Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving when retailers throughout the country hold offer sales on electronics products. Many retailers targeted video gamers this year. Sales were stronger than anticipated, which suggests that video games will be very popular presents this holiday season.
Cyber Monday Can Help Boost Video Game Sales
Video games have been a popular form of entertainment in the United States for years. Nearly three quarters of American households play video games and the average gamer plays about 13 hours a week.
Despite the popularity of video games, most retailers haven’t targeted gamers on Cyber Monday. This year’s holiday discounts are a new tradition. There may be several reasons people are starting to buy video games:
• The Playstation 4 and the Xbox One are both coming out. Many people are eager to buy these new consoles and will want games to go along with them.
• Many parents are buying tablets for their children instead of video games. The new consoles are still expected to be popular, but retailers may feel that they need to do something to compete with them.
• A recent study from Gallup found that most families plan to reduce their holiday spending this year. The study didn’t explain why people are planning on cutting their holiday budget, but it is probably due to uncertainty over the economy and smaller paychecks as the payroll tax cut expired during the sequester. Retailers are going to need to offer better discounts to get customers’ money this holiday season.
Holiday Sales Expected to Remain Strong
Video game sales were stronger than anticipated this year. This shows that holiday spending will probably continue throughout the rest of the year.
Video games sales tend to be the highest during the first two weeks of December. They start to taper off as Christmas approaches. Most experts believe that video games sales after Cyber Monday may decline slightly this year since many people took advantage of these deals. However, they still expect overall sales to be stronger. One study suggests that sales will increase about 28% over the next couple of weeks. They should be particularly strong for stores like Best Buy and Circuit City, but smaller retailers are going to benefit a lot as well.
Industry analysts are still debating what games will be most popular. They believe that the following will be on many people’s wish lists this year:
• Battlefield 4
• Call of Duty: Ghosts
• Grand Theft Auto V
• Final Fantasy XIV
• Kingdom of Hearts
• Dead Rising 3
Many gamers are already planning their strategies for their favorite games. Some are already visiting sites like this to find cheats for their favorite games. They are particularly excited to learn how to hack games for their new Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles. This is probably going to be a huge holiday for gamers this year.
About the author: Kalen Smith is an avid gamer who analyzes trends in the industry. He did one of his MBA Capstone Projects on the competitive strategy that Electronic Arts employed a couple years ago.
Discover the best cities for cheap drinks and all-night partying. Whether you’re a frequent party-goer, looking for the best places to live for nightlife or you simply want to celebrate, the following cities are among the best in the United States for happy hour.
1. Washington, D.C.
According to CNBC.com, Washington, D.C. features 880 happy hour venues. That’s 12.9 happy hours per square mile! With 12 colleges and universities in the city, along with crowds of young professionals, bars and restaurants come to life after work hours with people seeking an affordable drink.
One of the best locations for happy hour in the city is Agora Restaurant, featuring happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, which creates the perfect opportunity to hang out with friends after class or work. Choose from numerous $4 drinks, enjoy discounted wine, or add a flatbread side for a snack.
2. New York City, NY
New York City offers a whopping 1,726 happy hour venues, claiming fame as one of the most diverse cities for happy hour, which means it’s easy to find a cheap drink almost anywhere in the city.
One of the city’s most popular happy hour locations is The Mermaid Inn, which offers a happy hour in several locations across the city. On Amsterdam Ave, you can enjoy a happy two hours every day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., where oysters, cocktails, wine, and beer are all discounted. You can also head to the Mermaid Oyster Bar on MacDougal St. for all night happy hour on Mondays.
3. Denver, CO
Denver features 1,318 happy hour venues, an 8.5 per square mile density. Per capita, that is an astounding ratio! Since Denver ranks second in the nation for the total amount of breweries within a city, it makes sense that residents love their beer and their happy hour.
Here, you can head to places like Freshcraft, which serves $1 snacks and $4 16 oz drafts daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you’re searching for cheap drinks all night, head to Govnr’s Park Tavern, which offers two happy hours daily, including a late night happy hour from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
4. Seattle, WA
Seattle comes with 8.5 happy hours per square mile, totaling 1,203 venues throughout the city. With numerous large companies in the city, countless employees are looking to relax after a long day of work, and places such as Toulouse Petit can help people do it. This venue claims to have the best happy hour in the nation, with over 50 options under $5. They host happy hour twice per day from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to 1 p.m.
You might also want to try Anchovies and Olives. While their happy hour only lasts from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, it’s the tasty food and drinks at a low price that attract so many people, with $2 beer options, $5 glasses of wine, and $1 Kumamoto oysters.
