Store Shootout: Top Video Game Stores for New Games & Video Game Rental

Store Shootout: Top Video Game Stores for New Games & Video Game Rental

Posted 07.13.2012 in Articles by Neil-Denny

Whether you've been chomping at the bit for an upcoming title, or want to test the waters before you commit to the forty bucks you'd have to shell out for a new or used game, video game shopping can get to be harder than it seems. Before you smash that piggy bank and get your button-blistered thumbs on that hot new release, here's a quick glance at the root’nest, toot’nest gunslingers in the wild, wild world of video game hunting: the best places to shop for your Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox consoles.

While big brick-and-mortar chains like Target, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart may be your first impulse, you may find it more rewarding to look to the head honcho of video game stores: GameStop. Here they offer the exclusive PowerUp Rewards program, something you won’t find at any other retailer.

There are two tiers to the PowerUp Rewards program: Basic and Pro. The Basic membership is free and allows you to build up points for every dollar spent in their store or on their website, GameStop.com. You’ll receive access to news, exclusive offers and special gaming events. The Pro membership is $14.99 a year (not too shabby) and along with all the perks of the basic membership, it gives you a 250-point sign-up bonus, a Buy 2 Get 1 Free Welcome Coupon on pre-owned games, and 10% off all purchases including pre-owned games and accessories. The Pro membership also grants you a one-year subscription to GameStop’s monthly video game publication, Game Informer.

Not many retailers can say they publish a magazine that specializes in their own area of expertise. With over 7 million paid subscribers, Game Informer magazine is not only the number one video game magazine in the industry, but is the fourth largest magazine overall in the United States, a clear indication that when it comes to video games, GameStop knows their stuff. 

On top of the Rewards Program, the success of their video game publication, and their remarkable pre-owned inventory, GameStop, and their sister store EB games, allows you to sell and trade-in used video games at every location.

If you aren’t all too impressed by GameStop’s awesome track record, and are instead looking for a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to get your video games, then shopping at Half.com is the way to go. Originally meant for college students looking to buy textbooks for cheap, Half.com was bought out by eBay, allowing for the addition of a forum for movies, music, and yes, video games! Rather than the auction-style bidding at eBay, Half.com leaves all the bidding to the seller, making their prices more competitive and significantly lower than you would find at any retailer.

This won’t be like the guy in a dark alley operating his business from the confines of his trench coat. Shopping on Half.com also gives you full disclosure of seller feedback and a "quality rating" for each individual item before you make your purchase. Although you won’t get the expertise and customer service you’ll find shopping at a GameStop, you will get games for cheap at Half.com.

While GameStop and Half.com are great ways to shop for a new or used game, it could become a hassle if you soon find the game you got unfortunately left you unsatisfied. It could be like going home with what appeared to be a Cadillac, only to find you arrived with a Pinto. To ensure the game you want is a game you will love and cherish, it’s always a good idea to rent.

The advent of Netflix and Redbox have sadly left video rental stores obsolete. Following the model set by Netflix, online video game rental sites like GameFly and GameMine let you pick and choose the games you want to rent online. The game is then shipped to you via mail, and whenever you see fit to return your rental, all you need to do is send it right back. Both GameFly and GameMine support all video game consoles and have over 5,000 games in their inventory, with GameMine boasting over 6,000 titles. Along with a larger inventory, GameMine offers lower monthly rates than GameFly. As an added incentive to make up for the higher rate, GameFly has added the new feature of unlimited Mac/PC game rentals free with subscription. Both sites offer free trials, so it could be a good idea to test the waters with both to see which rental site floats your boat.

It’s a dangerous world out there in the competitive video game industry. Whether you’re looking for the best service, the cheapest goods, or the most reliable source to test drive the latest titles, we’ve laid out your options. The rest is up to you. Be careful out there. Godspeed and happy hunting.

 


Image (CC) ccmorran123

 

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Posts: 1
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GameStop vs BestBuy
Reply #1 on : Mon October 15, 2012, 08:49:43
mentioned this in another post but yeah i love trading in my old games at Gamestop... also not sure if i trust best buy with games... found that lotsa the dvds i get from there are scratched up so i'm reluctant to get games from there too.

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