Thursday, August 30, 2012

GameStop Going Vintage

GameStop has recently stated that it will embrace the retro by selling games from the pre-sixth generation era.  Apparently, over the last two decades, people have just been selling their old crap to them and they are finally of the mind, given the popularity of retro titles on sites like Amazon and Ebay, that they can sell 'em right back, as well as finding a way to secure a permanent position in that corner of the market.  As to how they'll do that?  Well, they don't know yet.  They're working on it.

Normally I would cry foul at the prospect of an already dominant monopoly sharpening their teeth toward healthier free-market sites like Ebay in order to expand their already bustling waistline, but I'm actually more or less psyched about this news.

First of all, in the interest of not sounding hypocritical, GameStop is my one stop shop for everything entertainment of the interactive variety.  Ideal?  No, but I have no other means of purchasing my games in my immediate area (read "monopoly"), and I basically parse by entire gaming budget solely on its pre-owned games (which is a GOOD business model, I don't care what you say), given that I am more often than not, broke as a joke.

The primary reason I enjoy the idea is that many older games are near impossible to find at a reasonable price, let alone new (forget about it).

I was a relatively sheltered child.  The only video games I was exposed to for the first decade of my life were PC games like MYST and Doom, so I was late to the console gaming generation, stumbling in during the release of the Nintendo 64.  As a result, I missed out on a lot of classics.  In 2007, entrepreneurial vloggers like the Angry Video-Game Nerd as well as my meager college lifestyle (not surprisingly) served as catalysts for a massive retro phase, during which I got myself an FC Twin and did some catching up.  I am proud to say that I am one of the nine people in the world who have defeated Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson's Punch Out (by POINTS not TKO, which I attest to this day is more difficult).

A company like GameStop could actually do a lot to disrupt this current trend of overly-inflated or nonexistent prices for vintage titles, assuming they're actually able to get their hands on a consistent and diverse library of games, which the jury is still very much out on.  I just don't see a company like GameStop wasting their time to try to corner this section of the market in the middle of a recession if they're just going to sell new copies of A Link to the Past for $1,000.

Or maybe I have no idea what the fuck I'm talking about.  Either way, the thought of being able to go to the store when I want a game from the last century and immediately purchase it at a fair price does make me faintly optimistic, and these days, I need to take what I can get.

-VMA

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