Friday, December 23, 2005

Gamestop Certainly Does

I received about half a dozen e-mails from people yesterday saying that they had successfully scored 360's at Best Buy. Kotaku was the original source of that information--I just reposted it--but I'm really happy to hear that it helped some of you get consoles for Christmas.

One of my good friends, John Harwood, was one of the people who got a 360 at Best Buy yesterday morning. I met him today at a spot in Austin called the Arboretum. He was there to get his pre-paid 360 order refunded from Gamestop. They were still telling him "March" as of last week.

Now wait a minute. He pre-paid $450 for a console and they're telling him he won't get it until March, but they're intermittently selling $1,000 bundles on the damn website? What?

There's one word for that: pathetic.

We're not talking $50 deposits here or something like that. This is a fully pre-paid console order.

Well, we'll fix them. We'll just take all our business to EB and--oh, crap.

Congratulations, Gamestop--you get the Christmas Mounds of Asshead Award.

Here's one other strange thing. Why exactly are Best Buy and Target getting shipments of consoles when Gamestop has pre-paid orders waiting to be filled? I think I have an answer for this, or at least a reasonable hypothesis, and it's called used game sales. I doubt that Microsoft is in any hurry at all to send their limited inventory to a gaming store that devotes 80% of its shelf space to used games. So everybody who pre-paid at Gamestop or EB is basically twisting in the wind and might be for another few months.

Meanwhile, retailers who aren't selling used games seem to be getting the lion's share of the shipments. And since Gamestop is taking the systems they do get and package them as part of their very popular $1,000 GameRape Bundle, it seems like it's in people's best interests to get their pre-orders refunded and go somewhere else. Quickly.

And if I'm a Gamestop manager, I am pissed, pissed off, because I have to deal with a gigantic list of people who are very angry.

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