In the US, Target wants you to pre-order popular video games from their stores so badly, they're willing to pay you $5.
Here's how the new Target reservation program works. First, you pay $1 to receive a collectible reservation card, featuring the logo of the game you wish to reserve. Upon the game's release, you bring in your reservation card, pay for the game, and get a $5 Target gift card for your trouble. In effect, reserving a game at Target puts you either $5 or $4 ahead of most retailers, depending on whether or not the initial $1 is taken off the game's price or simply used to secure the reservation.
Unfortunately the final fate of that initial $1 fee is still in question. We've contacted Target for comment, and expect a call back later today. If the $1 is towards the purchase, then getting a game for regular price plus a $5 gift card is a pretty good deal. If not, you'd be paying an extra $1 for the game. It would still put you $4 up, but you'd be limited to spending the extra at Target.
The first batch of games to utilise the new program includes Punch Out!!, EA Sports Active, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings, and UFC 2009 Undisputed.
Update: Target has confirmed that the initial $1 reserves the game but does not count towards the game's purchase. This means you will be paying $1 for the collectible reservation card, then paying full price for the game when you pick it up, receiving a $5 gift card as long as the game is purchased within seven days of release. Still not a bad deal, but that $5 gift card might as well be a $4 one.