GameStop has announced a new way for gamers to purchase their new Xbox One. The retailer is allowing customers to put the console on layaway.
You can reserve the Xbox One through GameStop by paying a fee of at least $25. Once you've done that, you can pay off the rest over time with cash, credit, or trade-ins like used games and hardware. You can take the new console home when you've paid off the full cost.
"At GameStop, your reservation deposits are refundable at any time," the retailer says on the promotion's website. "In addition, there are no fees or penalties associated with a reservation purchase."
The promotion only applies to the Xbox One. GameStop says that they don't offer the PS4 on layaway:
The Xbox One's price tag might be a reason for the layaway program. It currently retails for a hefty $500. The PS4's not exactly cheap either ($400) but the difference is still substantial to some customers. Maybe GameStop feels that offering layaway to prospective Xbox One customers will make the purchase seem a little less intimidating to them.
Price doesn't tell the entire tale, though. I find the expiration date for the offer (April 11th) to be interesting. It's exactly one month after the debut of Titanfall, a highly anticipated Xbox One game. Microsoft and Titanfall publisher EA both think the game has the potential to sell hardware, so GameStop's hoping to be the retailer that soaks up most of those sales. The layaway program's a way for them to attract buyers without offering, say, a discount on the Xbox One. After all, they're already offering free gifts to people who buy the game itself.
GameStop isn't the only retailer hoping to sell a few consoles before Titanfall launches. The Microsoft Store is offering $100 credit toward an XB1 if you trade in your PS3. The Microsoft promotion runs until March 2nd, days before the Titanfall debut.
GameStop's XB1 layaway isn't available through their website. You have to pick up the console through the same physical GameStop location where you paid for the reservation. There's no mandated schedule for the payments, but the retailer suggests making weekly or biweekly deposits so you can get your console in a timely fashion. The offer isn't available in District of Columbia or Maryland.