).  The idea of downloading digital contents from Best Buy is to save time from driving to a store — an illusion of instant gratification.  Perhaps, I think in certain scenarios even this notion might not be so true when one does the math, to be exact.  (What if you live so near to a Best Buy that you can just walk to it?  So driving to the store might get you the game faster than downloading a really huge game over the Internet, right?)  Unfortunately, Best Buy’s online presence is too slow to deliver its digital contents, therefore Best Buy’s online competitors may not have a hard time in pulling certain customers away from Best Buy.  Don’t Best Buy know that their online customers might also be their brick and mortar customers?  When a brand is as huge as Best Buy fails to beef up its online presence, it tells the customers that Best Buy brand isn’t a serious brand anymore.  The feeling of Best Buy isn’t serious enough might translate into something much worse for Best Buy brand, because Best Buy isn’t the only brand in town that can deliver the goods.  So, I think Best Buy needs to beef up its online presence quick and they have to do it right or else time is running out for Best Buy, I think!

In summary, I really want to see Best Buy and other brick and mortar stores survive and thrive, because these stores allow me to experience an illusion of instant gratification — as in driving to a store and grab something quick.  Nonetheless, when these stores fail to please customers on their premises, their only chance might be all about their online presences (another potential for delivering an illusion of instant gratification).  If these brick and mortar stores have weak online presences, in general isn’t this means that these stores are deliberately delivering a slow death to their brands?  It won’t be a good thing for customers when brick and mortar stores go away, because waiting for one day delivery is still one day waiting.  Sometimes, more days of waiting for a delivery can happen at chances.  So, I really want to see Best Buy and similar brick and mortar stores shape themselves up, quick and fast!

Best Buy Is Closing Down 50 Selected Stores, Is This A Sign Which Indicates The End Of Brick And Mortar Stores As Online Stores Take Supremacy?

So, you have heard Best Buy is closing 50 selected stores, but do you wonder why?  Best Buy is the behemoth of brick and mortar electronic stores, and it’s a surprise for people to hear Best Buy is closing down 50 selected stores.  Some people think when Best Buy is frantic over losing profitability to online stores and have to reorganize their business model and structure, it’s a telltale sign of the end of brick and mortar stores in general.  I think it’s quite the opposite!  No, I’m not meaning that Best Buy will be OK or not OK, because I don’t know the future!  What I do know is that brick and mortar stores have some advantages over online stores, but some brick and mortar stores are just so underestimating the online competitors or shooting themselves in the foot.

What advantages of brick and mortar stores have over online stores?  Let me mention few examples.  The first example is that brick and mortar stores can sell the products to their customers right away, because the customers don’t have to wait for their products to be shipped to them however many days later.  This is a very important point!  When people want something, they want it quick!  They want to have that wish of theirs to be granted quick, because one more day to wait is one more day to dream about something they want so bad.  When brick and mortar stores fail to cut prices of their products low enough or provide services that are attractive enough, the incentive isn’t there and so the customers might as well measure the pain between waiting for a product online to be shipped or dealing with the headaches of shopping in brick and mortar stores.  I think the main point is to make the advantages of shopping with brick and mortar stores stand out like an oasis in a desert.

Have you heard how postal service might want to save cost by cutting back a day or two for delivering mails and physical packages?  You see, ordering online products can be expensive if the postal service gets less efficient and practical, because the private delivery services can then raise prices as there is one less competitor in the market (i.e., the government).  This is why I think it’s bad idea for postal service to go out of business, but I’ve digressed.  Anyway, brick and mortar stores have the advantage of allowing people to see that they don’t have to deal with the headaches of shipping.  When selling products in brick and mortar stores, the shipping should not even be considered as the part of the business model unless the brick and mortar stores carry products in huge sizes (i.e., that cannot be hauled away by customers’ vehicles).  When shipping has to be included in the brick and mortar business model, the shipping has to be less painful than how customers have to deal with online stores’ delivery services.

