Arcade For Trade

I’ve spoken many times about the immense cost of both my time and hard-earned cash on Xbox Live Arcade titles. It’s absolutely horrifying. One of my constant bug-bears is the way I finance my gaming habit; retail titles are played and traded constantly to allow me to keep up, and if I stopped I’d be literally swimming in games! There’s no way to trade in against arcade titles, well there wasn’t… until now.

The old way just doesn't cut it

The GAME group has added to their inventory with XBLA titles, and indeed, some game add-ons now available for purchase. Currently trialling in 40 stores nationwide, you will now not just be limited to a Microsoft points card. Suddenly buying someone a XBLA game for a present is slightly less lame, as you can at least choose the game for your giftee (who doesn’t want an arcade title for Valentines? It shows you pay attention to which title your sweetie is lusting over, after all)!

The part of this news that interests me is the newfound way to fund my arcade habit.  With the ability to trade finished games in towards these purchases I should really have a clearout. However, the official word is that your in-store purchases can be “part-funded” by your trade-ins. Part funded? A little bizarre, but as no break down has been given yet we don’t know how much of an impact this will have. If there’s a flat fee of £1 in cash I won’t worry but if it’s 50/50, my enthusiasm could soon wane. Could they be worried this is a loss leader? Or are they simply paying Microsoft a whopping commission for the privilege of selling these items?

The official line from Microsoft UK’s Neil Thompson is: “We’re excited to offer this program to UK consumers as we see this as an innovative opportunity to work with GAME in delivering Xbox 360 owners yet another highly attractive choice at retail”.

With prices starting at a £5, there’s no reason to suspect a mass inflation in prices. Indeed it looks like the price will be comparable to those online. I’m personally very excited by the, however unlikely, prospect of titles being on sale in store. Although now I think about it, this will just encourage me to buy even more arcade titles… damn, they’re sneaky buggers!

If in doubt, buy all of them!

There’s been no doubt for a while now that the PSN and Xbox Live sales have been accelerating. Digital downloads are fast running the humble retailer into the ground. But it looks like the GAME group are preempting this with a strategy that not only puts them ahead of the curve but also allows the humble consumer to get something in return. Will I have any retail games left after I find somewhere to trade them for shiny new XBLA‘s? Well, the special editions can stay but I’m sure I’ve missed some wondrous arcade titles over the last few years… all I need now is the ability to trade in my completed arcade games and I’m sorted for the rest of my button-bashing life!

One of these as a child could have radically changed my adult purchases!






One response to “Arcade For Trade”

  1. Martin avatar

    I noticed this last week when it was announced and in theory sounds like a great idea, but…some of the pricing is a bit off, a little too dear, but that’s only to be expected from GAME.
    However I had a better idea. What if you could trade in your old arcade games? They would be deleted from your HD and if you wanted them again you’d have to pay full price again. If you trade in though you get points to use against other downloads, makes perfect sense to me, astounded it hasn’t been done.

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