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Xbox Explains Decision to Abandon Plans for Keystone Streaming Console

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Xbox boss Phil Spencer has discussed the thinking behind Microsoft’s decision to abandon their plans to release a streaming-only version of its games console, for now, which was confirmed back in May.

The project, known as Keystone, as the topic of conversation as Spencer was interviewed on an episode of The Verge’s Decoder podcast.

“The console we built that now people have seen, Keystone, was more expensive than we wanted it to be when we actually built it out with the hardware that we had inside, and we decided to focus that team’s efforts on delivering the smart TV streaming app” Spencer explained.

Microsoft announced a partnership with Samsung earlier this year to bring an Xbox Cloud Gaming app to Samsung’s Smart TVs and Spencer said that the company is “really happy with the results there” thus far.

Spencer added that Xbox is “still focused” on the project but that pricing has proven to be difficult as they try to align it appropriately within the market.

“I don’t want to announce pricing specifically, but I think you’ve got to be $129, $99, like somewhere in there for [Keystone] to make sense in my view, that we just weren’t there,” Spencer said. “We weren’t there with the controller. And I love the effort. The reason it’s on my shelf is the team rolled up their sleeves and in nine months they built that thing. And a bunch of us took it home and it worked. It worked really, really well.”

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GameStop Continues Troubling Trend in Q3

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GameStop continues to see a dip in sales and Q3 data shows that the company is not showing that it can climb out of the troubling spot it has been in for the last few years, according to the company’s financial report.

The numbers demonstrate the financials for the three month period that ended on October 29th, 2022.

The numbers:

  • Net sales: $1.2 billion, down 8% year-over-year
  • Net loss: $94.7 million, down 10% year-on-year
  • Hardware and accessories: $627 million, down 6% year-over-year
  • Software: $352 million, down 19% year-over-year
  • GameStop’s net loss was down 10% compared to the same period last year, but still hit $94.7 million
  • Sales decreased across the board

In an earnings call (as transcribed via Seeking Alpha), Gamestop CEO Matt Furlong stated that the company would not provide “formal guidance at this time.”

“It is worth reiterating, however, that our goal is to achieve profitability in the near term,” he said.

“I want to finish by reiterating what we’ve said in the past. We’re attempting to accomplish something unprecedented in the retail sector. We’re seeking to transform a legacy brick-and-mortar business that was on the brink of bankruptcy into a retailer that meets customers’ needs through our stores, e-commerce properties and emerging sales channels. This path carries risk and is taking time, but it is the path we are on. With that said, GameStop is a stronger business today than at any time in the recent past.”

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Embracer Approved to Trade on Nasdaq Stockholm

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Embracer Group

Embracer Group has officially been approved to trade on Nasdaq Stockholm, which is the main market for Nordic companies, and the company’s first day of trading on the market will happen on December 22nd.

Embracer was previously trading on Nasdaq First North Growth Market, where they have been listed since November 2016 under the name THQ Nordic AB, and its last day there will be December 21.

“The rationale for the listing in 2016, and the related capital raise was, among other things, to finance growth, facilitate the possibility of using the company’s shares as a means of payment in acquisitions, and strengthen the company’s profile and brand among investors, customers and within the sector in general,” the company said in an official announcement.

“The listing of the company’s class B shares on Nasdaq Stockholm is an important step in [its] continued development and has been a long-standing ambition of the company’s board of directors and management,” it continued.

“In addition to the fact that the listing on Nasdaq Stockholm provides a quality stamp for the company, the listing is also expected to make the company’s class B shares even more attractive as a means of payment, which may facilitate future acquisition discussions. Furthermore, the listing on Nasdaq Stockholm is expected to better reflect the maturity of the company from a capital market perspective and enable more institutional investors to invest in the Company’s class B shares.”

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Metal: Hellsinger Surpasses One Million Player Milestone

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Metal Hellsinger

Rhythm-action first-person shooter Metal: Hellsinger, which is now available on Playstation 4 and Xbox One, has surpassed the 1 million player milestone, according to an official release from Funcom.

Per the release: “Metal: Hellsinger, the award-winning rhythm shooter from developer The Outsiders and publisher Funcom, cranks the volume to max with a brand-new update. The 1.5 patch adds a new top difficulty — Archdevil — and gives players weapon skins to unlock and combos to master. Additionally, Funcom and The Outsiders are excited to announce that Metal: Hellsinger is now available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, making the Eight Hells more accessible than ever.”

The game boasts a 98% positive Steam score, a Golden Joystick Award for Best Audio, a Best Music and Score nomination from The Game Awards.

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