Walmart jumps into the game trade-in business

Retailer GI-walmartlaunching large-scale program at 3,100 US stores, aims to disrupt second-hand market

While a few competitors have tried to make inroads over the years, when it comes to the better-than-$2 billion per year used game business, GameStop has had a pretty secure lock on king of the hill status. Starting March 26, though, the world’s largest retailer will be looking to steal a significant piece of the pie.

Walmart has announced plans to launch a large-scale video game trade-in program at 3,100 stores across America. Working in conjunction with CE Exchange, the store will allow consumer to swap games for store credit, which can be used to purchase anything that Walmart sells. Used games could be available to in-store shoppers as early as this summer.\

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Take-Two plays the waiting game with mobile

Strauss strauss zelnickZelnick on Wii U, Oculus Rift, and what happens with Rod Fergusson’s Bay Area studio now that he’s jumped ship to Microsoft.

While many video game publishers are racing to embrace the mobile world – and seeing some significant earnings in the process – Take-Two Interactive Software CEO Strauss Zelnick is moving cautiously.

There’s certainly potential in the market, he concedes – but, so far, the hardware isn’t where it needs to be to be a proper showcase for the company’s games. And he’d rather wait than make compromises.

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Oculus games may command a premium price

CEO brendan iribeBrendan Iribe would not be surprised to see Oculus games cost more than $60 – he also says “the age of 2D monitors has run its course”

The Oculus Rift could open up new realms of immersion for gamers – but those experiences may come with a price.

Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus, notes that – as a hardware manufacturer – his business has no say in what software companies will charge for Oculus-enhanced games, but admits he would not be surprised to see them come at a premium price.

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Inside PS4’s new VR headset

Three sonyVRheadsetmonths ago, Sony made a big splash at E3 touting the PlayStation 4 to the world. At the same time, though, it was already laying the groundwork for another notable consumer technology venture.

As media and buyers got hands on time with the upcoming console and debated the WWE-like theatrics of the Sony and Microsoft press conferences, the company was holding top secret meetings with developers and publishers, showing off a virtual reality headset for the PS4 and drumming up support for it.

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Xbox One can still win the next console war

Chris xbox one vs ps4Morris notes that “the embankment Microsoft faces is a lot smaller than it was a short time ago”

Coming out of E3, the momentum for the next generation was clearly on Sony’s side. Microsoft, through a series of unpopular decisions and confusing, conflicting public statements, was quickly wearing down the goodwill it had built up with the Xbox 360 – at least among core gamers.

Within a week of the industry trade show’s close, though, Microsoft started making changes – big ones – to win back the doubters, reversing its DRM and used game policies. Last week, those changes continued as the company┬áchanged its mind on indie game self-publishing. And with an estimated four months or so before the Xbox One hits shelves, who knows if Microsoft is finished?

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Xbox One: Julie-Larson Green May Fit In Just Fine

Gamers larson-green– and the games media – hate the unknown. They thrive in a biosphere where leaks pre-announce major moves and no one is all that surprised when its made official.

That’s what made Microsoft’s decision to replace Don Mattrick with Julie Larson-Green so frustrating for some. She was, to many, an unknown. And that quickly led some to question her qualifications, which eventually led to prophecies of doom for the Xbox in some forums.

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Does Nintendo stand a chance this holiday?

Let’s nintendo woesget this out of the way up front. Yes, you never, ever count Nintendo out of the game.

That’s the go-to response for pretty much anyone in this industry when asked if the company will be able to dig itself out of the hole the Wii U has created – and it’s usually a valid one. (Think back to the GameCube days and things were just as dire as they seem today – but it managed to turn things around.)

But as we head into the Wii U’s second holiday season, the pessimism about the system is starting to crest. And despite Nintendo’s push of first party software coming in the next year, there’s nothing to suggest that a turnaround of any sort is imminent.

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EA’s hot seat: Who will be the next CEO?

Chris EA HQMorris examines six viable replacements for Riccitiello and handicaps the candidates

As the shock begins to wear off over John Riccitiello’s sudden departure from EA, investors, staffers and gamers are starting to look down the road.

JR’s reign at what was once the industry’s preeminent publisher was an uneven affair, with many well-publicized follies, but with plenty of victories as well. More importantly, he was a CEO who wasn’t afraid to gamble – and even if those bets didn’t always work out (like Brutal Legend and Mirror’s Edge), gamers appreciated the risk taken on new IP.

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PS4: What Sony needs to win next-gen

Columnist PS4Chris Morris looks at opportunities and potential pitfalls for Sony in the upcoming console battle.

In just under two weeks, we’ll know a lot more about the PlayStation 4 than we do right now- well, in theory.

The truth is: The leaks about the PS4 have been coming fast and furious lately. And people with knowledge of the system (but who are still abiding by the NDA) indicate that there’s a lot of accuracy in the recent reports. For the sake of argument, let’s assume for the moment that the whispers are right. Given what we think we know, what things about the PS4 can put it in a leadership position in the next generation – and what things could turn it into the next Vita?

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Ubisoft’s Guillemot on evolving audiences, Wii U, and possibly buying THQ

Among third-party publishers, you aren’t likely to find a bigger Wii U booster than Ubisoft chairman and CEO Yves Guillemot.

That’s hardly surprising, given his company’s big bet on the system (it has 10 games in the Wii U’s “launch window,” including six day one titles). But even Guillemot has some things he’d like to see Nintendo doing differently.

Specifically: He’s not a big fan of the console’s price.

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