Weekly Wrap-Up Discussion: GAME and GameStation

I knew that this discussion was going to get some attention, when I originally brought the topic up on Twitter I got flooded with replies pretty quickly. However, it was at least a little surprising to see the topic become one of the most hotly discussed topics I think I’ve ever broached. Of course, people are going to have fairly strong feelings on how they spend their money and the service they expect when they hand over some of their hard earned cash.

What was perhaps most surprising was how many of you still regularly shop in a brick and mortar store. I was expecting an overwhelming response from almost everyone that they only shop online now, and rarely go into shops. Whilst there were obviously a number of you who said you do all your shopping online, it wasn’t a complete domination. In fact for some of you, such as cc_star, bricks and mortar retailers are the only place you can shop.

I can’t buy games online, I have to spend the cash in my pocket if I want games which means bricks & mortar retailers.

Therefore I have a choice of indies, supermarkets or the big gaming retailers from the GAME Group, so GAME & GameStation obviously.

There were of course a good chunk of you who also shop online, but use high street stores to trade-in your games once you’ve finished with them. However, it seems that GAME and GameStation have fallen out of fashion for trade-ins now, and CEX is king, as Death_In_Flamez detailed.

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For me, it’s either CEX or the best internet site. Gamestation’s bold claim stating they have “the best trade-in prices” is nonsense and I once almost had the nerve to take one of their staff down to the CEX on the same high street and prove it. GAME has some good pre-order bonuses, but are too highly priced. In the end, the only real winners here are CEX and the internet.

Now, let’s move onto the point of this all; GAME and GameStation. It was unsurprising to find that many of you agreed with me about the differences between GAME and GameStation, 3shirts being one such commenter.

The Game and Gamestation in my town were completely different experiences. GAME sold at close to full RRP with crap trade-ins deals, overpriced pre-owned titles and moronic staff but it was big, impressive looking and thus where the parents went to buy presents. Gamestation was smaller, staffed by gamers and had good trade-ins, cool retro gear and even classic consoles and games like Megadrive, N64 and Gamecube.

Some of you went so far as to fully elaborate on what you like and dislike, with Jen A and Foxhound_Solid standing out for producing pretty detailed breakdowns. In particular Foxhound’s description of GameStation stores as ‘rancid’ made me laugh whilst recalling pretty much every visit I’ve ever made to a GameStation store.

Ultimately though it seems many of you have no real preference, and it’s all about price. That’s completely understandable, and a pretty logical way to make your choice on where to purchase from. Forrest_01 seems to sum it up nicely, so I’ll let them have the final say.

For me, it’s all about the best price – Usually online leads the way on this of course, but sometimes it’s nice to go home with game in hand. When I do get that urge, it tends to either be Gamestation, CEX or HMV that profit from it & again, whichever has the best price on what I was looking for. I do shop in GAME occasionally, but it has to be a really good offer!

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26 Comments

  1. One thing that wasnt mentioned is the drastic difference a title costs in-store compared to the price on its (aforementioned store) website.

    • Yeah I agree with you there. I looked on HVM’s website and it said a DS3 was £32.99 and went instore and it was £42.99. How can it cost £10 extra!

      • Not a game but I saw HMV’s website had a season of a TV show I like for £10. I’ve got a gift voucher for the store so although I figured it’d probably be £15 in store, I thought I’d have a look.
        £25!
        I can understand stores having more overheads than the online side of things but more than doubling the price was ridiculous.

    • It makes no sense, it’s like they are trying to put themselves out of business!

      • Funny you should say that, the HMV near me shut on the 31st March just gone – nearest now is the Stoke branch. =/

      • Normally it is because the physical retail and the webstore operate independently of each other and may even be fulfilled by different parties, so the special offers vary as the buying team doesn’t work for both.

    • Funny thing is, their online prices aren’t particularly competitive anyway, compared to play, amazon, shopto and the like, so they are taking trade from their shops but not from other online retailers.
      It’s a lose lose for them!

  2. Well it was an interesting topic. Mind you, I did a no comment for some strange reason.

  3. Woop, get me with my close-to-articulate comment!

    Forrest_01 is bang on. It stands to reason that if you shop online because it’s cheaper then when you do choose to use a physical shop, you will choose the cheapest one.

  4. Very interesting topic, was interesting reading about everyone elses experiences….

  5. great reads, hope the next disgussion is just as good!

  6. Game and Gamestation are rippoffs. I have seen some preowned games for £40 in there. What is the point of charging the full retail price for a preowned game? Most people get preowned as it is supposed to be cheaper. I might as well just get the new copy as most of the time it is the same price or is £2 more. They online prices are different to their store prices which does not make sense and you are very lucky if you can get them to honour that price.

  7. Good debate and how come nearly every gamestation seems to be rank,surely breaks some law of averages?

  8. the only place I won’t shop in is Cex, then again, unless I’m after some particularly old or hard to find, I’ll alway try and buy a new copy of a game.
    My distrust and dislike of Cex mostly stems from working in retail and knowing full well our stock was being stolen and then sold to Cex by the thieving gits, plus numerous stories of housemates/family/friends finding their stolen items in Cex. I don’t support that. Ultimatley if I could buy a game from the devs themselves, I would, but mostly I’ll try and do the next best thing.

    • Does your CEX not make you hand over ID to trade in? We have that now in the one near me as they had so much stolen property for sale in there. I think they may have even been forced to implement it or be shut down.

  9. I do a lot of it online, but like Forrest_01 has said I sometimes love getting a game in my hand from a shop, which is why I haven’t ordered Portal to off the Internet, I want to open it on the bus and read theanual on the ride home, eager to get it in the machine. The wait for the postie is not the same.

  10. I’m with Forrest_01 It’ perfect. I always get me Local Games early like 2 or 1 day before launch and it’s in my school-bag getting ready to pop into the PS3 and install the game while reading the manuals (and of course a quick sniff inside) lol.
    I sometimes get a great deal on Special Edition and such, but they are mostly online with codes than any other game shops (play.com).
    I no longer buy games in GAMES or Gamestation, except my local shop which is called Game Centre. Sometimes ASDA when they have special orders as a Bargain Bin. Also ASDA has a pre-owned business aswell and they are dirt cheap compared to other Games shops on pre-owned.

    • *looks around*
      *sniff*
      Arghhh, the new game smell! Can’t beat it.

      =]

      • New Game Smell is up there with Wood Varnish, Tar and Dettol.

        Best smells ever…..

      • Good to know I’m not the only one!

    • I like opening the wrapping on a new game too and having a look through the manual – which we are going to see less and less of now!

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