The move comes as a result of a new partnership with Gamerbase.com. The new gaming centres will be rolled out across a number of HMV’s largest stores in the coming months.
The Trocadero centre will house 80 gaming PCs and occupy 2,300 sq.ft of space on the ground floor. As well as allowing shoppers to preview PC games, the centre will also stage regular games tournaments and promotional events.
“As part of our new strategy we are looking to improve the in-store customer experience,” HMV CEO Simon Fox explained. “With games becoming an increasingly significant part of our product mix, we are delighted to partner with Gamerbase to create a premium quality gaming experience for our customers.”
HMV’s head of games Tim Ellis stated: “This represents a tremendous opportunity for HMV to further develop its specialist credentials as a destination store for games and for gaming. I’m optimistic the Gamerbase gaming centre will meet with a very positive response, which would then allow us to consider extending the concept to other stores in the chain in the not-too-distant future.”
Gamerbase MD Dominic Mulroy added: “With this partnership we are breaking the mould of gaming centres once again by putting one smack in the middle of the West End and, more importantly, within an influential high street games retailer such as HMV.”
Roger Bennett, one of the founders of Gamerbase, said of the new centre: “This is the first centre to combine the entertainment aspect of a consumer gaming experience with a retail solution where customers can try gaming titles before they buy. Games Publishers are keen to work with us to allow HMV customers to play the newest games before anyone else, and then pre-order the titles at the HMV games retail store just a few feet away from the gaming centre.”