Remaining Places to Pre-Order Xbox One & PS4? (DigitalTrends.com)

Four of the biggest names in console sales (Best Buy, Amazon.com, GameStop, and Toys R Us) are already sold-out for both the Xbox One and the PS4. So where does that leave you, especially if you’re looking to pre-order either/both as a present for end-of-year holidays? It appears you  have five remaining options, plus buying directly from either company. Read on!

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If you are hoping to pre-order a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, you might want to hurry. All around the country, major retailers are listing the consoles as “sold-out,” leading up to what is looking more and more like a shortage on launch day. That may be good for Sony and Microsoft (and their stock prices), but it’s bad for a consumer hoping to get their hands on what are shaping up to be two of the hottest items this holiday season.

… you may have to go a little deeper down the rabbit hole of online shopping…

With stores like GameStop and Best Buy both listing Sony and Microsoft’s consoles as sold out, you may have to go a little deeper down the rabbit hole of online shopping leading up to the as yet unannounced launch dates. The PS4 is listed with a generic release date of December 31 (in other words, sometime this year), while the Xbox One is listed by several retailers as November 27. Whatever the exact dates, expect them both to release before the yearly shopping Super Bowl that is Black Friday, which this year lands on November 29.

Sony and Microsoft are still hoping to meet all launch day demands, although that probably isn’t going to be possible. At the moment, several stores are still accepting pre-orders but you should expect stock to disappear quickly. We’ll try to keep this list updated throughout the coming months, but don’t be surprised if the stores below sell out, and soon.

(If you find that a store on this list has changed its status to “sold out,” please let us know and we’ll update it accordingly. We’ll also add more stores in the weeks to come.)

Both Systems

Fry’s Electronics: The national electronic giant is not offering in-store pickups, but it will ship to you. You will need to pay shipping, so factor that into your budget. There is also a limit of one PS4 and Xbox One per household.

Kmart: The PS4 and Xbox One are both available for pre-order, and both are available for free shipping. As with most retailers, there is a limit of one per household.

Sears: Although not generally thought of as an electronic store, Sears has both the PS4 and Xbox One for pre-order, along with all the accessories and launch day titles announced. Free shipping is available, and there is a limit one per household.

Walmart: Walmart is the largest video game seller in the world, so you can expect two things: one, they will have a huge allotment from both Sony and Microsoft; two, they will likely sell through their pre-orders quickly. You can also add a three-year warranty, which isn’t quite as comprehensive as Target’s (it doesn’t cover accidental damage beyond wear and tear), but it is cheaper at $44 and lasts a year longer. It is also offering free shipping. No limit on the number of units you can buy.

PlayStation 4 Only

Sony StoreSony’s own store is offering the PS4, of course, along with free shipping and no apparent limit on the number of units you can pick up. You can also finance directly through Sony.

Xbox One Only

Microsoft StoreYou can purchase an Xbox One from Microsoft’s own store, and that also extends to the Xbox 360′s dashboard. If you are an Xbox 360 user, just connect online and look for the Xbox One icon, and you can pre-order directly from there. Free shipping, and a limit of one per household.

Xbox One: Major Policy Reversal for Authentication, Game Trading

For those of you who followed the Xbox One (and subsequent PS4) launch at E3 2013 last week, you know audiences were literally providing standing ovations for the PS4 only. The Xbox One policies were viewed across the board as extremely restrictive and anti-competitive (even GameStop was concerned about their used game policies). Well, in a somewhat expected turn of events, MS reverses their decisions on both of those policies. Read below to find out more.

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Microsoft has changed its policies regarding Xbox One’s internet requirements, used game restrictions and more.

Contrary to the details announced earlier this monthMicrosoft has now confirmed news originally reported on Giant Bomb that Xbox One will not require an internet connection to play offline games or need to check in every 24 hours; instead, internet will only be required when initially setting up the console.

“After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again,” Microsoft wrote. “There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.”

Like on Xbox 360, “playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.”

I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

Xbox One will also no longer restrict used games, and will instead allow discs to be exchanged in the same way they are on Xbox 360. There will be no additional restrictions for trade-ins or lending games to friends. The system is also no longer be region locked and all downloaded games will function the same way whether your console is connected or not.

“Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback,” Microsoft’s Don Mattrick wrote. “I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One. You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.”

In addition to being available in retail stores, Xbox One games will still be available for download on day one and will be playable on any Xbox One console.

“These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One,” Mattrick noted. “The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold.”

“We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity,” Mattrick concluded. “While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.”

Microsoft’s decision follows mass confusion following the announcement of Xbox One in May. At E3 last week, Sony announced similar policies for PlayStation 4, which will not require an internet connection or periodic authentication and does not restrict used games.

Xbox One is currently available for pre-order from various retailers. For more information on the console, including every confirmed game so far, see our Xbox One wiki.

Original IGN.com Article

Xbox One: Resales, 24-Hour Offline Gaming, Privacy Concerns (CNET.com)

Over the past year, GameStop’s stock price has grown by 250% and news of both PS4 and Xbox One being released this year should mean a solid increase in earnings. However, many questions still remain about Microsoft’s game reseller policies and how it’ll impact brick and mortar stores like GameStop who offer hundreds of used games at any given time.

Also, Microsoft requiring users to log in essentially daily just to keep playing? That seems incredibly restrictive. Personally, I’ve never used Xbox Live for anything and always play offline. This should be a massive test of player patience. It will be interesting to see how large the backlash is and if the policy gets changed after the One’s launch later this year.

The original article is just below.

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Gamers using Xbox One will find new, and more restrictive, rules regarding selling used games when the console debuts later this year.

Microsoft will let game publishers set the rules for reselling games to retailers.

“We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers,” the company posted on the Xbox news Web site. “Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.”

The company doesn’t say, though, if those publishers will be able to take a fee from resales.

The company is also clamping down on the ability of gamers to share titles with friends. Microsoft said no fees will be charged when games are transferred to buddies. But gamers can only share games with people who have been on their friends list for at least 30 days. And each game can only be given once.

And while Microsoft isn’t requiring the Xbox One to be connected constantly, gamers will only be able to play offline for up to 24 hours on a primary console, or 1 hour if they are logged onto a separate console accessing their library of titles. At that point, offline gaming will be disabled until players re-establish a Web connection. Xbox One owners still will be able to watch live TV and play Blu-ray disks and standard DVDs with the device.

Connectivity and game resales have been the two biggest unanswered questions about Xbox One since Microsoft took the wraps off the device last month. Gamers worried that Microsoft would use Web connectivity in the console to check if gamers had acquired their discs legitimately.

Those concerns may well have been justified. The restrictions on game sales and sharing appear to benefit publishers who aren’t keen on having the games they’ve spent millions of dollars to produce resold while they receive nothing in return.

Microsoft also offered a few details about privacy settings in the Xbox One. The console includes the Kinect motion-sensing, voice-detecting controller. But that always-on speaker and camera might disturb some gamers who fear for their privacy. On the Xbox news site, Microsoft said that the system is “only listening for the single voice command — ‘Xbox On.'” But gamers can turn that feature off if they choose.

Original CNET Article

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