Brick and mortar stores have the advantage of allowing the customers just to walk in and return/switch products as long the products aren’t being used past however many days, according to a product return policy.  Online stores’ do allow people to return products, but the wait between the shippings is just not so enticing!  Whenever a business model has a delay variable in it, there is less incentive for the customers to be attracted to such business model.  I think as long brick and mortar stores write good product return policy (i.e., within reasons for both customers and the business), I can see the customers prefer to shop with brick and mortar stores since they can return or switch the products within couple hours.  I don’t think online stores can do that!

Brick and mortar stores should concentrate on providing excellent services.  When I talk about excellent services, I mean the display of the products, the customer service, and the whole nine yard.  You see, online stores only have digital pictures and reviews and testimonies to boost the trust of certain products, but brick and mortar stores have the direct connection to their customers.  It’s befuddled me to see a direct connection to the customers is losing out to something less direct such as digital images and unknown reviews/testimonies.  Sure, popular online stores have the well known brand to back their products, but popular brand names can only back the products so far.  One example of the resiliency of popular brand names is the trust of delivering the products to customers fast and safe, but I don’t think the resiliency of popular brand names can guarantee that the customers will be 100% satisfactory with the products they purchase through online stores.  A direct connection with the customers through brick and mortar stores is instantaneous, therefore the customer service representatives can help solve the customers’ problems right in the stores.  When the customer service representatives fail to help the customers in the stores on a constant basis, how do you expect to have the brick and mortar business that is capable in competing against the super efficient online stores?

Brick and mortar stores can become the showrooms for online stores when prices of the products within the stores are pricing at unreasonable prices!  When the prices of the products are just a tad more expensive than online stores’ products, I think the customers rather buy their products through brick and mortar stores right away since they don’t have to wait for the products to be shipped.  Some popular online stores ship their products super fast, but the customers might just want to carry the products home and try the products out in an hour or two later.  This is why I think brick and mortar stores have to track the prices of online stores so they can price their products competitively.

I don’t go to business school, and yet I’m able to provide few pointers to brick and mortar stores.  How come?  It’s all about common sense I think.  Not to brag, but I think any customer can come up with the same pointers as I had.  Of course, I might have missed many more pointers, but I don’t intent to sit and think so hard on this matter (i.e., I’m not running a brick and mortar store).  In fact, I just want to prove how easy it’s for a customer like me to raise a few pointers in regarding to how to improve brick and mortar stores!  In the end, I think brick and mortar stores can compete against online stores if they do it right!  Plus, brick and mortar stores can also have online presences easily since creating online stores isn’t too hard or expensive nowadays.  What’s better to have an excellent operation going on through brick and mortar stores and then providing even more capable online presence?  That’s a killer combo I think!

Rumor Or Not? Diablo III Is Going To Be Released On February 1st

Diablo III BannersIn the year 2011, I thought Skyrim would be one game which to rule over all others, but I was wrong.  Came Star Wars The Old Republic in 2012, and so I had decided that Star Wars The Old Republic would be it.  I kept on guessing it wrong!  Blizzard’s latest Diablo edition, #3 in the saga, is going to make its debut in February 1st of this year, according to Best Buy Canada (reported by slashgear.com’s article Diablo III launching February 1 2012 says retailer).  I sure hope I would guess wrong again about which game would rule them all, because it will get better if Diablo III can best Star Wars The Old Republic.  Don’t flame me, I don’t intend to measure an RPG against MMORPG, and then MMORPG against RPG, instead I intend to measure which game would hypnotize me the most and have me on high doses of caffeine just to beat a boss into the smithereens.

Diablo III has one hell of an opening short cinematic film clip, because the elements within it are gorgeous.  Gorgeous enough to peak my curiosity how the game is going to be like.  I’ve not tested the beta, therefore I’m in the dark just like the majority of onlookers.  Nonetheless, speak no more, because you should check out the awesome Diablo III’s short cinematic film clip right after the break.  Enjoy!

Source:  http://www.slashgear.com/diablo-iii-launching-february-1-2012-says-retailer-08207168/