Blockbuster Video Gunning For GameStop?

As hinted at by a store manager back in the beginning of this month, Blockbuster Video is ramping up the video game side of their business big time, and they might just be gearing up to give GameStop a run for their money. Along with granting video games like Grand Theft Auto IV sacred space on the New Release wall, corporate-owned stores across the country should now be carrying retail games, consoles, and accessories for purchase, as well as kicking up their rental offerings with more titles and platforms, including DS games, which up til now my local store hadn't carried at all.

"We are committed to offering a full assortment of everything gamers want in our stores — hardware, accessories and retail and rental games across all platforms — including Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS," said Rod Murray, vice-president, games merchandising, Blockbuster Inc.

The company will also be offering a variety of exclusives, such as their exclusive Sony PS3 movie and game bundle, that features a 40GB PS3, Spiderman 3 on Blu-ray, Transformers the Movie the game, and a 12-week PS3/Blu-ray rental card entitling users to a free rental each week of for twelve weeks, all for $499.99.

Honestly I feel this can only be good for the game buying public. For one, the nearest Blockbuster Store to me is much closer than the nearest GameStop, and anyone who has traded in a game at a Blockbuster knows their trade-in values are tons better than the competition.

If any company has the established infrastructure to compete with GameStop in the retail video game space it's Blockbuster Video. Blockbuster currently has around 5,192 stores in the U.S., with GameStop maintaining apporximately 5,264. Depending on how serious BB is about this initiative, it would put them a stone's throw away from being the biggest video game retailer in the country. Sure they rent and sell movies as well, but GameStop has been known to peddle the odd previously viewed DVD themselves.

Say what you will about evil corporations, but face it, there isn't a mum & pop store out there with the resources to take on the big guys. The lesser of two evils perhaps, but any deal that puts a game store five minutes from my house can't be all that bad. Interesting times for video game retail await!

Stores Also to Carry More Rental Game Platforms, Titles and Copies

DALLAS, April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Blockbuster Inc. , a leading global provider of in-home movies and game entertainment, today announced it has rolled out retail video games and game hardware to all U.S. corporate-owned BLOCKBUSTER(R) stores as part of a broader plan to significantly expand its game business.

Now, for the first time, customers can go into any U.S. corporate-owned BLOCKBUSTER store and purchase video game titles, hardware and accessories for the Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS game systems. In addition to expanding its retail games offering, Blockbuster is adding more game titles for rental with more copies than before across all platforms.

Blockbuster is featuring its expanded game offerings — including hardware and accessories, along with rental and retail titles such as "Mario Kart" and the soon-to-be-released "Grand Theft Auto IV" — on the new release wall in a specially designated game section.

"We are committed to offering a full assortment of everything gamers want in our stores — hardware, accessories and retail and rental games across all platforms — including Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS," said Rod Murray, vice-president, games merchandising, Blockbuster Inc.

To further support expansion of its game business, Blockbuster will also be implementing a variety of special consumer game offers, such as an exclusive Sony PS3 movie and game bundle. The bundle, available at corporate-owned stores while supplies last for $499.99, excluding tax, includes: a 40GB Sony PS3 game console that also plays Blu-ray DVDs, PS3/Blu-ray DVD remote, HDMI cable, "Spiderman 3" Blu-ray disc, "Transformers" PS3 game and a BLOCKBUSTER 12-week PS3/Blu-ray rental card that entitles users to one free PS3 or Blu-ray rental per week for 12 consecutive weeks.


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