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Toys R Us Begins Selling Used Games

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Nationwide retailer Toys R Us has begun testing a program to buy back used games and sell them at its stores, similar to that of GameStop and other gaming specialty stores.

"We are testing out a program at a couple of our stores in the New York area," Toys R Us public relations manager Bob Friedland told Kotaku. "We are selling used games in the stores participating in the test."

Among those participating stores is a location in Nanuet, New York, which was noticed by Cheap Ass Gamer user phear3d. That store is apparently part of a 12-week trial program, which has been running at that location for about four weeks.

It seems that the chain hasn't yet decided if it will take the initiative nationwide.

The used game market has been extremely lucrative for GameStop, with the company buying games at a low cost, typically a third of their worth, and reselling them at a much higher rate, sometimes just five dollars less than the price of a new game.

Despite accounting for only 26.1% of the GameStop's total Q2 2008 sales, used game sales made up 49.7%, some $234M, of the retailer's overall quarterly profit.

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 2, 2009 2:04 PM

    Gaming companies will want to change to digital distribution only now that so many stores are adopting this. Futureshop in Canada also started doing this recently.

    It's too late for current console but I can see future consoles going Digital downloads only or games that comes with a 1 time use CD-KEY with internet required to install the game.

    • reply
      March 2, 2009 2:21 PM

      This was rumored to be in the works for the PS3 - the idea was that every disc had a unique code burned into it and it would tie itself to the first console it was inserted into (or maybe there was to be a registration policy in place). Basically would have made resale or game renting impossible.

      http://www.joystiq.com/2005/11/08/playstation-3-wont-play-used-games/

      Turned out to just be a rumor, but I've always wondered - was it someone maliciously maligning the PS3, or was Sony just testing the waters?

      But yeah as consoles become more and more like PC's, I can see this happening. The advantages to consoles are wearing down over time. Of course PC users piss and moan about them and mostly get ignored, I wonder what it will be like when the rest of the gaming world has to put up with this stuff?

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        March 2, 2009 3:41 PM

        So my 5 year old son couldn't bring his copy of Lego Star Wars over to his buddies house and play games for a couple of hours? Wow if they tried something like that it would definitely make me want to purchase the next console from another company.

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          March 2, 2009 4:04 PM

          Apparently you're not a PS3 owner. Unlike the ridiculous situation on the Xbox where purchases are linked to the console on the PS3 they're linked to our PSN account. If you go to a friend's house you can log in with your account and download the game to their console to play.

          Personally I prefer to buy games on the PSN than buy disc games but obvioulsy some games are just too big given the current hard disk capacity.

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            March 2, 2009 4:36 PM

            360 DLC purchases are linked to both the physical console AND the user ID. so you can go to your friends house, log in, and download that game. You just have to be logged in as the owner of the content.

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              March 2, 2009 5:13 PM

              Yeah, it's totally awesome, because if you ever get a new console, whenever your internet is down or XBL has issues, you can't play any of your XBLA games!

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                March 2, 2009 6:25 PM

                That was fixed quite some time ago. You can transfer your game ID's to your new console.

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                March 2, 2009 8:03 PM

                So does PSN let you copy purchased games to any number of offline consoles, unlike XBL?

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                  March 3, 2009 3:14 AM

                  Yes it does. You can also share the game with 5 of your friends legally and they can play at the same time as you.

          • reply
            March 2, 2009 5:16 PM

            On top of what Dopefish said, you can migrate the physical license from one 360 to another all online. It's easy as hell to do, limit is once every 3 months or something.

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          March 2, 2009 4:34 PM

          If they had gone through with this, yeah.

          If the Xbox 360 hadn't been around I wonder if they would have tried it

    • reply
      March 2, 2009 2:24 PM

      Yep, and I don't think that would be a good thing. Call me stupid, oldschool etc - but I prefer to have a physical copy of a game I buy.
      But yea, if it helps the developers I guess there is no way around it. I just think it would be a sad thing.. if digital distribution will end up being the primary source to buy games (or music / movies for that matter).

