Wal-Mart Wants Your Used Games

By  |  Monday, May 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm

eplaykioskIf you need to unload some old video games and don’t care to interact with GameStop employees, consider machines as an alternative.

Wal-Mart is testing standalone buy back kiosks at 77 stores in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, Video Business reports. The kiosks will scan the bar codes of used games and separately swallow the disc and casing in exchange for money transferred to a credit card.

The kiosks will also rent video games and DVDs, but the DVD rental function will be switched off in stores that already have a Redbox kiosk. Games and DVDs will cost $1 per night, and Blu-ray rentals will costs $2 for the first night and $1 per night after that.

As with GameStop and, more recently Amazon, the buy back price is a point of discontent. Wal-Mart’s kiosks will spit out the usual range of offers, from $25 for high-demand games to 50 cents for undesirables. Generally, you can expect used games at those trade-in prices to sell back for double. I’m surprised none of the competition wants to tinker with that formula and see how it affects market share.

It’s not clear what will happen to the used games. Instead of operating the kiosks directly, Wal-Mart is leasing space in the vestibule area, just outside the stores themselves, to a company called E-Play. That company has a “couple different methods” for resale, marketing VP and business development executive Kristen Fox told Gamasutra, but declined to be more specific.

Meanwhile, a writer for Neocrisis has already spotted one of the kiosks (seen above). It lacks Wal-Mart branding, except for the slogan “Save Money. Live Better.” Notably, Neocrisis reported some serious bugs in these early boxes. Most of the games offered didn’t scan, and the only one that did — the fairly high profile Mirror’s Edge — wasn’t in the kiosk’s database. The writer walked away without trading anything.

Maybe humans have some merit after all.

 
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5 Comments For This Post

  1. games Says:

    Wow I have a lot of used games, this news are awsome to me, tomorrow I will get all my games ready and take it to wallmart :-)

    thanks for the info and greetings from Kansas!

  2. Jared Newman Says:

    You’re out of luck if you’re in Kansas. The pilot program is only happening in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

  3. JDoors Says:

    “… Neocrisis reported some serious bugs in these early boxes. Most of the games offered didn’t scan, and the only one that did — the fairly high profile Mirror’s Edge — wasn’t in the kiosk’s database. …”

    If the originating company has gone through the amount of money necessary to get to the point where test kiosks are up and running, and they STILL don’t have ANY idea what games will be coming in, I predict: FAIL.

  4. mx123 Says:

    This seems ripe for fraud. I ran a used dvd and game store and often would experience hucksters gluing on a fake barcode on the dvd or game game to get a higher price when we checked in their items. I can imagine how rampant that scan would be if there was no one present to monitor the transaction.

  5. ron melquist Says:

    mx123: good point. You could also sell them your defective discs.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

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