This week, GameStop announced plans to pilot new and “unique” store locations, Nintendo released more hardware, and Ubisoft shared a list of 116 titles for its upcoming UPlay+ subscription service.
GameStop re-imagining store concepts
In a recent statement, GameStop announced partnership with marketing and design company R/GA to revamp select GameStop stores. The news comes after GameStop experienced a decline in stock prices due to the growing popularity of digital game downloads. With the assistance of R/GA, the retailer will be piloting a line of stores that offer “new ways” for customers to purchase games and engage with the gaming community. Concepts being tested are described as “unique, in-store experiences.” One location is said to include space for local esport leagues to hold competitions, while another will strictly sell hardware and software. Engadget was indifferent about the news, stating, “GameStop doesn’t have much to lose by experimenting with new store formats — and if nothing else, the concepts could help the retailer shake up its reputation.” GameSpot, IGN, Game Rant, and more reported on the news.
Nintendo prepares for holiday season with two new hardware announcements
Following the announcement of the Switch Lite console last week, Nintendo this week announced an upgrade to its original Nintendo Switch console. The new SKU rolled out this week, boasting double the battery life with 4.5 to 9 hours of gameplay versus 2.5 to 6.5 hours of the original. While Polygon and Variety reported neutrally on the news, The Verge and Gizmodo warned that the only way to distinguish between the original and upgraded consoles is by serial number.
Soon after the upgraded console was released, Nintendo announced that new Joy-Con color options are on the way. The new color combinations – Blue/Neon Yellow and Neon Purple/Neon Orange – will hit the market on October 14, just in time for the holiday season. The press were quick to speculate that Nintendo’s recent line of announcements are no coincidence. Comicbook.com explained, “While the (Switch) Lite has built-in controllers, any sort of multiplayer using the same console will require folks to use additional Joy-Cons, making the new colors an enticing possibility for anyone picking up a Lite that doesn’t already have one of the original models.” GamesRadar echoed this sentiment and said, “If you try to tell me that the timing for the arrival of the pumpkin-orange and witch stocking-purple Joy-Cons was a coincidence (and not just for the new Luigi’s Mansion 3 release date), I will simply pull my shiny vampire cape over my face and back away while glaring.”
Ubisoft unveils full list of games coming to UPlay+ subscription service
During E3 this year, Ubisoft announced that it would be venturing into subscription gaming services with UPlay+ for PC users. This week, Ubisoft released the official list of all 116 titles that will be available on UPlay+, including 16 Assasin’s Creed titles, 7 Far Cry titles, and 19 Tom Clancy titles. While the service offers 4,000 hours of gameplay, offline gaming, DLC bundles, and a one-month free trial, outlets such as The Verge, IGN, PCMag, and more were up-in-the-air about the ability of UPlay+ to compete in the already-crowded game subscription market. Forbes went as far as saying, “So even as an avid gamer, I’m not sure this is worth it for me, as I literally don’t have time for all the bonus games this service offers, as my backlog is far deeper than a bunch of Tom Clancy titles or ancient Prince of Persia games. Also it’s not even for console yet, which rules me out entirely.” UPlay+ will be available in September.