Retail Solutions Briefs: Eidos, etailing, Gateway

Eidos blames downturn on PlayStation 2

Putting some of the blame on a lack of PlayStation 2 consoles, Eidos, the UK-based computer games maker responsible for the popular Lara Croft animated character, has issued a profit warning for the first half of its financial year ending March 31.

The games maker is also delaying the launch of three games designed for Sony's PlayStation 2, including Herdy Gerdy and Eden.

Although the European market is meeting expectation numbers from the US market thus far are "well below expectations and reflect the general softening in the US retail market," Eidos said.

Sony itself has reported lower third quarter profits, with particularly grim news coming from its games business, which saw sales almost unchanged on the same period the year before, despite the launch of PlayStation 2, whose demand has been huge. Sony has simply been unable to meet that demand.

Pure e-tailers beat bricks-and-mortar Web shopsOnline shoppers in the US were more satisfied buying from pure-play electronic retailers than buying from the Web sites of traditional retailers during December. But despite scoring lower than their pure-play Net counterparts in customer satisfaction, so-called bricks-and-mortar e-tailers did achieve a higher rate of growth in terms of visits during the past holiday season, according to a report by ACNielsen/NetRatings and Harris Interactive.

Of the 10 companies with the highest satisfaction levels, seven are pure Web-based retailers. led the way with a high score of 8.5 on a 10-point scale. The three sites held by traditional retailers in the top 10 were those of Barnes & Noble, Hallmark Cards and JC Penney.

US online sales totalled $US7.2 billion in December, with 13 per cent of the population making an online purchase.

Gateway introduces new PC product selectorGateway is helping first-time computer users select a PC to fit their needs through its online Interactive Product Selector.

Customers answer questions on what features are important - price, performance or technology - when purchasing a PC. It also asks whether the computer will be used for Internet access, to play games or set up a home business. Based on the answers, the selector recommends a number of Gateway systems. Users can then decide whether they would like to buy, build or see the system they have chosen at Gateway's showcase outlets.