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        March 2, 2009 10:30 PM

        Why, though? Why do you prefer to have a physical copy and why would it be sad? I'm genuinely curious. Digital distro seems so much more convenient to me. I do miss collecting boxes, but for me functionality won out over sentiment with this sort of thing a long time ago.

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          March 3, 2009 9:46 AM

          As for games, because I'm still not online with my 360. Yep I'm definitely missing out, and the goal is to get online soon also.
          However.. you should be able to buy a console / computer - and be able to use it in a place where you are not online. So.. I'd say it would be sad if you'd be 'forced' to be online.. even in this modern day and age (that is soon to come).

          As for music, tja.. I just prefer having a cover.

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      March 2, 2009 2:32 PM

      That reminds me of "The Phantom" game console (anyone?). This is probably a good thing in the long run. I'd rather buy a game from Steam then buy it from a store. Steam even lets you burn the game if you want. It's greener, cheaper, always updated and keeps my game configurations (and soon game saves) all on the steam servers. I just don't like the idea of everyone and their mom starting their own Digital Distribution service.

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        March 2, 2009 8:27 PM

        I remember hearing about it. I didn't like the idea then and I still don't like it now. Digital distribution is fine, but I like to have the option of a physical box.

        The thing seemed too much like a PC anyways. Didn't they say at one point it was going to use keyboard/mouse input? And further, did they ever release anything about the console other than low-poly concept renders?

    • reply
      March 2, 2009 2:32 PM

      I don't think they would resort to something like this. At least I hope not.

      My guess is that more games will end up shipping with keys for additional content (map packs, skins, etc.) in order to battle this. It remains to be seen how effective this method will be.

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        March 2, 2009 2:37 PM

        I think it would be less a "resorting" to something like this than it would be a deal where the company says "hmm, well I think we've tapped the purchase-new market, how could we make more money? I know - eliminate used games" - not that this is a bad thing per se, companies should feel free to make as much money as they see fit within reason (i.e., so long as no one gets hurt).

        Of course a side effect would be to kill the game rental business which I think would hurt them overall (fewer guaranteed purchases of every game, fewer purchases from people who liked what they rented, etc.)

      • reply
        March 2, 2009 3:02 PM

        Although I liked Gears of War 2 doing this, I think it could become a dangerous trend. Imagine if developers just suddenly started cutting off chunks and made it download only with 1 key.

    • reply
      March 2, 2009 2:53 PM

      But then how could publishers gouge people with Collector's Editions? Unless they made CE-only maps/characters. But no more cool art books and stuff like that.

      • reply
        March 2, 2009 3:09 PM

        AFAIK, the ROI on most CE's is not significantly greater than the standard editions.


        -X

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          March 2, 2009 4:39 PM

          Then I will change my tune to:

          But then how can I get CE's with awesome art books? Those are the only reasons I get CE's and only the CE's that come with the art books.

    • reply
      March 3, 2009 1:57 AM

      CD Keys need to die. There has got to be a better way of doing this. Every other company has a digital distribution system now, why not tie games purchased to a central account and be done with them?

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      March 3, 2009 7:40 AM

      Honestly? I hope so.

      Boxes are cool but screw them. They're a waste.

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      March 3, 2009 9:34 AM

      Heck, with technology nowadays, why don't they just put a computer chip within the disc the game comes on. That way, people won't be able to make playable backups. The console verifies that the chip is there and it matches the game it's on before allowing it to play.

      There, I solved the problem with console game piracy. Now - what about world hunger?

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      March 3, 2009 11:41 AM

      Thanks, but I like an actual manual with my game. You may not care about this for simpler games such as FPS's, but for RPGs, RTS's, simulations, etc, they are required. No, I don't want to have to print out 50 pages from a PDF.

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