Movies Anywhere Available on Xbox Consoles

The cloud-based movie library service Movies Anywhere is now accessible on Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Xbox users can download the Movies Anywhere app through the Microsoft store to access their movie collection on their console.

Users can playback their movies via their Xbox and purchase more movies from the Microsoft store once their retailer account is connected to their Movies Anywhere account.

Video playback on Xbox via Movies Anywhere supports 4K, HDR 10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

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Movies Anywhere participating studios include Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm) and Warner Bros. Entertainment. Other participating digital retailers include Apple TV, Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play/YouTube, Xfinity, FandangoNow, Verizon Fios TV and DirecTV.

Redbox Free Live TV Adds Xbox One Distribution, Content Channels

Redbox Free Live TV, the ad-supported VOD sister service to kiosk-based disc rentals, has signed an agreement with Microsoft to make its app available on the pending Xbox One X and Xbox One S video game consoles. Free Live TV is also available on the Roku platform, Apple TV and Android TV, in addition to iOS and Android. It is not yet available on Amazon Fire TV.

Redbox also added music video streamer Vevo, Pocket.watch, featuring children’s programming and Johnny Carson, an OTT video platform streaming the late late night comic’s episodes. The additions bring to more than 75 the number of content channels offered free (with ads) to consumers.

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“Our Free Live TV service continues to grow at a rapid pace and we’re committed to creating a product that our customers love and we know that includes adding awesome channels such as Vevo that we know our audiences will enjoy,” Chris Yates, GM of Redbox On Demand, said in a statement. “Free Live TV is the home for our customers to find and watch great content from their favorite channels, all free.”

GameStop Fiscal Woes Continue

As expected, GameStop Dec. 10 reported a third-quarter (ended Nov. 2) net loss of $83.4 million, which was an improvement of sorts from a net loss of $488.6 million during the previous-year period.

The narrowed loss is hardly a bright spot since the nation’s largest video game retailer reported significant declines in every business segment except collectibles.

Global sales decreased 25.7% to $1.4 billion, driven by a consolidated comparable store sales crease of 23.2%. New hardware sales decreased 45.8%, reflecting anticipated next generation console launches in 2020. New software sales decreased 32.6%, with growth in Nintendo Switch software titles more than offset by weaker title launches across other consoles in the quarter compared to last year.

Accessories sales decreased 13.4%, pre-owned sales declined 13.3% with declines in hardware and software. Collectibles sales increased 4.3%, with continued growth in both domestic and international stores.

Yet, collectibles, which includes memorabilia, T-shirts, action figures,  associated merchandise and has been the chain’s lone growth area, saw revenue grow just 4.3% — down from 14% last year.

“Our third quarter results continue to reflect the prevailing industry trends, most notably the unprecedented decline in new hardware sales seen across the market as the current generation of gaming consoles reach the end of their lifecycle and consumers delay their spending in anticipation of new hardware releases,” CEO George Sherman said in a statement.

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With console makers set to introduce new and innovative gaming consoles in late 2020, the gaming industry has been on life support as gamers cut spending. In addition, the industry — similar to other packaged media — is migrating toward digital distribution.

“We anticipate this trend to continue until the fourth quarter [next year],” Sherman said.

Regardless, the CEO said GameStop remains on track to achieve $200 million annualized operating profit improvement goal by 2021.

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“We believe our strategic initiatives will enable to us to achieve our long-term growth and profit objectives as we fully leverage our unique leadership position and brand in the video game space,” he said.

Wall Street wasn’t impressed. GameStop shares fell 15% in aftermarket trading.

Xbox Partners With Taco Bell to Give Away Xbox One X Consoles

Taco Bell is partnering with Xbox to give fans in the United States the chance to win limited-edition Xbox One X consoles each time they buy a $5 double chalupa box, Xbox announced.

The promotion lasts from Oct. 18 through Nov. 21.

The exclusive platinum-colored console features Taco Bell’s “ring” when powered on (exclusive to the limited-edition consoles); a white, special-edition Xbox Elite wireless controller; and three months of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.

An Xbox One X will be rewarded every 10 minutes throughout the promotion and it will be delivered to fans 72 hours after being declared a winner, according to Xbox.

The Xbox One S and Xbox One X both feature a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player and Dolby Atmos support.

GameStop Posts $24.9 Million Q2 Loss, Confirms Engagement with Third Parties Regarding Possible Sale of the Company

GameStop Sept. 6 reported a second-quarter (ended Aug. 4) net loss of $24.9 million, compared to a profit of $22.2 million during the previous-year period. Revenue was relatively flat at $1.64 billion.

The nation’s largest video game retailer attributed the loss in part to a one-stop tax charge regarding operations in France. Without the charge, GameStop’s adjusted net income for the second quarter was $4.7 million, compared to adjusted net income of $14.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

The company also confirmed that it continues to engage with third parties regarding a possible transaction as part of a comprehensive review of strategic and financial alternatives initiated by the company’s board of directors. The ongoing process includes a thorough evaluation of a full range of alternatives to enhance shareholder value.

“As our teams prepare for a busy and exciting holiday period, our board of directors, with the support of our financial and legal advisors, continues to conduct a comprehensive review of strategic and financial alternatives, including, but not limited to, a potential sale of the company,” Dan DeMatteo, executive chairman of the board, said in a statement.

GameStop said there could be no assurance that the board’s review will result in any sale of the company.

Meanwhile, collectibles sales increased 15.7% to $141.7 million, driven by continued expansion of licensed merchandise offerings, new and improved product offerings and notable growth in apparel.

Technology brands operating income increased 35.3% to $20.3 million compared to $15.0 million in the prior-year quarter, despite a 10.3% decline in sales to $168.9 million, primarily due to store closures relative to fiscal 2017.

New hardware sales increased 20.1%, driven by the launch of the Xbox One X and continued strong sales of the Nintendo Switch and PS4.  New software sales decreased 18.5% primarily due to the lack of significant title launches during the quarter. Pre-owned sales declined 9.9%.