Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Retro at GameStop

Time to hide, kids. GameStop is selling old games again. Earlier this week the retailer launched the "retro" section of their site, with video games from the NES, Sega Genesis, SNES, N64, Playstation 1, and Sega Dreamcast under their "Vintage Software" label. Prices range from $6.99 to $69.99 (that would be PowerStone for the Dreamcast), and you can purchased refurbished consoles as well.

There are caveats, of course. This isn't a big library like you would expect at some pawn shops or smaller game stores, so don't expect a big inventory to be available. All of these items are online only. You can not buy retro games at your local GameStop brick store. Most of the items are not available, so have fun finding the ones that are in-stock online. Each game comes with the "pre-owned guarantee," which means there are no guarantees for boxed and manuals, but the game should work if you use it in the proper system. And no, GameStop will not ship you a box and manual. Most games are sold to GS as is without those features. They will also not allow returns because you didn't get the box and manual.

Also, GameStop is not accepting retro games for trade. So don't clean out your collection and hand them over to the retailer. They won't take it. Besides, you'll only get pennies on the dollar. May as well EBay your games for a better price. It appears that they're using a third party company to procure their stock.

The consoles are another story. You'll get the basics, one controller, AC adapter, and A/V cable. These are also online only. But! Some select stores are accepting them for trades. Which ones and what are the terms? Well GameStop didn't post this info anywhere, so you get to have fun calling every store location and asking questions. That'll make the employees really happy. :) I'd imagine that if it's anything like their current used system trade, the system needs to be clean, in working condition, and have at least one controller and all cables associated with it. Any grime or corrosion and it's a no-go.

There are also shipping restrictions on these items. US addresses only. No APO/FPO or PO Box. It needs to be a physical mailing location.

While it seems okay on the surface, GameStop is getting into retro gaming a bit late. And they already have spent decades turning away older consoles in favor of pushing what's out now. Trade-in's are typically only valuable for last gen content, systems that are still in people's homes. So to now do an about face and say "oh hey, we have the older stuff too" tends to create a jaded customer. Why was my old stuff not good 2 years ago, but it's okay to buy and sell now?

So take it as you will GS and non-GS fans. I'll stick to my current vendors of retro stock who can guarantee me a box and manual. What's the point in collecting if you don't have the box?

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