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Best Buy To Buy, Sell Used Games In Stores

MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy will
launch a video game trade-in program
in all stores this summer.

The program, modeled after Game-
Stop’s coveted used-game strategy,
joins an existing online exchange offer
and follows several years of trials that
included a vending machine pilot.

Under the new plan, customers can
purchase pre-owned titles backed
by the company’s return policy, and
also exchange their own games for
gift cards that can be used throughout
the store.

Select stores will have dedicated trade-in desks within the gaming department,
while the balance of locations
will accept and sell pre-played
titles at the customer service desk.

During an earnings call, Americas
co-president Mike Vitelli said Best
Buy had worked on a video game exchange
model for several years to
help offset traffic declines as demand
for packaged media, its traditional
driver, has waned. The chain
will reallocate real estate and possibly
staff from the CD and DVD areas
to support the program, he said.

CEO Brian Dunn added that the
timing of the rollout coincides with a
number of gaming innovations slated
for the second half that will invigorate
the category, including gesture-
based motion control and 3D
firmware upgrades for PS3.

Best Buy will also support the gaming
category with new interactive
touchscreens that will allow customers
to preview and pre-order games in
stores, and recently launched its own
specialty gaming magazine called
@Gamer. The company has also developed
mobile gaming apps for the
iPhone and Android platforms that
provide special offers, discounts and
unique content, and will add a gaming
app for BlackBerry this summer.

In a statement, Chris Homeister,
home entertainment group senior
VP and general manager, said, “Our
commitment to creating an improved
gaming experience begins with giving
customers easy and exciting ways
to connect with the games they love.
We know how important game tradein
is in that mix. Combined with the
anticipated arrival of new interactive
gaming experiences later this year
and strategic investments into our
future digital capabilities that will enable
consumers to buy digital content
and downloads, we will provide gamers
innovative ways to connect with
current and future gaming titles.”