If you’re seeking spectacular happy hour locations, these cities offer the best opportunities to find it – or even some of the best places to live.
Jeff Schultz is an Atlanta-based travel enthusiast and writer contributing to blogs and publications around the country.
Isn’t that a job for a specialist?
It certainly used to be. Ten years ago, the idea of someone who knows nothing about computers building one from the tabletop up would have provoked loud laughter. Times have changed, in several ways: everyone possesses some basic computer knowledge, there are mountains of how-to guides stacked up on the web for this one purpose, and it’s never been easier to locate and order the computer parts you need.
Hardware is now plug and go– you no longer have to fiddle with jumper switches or, once you load the operating system, alter the IRQ or memory allocations. Of course it’s quicker to trot out to Currys and grab a box off the shelf, but that’s dead dull compared to envisioning the PC system you want, making a list of necessary parts, checking to be sure your chosen processor and power supply can handle all system requirements, and putting in your orders for parts.
Ordering parts with a view to savings
Your goal is to make informed decisions about what you need from your computer, then decide what parts will make that possible. The PC you put together is a unified system in which the parts must work together harmoniously, so it’s no good picking out a top-of-the-line processor and expecting that one component to achieve top performance when combined with substandard pieces. Buying each part can become expensive however opting for cheaper parts may compromise the overall performance and quality of your computer. Koala Payday Loans could provide the necessary funds to purhase the best parts for your project without leaving your monthly budget short.
Set a PC budget, and within that budget strive for a consistent assortment of parts.
About hardware, cheap and otherwise
Before you choose your hardware, think about what you want to accomplish with your computer. Does your computer need to deal efficiently with music, video, photographs, or text-based data? Do you run large automated projects in which information is processed in bulk, then stored on multiple hard drives? Maybe all you want to do is play video games, or listen to music, or watch TV, but whatever you want to do will have its own specific system requirements.
Read the documentation for each part you select very carefully before you order it.
Processor. This unit determines how fast your computer can work and how many tasks it can take on simultaneously. The fastest commercial PC processor in 2013 is called the AMD FX-9590, and it clocks in at 5GHz, but it costs a packet and draws a lot of power (220 watts). You’ll have to decide your own trade-off level at which more processing speed isn’t worth the extra cash.
Motherboard. This is the physical template for your PC, because your other parts plug into it. That means the motherboard has to accommodate every other part you select (USB ports, RAM sticks, cards for graphics, sound, and wireless), so you’ll have to nail down details of what you want before purchasing the motherboard.
RAM. This is the main memory component, and if you choose a motherboard with dual channel capacity your computer can run faster by inserting a paired set of RAM sticks.
Graphics card. This expansion component slots into your motherboard and improves the quality of video in movies and games.
Storage drives. Most PCs come with one but you may want two for extra storage capacity. The usual type is a hard-disk drive containing magnetic platters with moving read-write heads, and if you choose this option you can buy the most storage for the least money. However, solid state drives lack moving parts, meaning they’re much faster and sturdier than the hard-disk variety.
Solid state drives’ other principal drawbacks, besides price, are a tendency to perform poorly when full and fail without warning, so you’d be best served overall by a hard-disk drive.
Power supply. The faster your system will be and the more components it has, the more wattage you’ll need to buy in a power supply. More wattage equals more expense, but more performance.
Other parts. You’ll need a fan and heat sink to keep your lash-up cool, an optical disk drive to read DVDs and CDs if you use them, and possibly accessories like wireless and Bluetooth cards. The last item you’ll pick out is a case to hold all your beautiful new gear.
The 2013 Kardashian family Christmas card is here and it’s just as ridiculous and silly as they usually are. Shocking, we know. Surprisingly, there are quite a few family members missing from this year’s Christmas card.
This year’s card features Kris Jenner, Bruce Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and her two children, Mason and Penelope, along with Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner. This card is so weird, though. It’s representative of something so strange, but what? Is it showing us that the Kardashians and Jenners are so materialistic that they already know it and don’t care to show it?
In the card’s background we see references to money (the eye and pyramid on the back of a dollar bill), an ATM, glamour shots of Kim. There are also a ton of magazines that line the floor of the shoot. In addition, why is Bruce stuck in a tube?
Also featured behind Kylie and Kendall is a box of Wheaties featuring their famous father. We’re wondering why there are so many naked people and mannequins in the shots? Is this weird to anyone else? Hit the comments and leave us your thoughts on the Kardashian Christmas card for 2013?
Shocking, tacky or out of this world?