Gamestop's near-monopoly on the used game market might be over, that is if Walmart has anything to say about it. Word is out that the retail giant wants to buy your used games for in-store credit.
The buy-backs won't be done the average way, there will be a Redbox-like machine that will take your used game from you. Pictures of the actual machine can be seen here. You will be prompted by a display screen to scan the bar code on the box of the game you wish to trade in. Once you scan the bar code, the machine will search its database for the title and if successful, you will be prompted to insert the game disc first and then the box.
You'll create an account that you log into every time you go to trade in a game to the machine and this account will presumably be accessible on any Wal-Mart used game kiosk. There is also a slot to slide your credit/debit card; it's uncertain what role the card plays in you trading in games but my guess it's for some sort of accountability (who traded in what game, etc). Once you've inserted the used game, the machine will print you a voucher for in-store credit. These kiosks, which accept PS2, PS3, Wii, and 360 games, are only in a few Walmart stores right now but seem to be working their way to more and more locations.
Reading different commentary on this machine, it seems as if there are a few shortcomings. The machine's database of games is currently limited so you won't be able to trade in all of your unwanted games. Also, it would be nice to get an electronic receipt for each transaction. There are other minor tweaks that would be needed but all in all it sounds like an interesting alternative to Gamestop. Being able to trade in your unwanted games at your local Walmart while shopping for underwear and milk is about the best idea I've heard of lately.
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