GameStop to Start Selling Retro Consoles and Games Again
GameStop has started to notice all the dough indie video game stores were raking in with retro sales and has decided to reopen its market for classic consoles and titles.
According to IGN, GameStop will start launching a program this month to begin sales and trade-ins of retro consoles, games and accessories. While this might seem awesome for retro game enthusiasts out there, we should note that GameStop is only testing the waters of the retro market in two areas, NYC and Birmingham. The good news is that roughly 250 store locations in these areas will be participating in the program and that it will be oriented towards online purchases. At the same time, any classic game collector out there knows that it's better to inspect and test retro games and consoles in person before you buy them.
Systems and accessories that you will be able to trade-in or purchase at GameStop include the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast (sorry, Saturn fans). It's like it's 1998 all over again!
A GameStop representative claims that the company will increase the number of games it sells and purchases by roughly 5,000. If the retro program becomes successful in the NYC and Birmingham areas, then the company hopes to make it a North America-wide standard by the end of the year (and will likely expand through the UK).
"We will bring all of the product back through the Refurbishment Operations Center for inspection, testing and repair," a GameStop representative said, citing that it will take about two months for an accepted console to be sent back and refurbished at a company factory before being put on sale online.
Don't think that GameStop will be taking down its hand-me-down Beats headphones and iPhones off of its shelves for the sake of retro games, as classic games and consoles will only be made available at its official website, but you do have the opportunity to have retro items delivered to your local GameStop for in-store pickup.
Retro games and consoles are expected to have the same warranty system and policies as GameStop's used and refurbished modern consoles. We should note that it looks like GameStop has been preparing for this system last month by accepting PS2 consoles for in-store credit again.
At the same time, this is going to deal a major blow to independently owned video game stores, which make most of their profits off of retro game and console sales. We're also wondering how hard-to-find and rare games will fare on GameStop's website. We can't have Super Mario RPG having the same price as Madden 94, can we?