Wal-Mart’s game trading kiosks must have amassed a nice selection of used titles, as the company has begun selling pre-owned games online.
The used games being sold are for the following platforms: GameBoy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Xbox, and Xbox 360. Though some analysts have said that Wal-Mart probably isn’t going to make a dent in the used games market, the way they are selling them here is actually somewhat appealing. All of the games are “polished, tested and inspected,” already one-upping GameStop, which basically has someone look at a game for half a second to determine whether it is good or not. Wal-Mart’s used games also come in the original product packaging, which is nice, though there is no mention if manuals are included as well. GameStop does include original packaging and manuals when purchasing games online, though in-store is a different story.
Wal-Mart’s Prices are comparable to GameStop’s, with some games priced lower and some priced higher. GameStop may already be reacting to Wal-Mart’s online used prices with price drops of their own, though, or vice versa. For example, a used LittleBigPlanet is $44.99 at GameStop, marked with a new $5 “online-only” price drop, while Wal-Mart has it priced at $49.96. This could be purely coincidence (sorry I don’t price check every day), but the same is also true with inFamous, Animal Crossing: City Folk, and New Super Mario Bros, with GameStop either matching Wal-Mart’s prices or beating them with “online-only” price drops. Many games are just a scant 3 cents cheaper at Wal-Mart, as the retail giant is selling their titles for $XX.96, while GameStop sells their games for $XX.99.
Whatever kind of price war may be going on, or was simply created in my head, Wal-Mart appears to be setting itself up as a consumer go-to point for reliable, cheap used games. This could be great for consumers if it creates competition in the retail used videogames market, and even for collectors who may be able to find a few gems if they can click fast enough. Perhaps we’ll see used games in physical Wal-Marts someday too.
(Via: Ars Technica)