Visiting the Dreamcrushers a/k/a Let’s Go to Gamestop & Buy a PS4

Confession time: I have yet to buy a Playstation 4.  Yes, yes, horror of horrors, I know.  But having just finished my first run through of Grand Theft Auto V and currently waist deep in spent shell casings over in CoD: Ghosts, there just hasn’t been a compelling reason to buy one.

Until yesterday, when it suddenly dawned on me that I did not have a Playstation 4. Clearly, I had to rectify this.  Luckily: Brainstorm! Why don’t I trade in my PS3 + my clutch of games (44 at last count) at Gamestop? I mean, that many games PLUS an original PS3? I’m pretty sure we all know that that equals brand new PS4, two controllers, a PS camera and a year of PSN, easy.

So it should surprise absolutely no one that his plan did not work out. At all. First off, Gamestop has zero PS4s.  I called 12 of them last night (Queens & Manhattan) and got a bunch of different answers including : “No.” “No, we don’t have them but we can sell you the $800 bundle” “No one has them and won’t have them until March. But we CAN sell you a bundle.” “Nah, but maybe we’ll have some in later January.” Ok, clearly this is bullshit that these jerks are spewing to push sales of the console bundles. I ain’t buying it, both literately AND figuratively.

At least I can start to figure out how much sweet sweet store credit I’ll be getting for my collection. I figure, at least $5/game & $100 for the console, thats $320 + the various trade-in gimmicks that GS is currently running.  So maybe I won’t get all the stuff I envisioned for a straight trade, but If I can get an entire new setup for under $100, I’ll be doing fine.

Shocker #2: Gamestop said they’d give me $60 for the PS3…until they double checked and said they could only give me $50 for it. OOF. Well, ok, not amazing but at least I have my library of games to make up the bulk of the cost. So I packed up all of my games, headed over to my local Gamestop to see how long I’d have to wait for my semi-free PS4.

Well…while it turns out they may have shipments this week, you can’t reserve them. You just have to be there when they open, otherwise no dice. I’ve got line-standers on standby, so no worries there. So tell me, Mr. Bald Up Front, Mullet in the Back Gamestop Employee, how much will I be getting for all 44 of my games, plus my console, with all of the various add-ons and trade-in bonuses?

Oh, you know:

ONE.

HUNDRED.

THIRTY.

FIVE.

DOLLARS.

This is including the $39 I’d get for trading in GTA V. So the other 42 games? Yeah, Gamestop will basically give me $2/title.

I’m not even pissed; I expected to get screwed a bit. But this…savage rogering? This straight up thievery? Wow Gamestop. Wow.

The worst part is?  I think i may just go ahead and do it anyway. I’m NEVER going to play these games again, so why not get some value out of them? Man.  Gamestop.  That’s some coooooold shit.

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Early Acquisition Attempts: Black Ops 2

Let’s be clear here: There’s NO WAY I’m going to score an early copy of Black Ops 2. I know this, but it won’t stop me from trying.  Partially because I feel that I have a solid track record of getting games early, partly because I am times a fairly lucky fellow, and partly because I have a sickness.  Of the recent CoD games that I’ve played (CoD4, Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3) I’ve been able to acquire two of them early (and in the case of MW2, almost a week early).  I’ve checked the four stores (all locally owned) that usually supply me: nothing.  Craigslist is a desert.  So this tells me some things.

One, that Treyarch’s & Activision’s distribution partners are shipping the games out much later than they used to. Think about it, games generally just don’t pop up in a store the day of release; for the most part they’ve sat in the back for a few days to make sure that there’s stock to sell on the day of release. Gamestop won’t break street dates but Super Video Game Pals will ’cause they’ve got the stock and need to compete somehow.

Two, Gamestop is sick of the locals eating their lunch and have somehow (and I have no idea how) ensured that the mom n ‘ pop shop are unable to get their merch early, thus not allowing them those extra days to sell the game which GS is not able to do (Speaking to the lawyers out there, how legally binding is something like “street date”?)

Three, Maybe Gamestop’s left them alone but the local shops have been harassed by the game developers themselves and have ceased selling games early.

Four, and to me, one of the more likely scenarios: if you’re just some rando off the street or on the phone, these local shops are going to tell you to go screw.  But if you’ve got a relationship with the place, they’ll probably slide you a copy under the counter.

Since I had a brief obsession with ordering all of my games from Amazon (but no longer, let me assure you) any good will I’ve built up at the four stores that I traffic is pretty much gone. I called all of my spots yesterday and they all told me that while Saturday is a possibility, it will most likely be available on Monday.  WHAT WILL I DO UNTIL THEN? Oh, right.

(link)

 

Early Acquisition Attempt – Max Payne 3.

I’ll admit I’m not a patient man, a bad personality trait to have when dealing with the endless hype machine that powers upcoming video game releases.  Thankfully, I live in NYC, where there are still a few independently owned game stores, the best part of which is their general willingness to break street dates. I’m not up to snuff on what the legalities of street dates are, but I know that independent stores are doing what they can to survive the crushing boot heel of Amazon, GameStop & Best Buy.

I’m fortunate to live midway between two such stores and am generally able to pick up new games the Friday before they are released (generally Tuesday is new game day, with the odd exception, like Skyrim, released to coincide with 11.11.11), Monday at the latest.  I’d support the independent stores regardless (shop local!) but the willingness to slide me games early definitely keeps me coming back.  A partial list of games I’ve gotten early:

– Rage, inFamous, inFamous 2 , Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Mass Effect 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Fallout: New Vegas, UFC Undisputed…

(Craigslist is also worth checking starting the Friday before new games are released; you never know what’s going to appear.)

Which brings me to my point: I fully expected to just stroll on in to either of my locals, pick up a copy of Max Payne 3 and be bullet timing people in the face, no sweat.  So much to my chagrin, NOBODY had an early copy.  I called around to all five of my usual spots and nothing.  So is this the new trend?  Broken street dates are now a no-go? The owner of one of the shops I frequent once said “GameStop is cracking down on early releases”; what does GameStop have to do with it?  Do they really wield that much power?  Yet when Mass Effect 3’s release rolled around, I was in the store and told, “Jimmy* is on his way back from the distributor now with a limited supply for each console.” So it would seem that the distributor themselves are the ones who decide who gets what when.  Adding another layer to the mystery is that GameStop often has games the Friday before release date to make sure order fulfillment**; so if they aren’t even apart of the distribution system serving the independents what could Jimmy possibly be talking about?

I hope to look into this in greater depth in a future post.  Stay tuned for that, but for now, know that my Early Acquisition streak has smashed up against the rocky shores of an Unattainable Copy of Max Payne 3.

Max Payne (PS3) – Acquired early? NO.

*Pseudonym; also I don’t know his real name.  His real name might actually be Jimmy.

 

Broken street date, Fallout New Vegas

**This is just conjecture on my part.  Based on me acquiring an early copy of Fallout: New Vegas with a sticker on it that read “D0 Not Sell Until October 19, 2010”; I bought my copy on October 15th, 2010.  I knew it had come from a GameStop after I opened the game when I got home because the pre-order bonus gear matched with the bonus being offered at GS.