A Toys “R” Us employee who is a member of the Cheap Ass Gamer forums has posted information about what are supposed to be the pre-order plans for the toy retailer. Supposedly $50 down will get you a place in line, and pre-orders are planned to start the new holiday Big Book arrives. According to the post, this should be Sunday, October 29th. Apparently, the store’s relationship with Nintendo continues – the poster says that Toys “R” Us will be the official launch partner for the Wii. Also, each store was reported to be getting a huge allocation; the chain supposedly will have more total consoles for pre-order than GameStop. If the numbers of consoles available for pre-order are true, gamers should be able to hit up their local Toys “R” Us on the day that tickets become available without having to camp out. None of this information has been officially confirmed, of course, but the poster’s history does have some insight into previous Toys “R” Us stores.
Read More | Cheap Ass Gamer
While US gamers can start lining up to pre-order their Wii consoles tomorrow with only $50 in their pocket, it looks like Canadian gamers are going to have to lay out a little more. Not only do Canadian gamers have to wait until Monday for their pre-orders, but those pre-orders will require a $200 Canadian, unless they have $50 worth of stuff to trade. While this offer isn’t nearly as screwed up as the limited pre-order program in Hawaii, it does highlight the massive profit-taking enterprise that is the GameStop / EB Games software trade-in program. GameStop’s trade-in values tend to be extremely low and on top of that they seem think nothing of selling counterfeit merchandise. While GameStop seemed to be making strides at improving their pre-order program in the US, it looks like they took a few steps back in Canada.
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GoNintendo has official confirmation that Nintendo Wii pre-orders will start Friday, October 13. The site has a scan of the the confirmation e-mail sent from GameStop’s corporate headquarters; while Wii console allocations aren’t given, GameStop responds to some issues reported by customers during the PS3 pre-order event (as quick as that was). First, GameStop stores are not to have reservation lists or other methods of holding pre-orders before the program starts. All pre-orders are to be allocated in a first-come, first-serve basis for customers in store. According to the e-mail, customers “must be physically present at the store at opening time… to make their reservation deposit.”
GameStop also stresses that stores are not to force bundles on customers, or otherwise give preference to gamers that had previously pre-ordered Wii games or accessories. This contradicts what some customers were told earlier by GameStop employees, and may cause some conflicts. GameStop also stressed that stores were not to have special opening times for the pre-order start; no midnight or early openings would be allowed.
While the Xbox 360 pre-order system was basically a nightmare, and the PS3 pre-orders didn’t last long enough for issues become a problem, Nintendo’s larger allocation of consoles will help alleviate some of the pre-order issues. At the very least, it looks like GameSpot is trying to eliminate some of the problems they have had in the past.
Read More | GoNintendo
GameStop/EBGames have announced that a limited Playstation 3 pre-order program will start on October 10th. The full statement on the site is as follows:
GameStop and EB Games will begin accepting limited pre-orders for the PlayStation 3 console on Tuesday, October 10, on a first come, first served basis. Due to extremely limited supply, we expect to deplete this allocation very quickly, most likely in minutes. We will not accept additional pre-orders at this time. To avoid an unnecessary trip we strongly recommend you call your local store to determine availability. A $100 reservation deposit is required, which can be funded with cash, credit or trade. As we cannot control production and shipping issues by the manufacturer, a reservation deposit does not guarantee receipt of a system available to purchase at launch. Reservations/Purchases are limited to 1 per household.
Our limited online pre-order program will be announced at a later date, after software and accessory availability dates are confirmed. Online product pricing and availability will vary and will be fulfilled independent of store reservations.
With $100 down and no guarantee of a system on launch day, this would not seem to be a very viable option for getting a Playstation 3 in a reasonable time frame. However, given launch day scarcity, it would seem that gamers would have few other choices, except to wait.
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GameStop.com now has the Xbox 360 HD-DVD Drive available for pre-order online. Pricing, as previously mentioned, is $199.99 and currently includes the King Kong HD-DVD Movie pack-in. According to GameStop, the drive will be available on 11/30, a couple of weeks after the Playstation 3 and the Wii release. With the Playstation 3, Wii, Zune, and the HD-DVD shipping this holiday season, it looks like there’s going to be a ton of hardware competing for consumer dollars in November and December.
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Victor Godinez, author of the Dallas Morning News article from the GameStop conference in Texas, has updated his blog with additional information. There are quick impressions of the various company presences at the show. Sony’s Resistance: Fall of Man was “pretty standard first-person shooter fare… well executed, fun to play, and graphically impressive.”
For the Wii, Godinez indicates that graphics have generally improved since E3. Sword fighting mapping isn’t 100% precise in Red Steel, but seems to be much closer than E3.
On pre-orders, the company line as of Sunday is still that there will either be very limited pre-order campaigns or none at all. GameStop appears to be really gunshy with the pre-order situation. It may be possible that GameStop will get enough console allocation assurance from Sony and Nintendo, but it isn’t looking particularly likely. However, there is at least one person on the 1up forum boards that claims to be a GameStop manager whose store will be offering pre-orders on Tuesday, October 10.
Read More | PunchButton DMN Blog
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Word of a new test program for pre-orders at GameStop/EBGames surfaced this weekend. GoNintendo found a thread on the NeoGAF forums pointing to pre-orders for the Wii and Playstation 3 opening for one week, starting September 18. The key part of the pre-order program was the catch: gamers would only be able to place a pre-order by trading in $50 in games or accessories. However, this “improved” pre-order program would not actually fix any of the problems faced by gamers last year. The pre-order would not guarantee a system at launch (or even during the holidays) and effect doesn’t really even hold your place in line.
Since the initial report, it has been confirmed by GoNintendo that the trade-in program is going to be a test program, only for GameStop stores in Hawaii and Guam. GameStop is apparently trying to determine how effective a program would be.
It is pretty easy to understand why GameStop would want to make gamers trade in software and accessories to hold their place in line for a Wii or a Playstation 3; trade-in sales made up by far the largest percentage of gross profit on last year’s annual report. GameStop gets the highest gross margin from used software sales; so much so, that it appears that trade-in software is more valuable to the company than cash. Trade-ins are traditionally the worst possible deal for the consumer, giving meager amounts of money for software that is then turned around and sold for large profits.
So, GameStop has huge incentive to push gamers towards trade-ins. But along with this horrendously punishing trade-in program, little is being done to fix their broken pre-order system. Like last year, the pre-order only gives the customer a place in line at the store they pre-ordered from. Gamers also witnessed in-store hard sell programs, where people that put money down on more of the profit-generating software and accessories got to jump in line. The new program seems to address this somewhat, but a place in line means nothing if the stores never get the product. When the Xbox 360 launched, gamers holding pre-order tickets would see GameStop and EBGames place huge, expensive bundle systems online, while stores were crying for product. GameStop has shown in the past that they care little for the people that have given them money in the promise of a game console at or near launch, and these new moves would seem to indicate that they have learned little from the past.
Read More | NeoGAF
Read More | GoNintendo