GameStop talks digital pre-owned ‘barriers’, says new consoles ‘imminent’

Retail’s hope of integrating the digital games market into its pre-owned model looks less likely than ever.

There have been various effort and legal attempts to enforce the allowed trade-in and resale of digital games over the years, but GameSpot reports that GameStop COO Tony Bartel has said at the company’s annual Investor Day event that he can’t see it happening.

"We’ve had discussions with the platform-holders and publishers," he said. "It is much more difficult than on the physical side of the business. There are some significant barriers to that happening that would have to be removed. We don’t see it on a lot of roadmaps in terms of development right now.

"In Europe, there’s a lot of conversation [about re-selling digital games] and in the United States it’s wrapped up in a lot of issues. If it does ever happen, we’ll be the first to be in it. We keep very close in contact with the platform-holders but I really do not see that happening in the short term."

Digital console game trade-ins were at one stage part of Microsoft’s now revised digital roadmap for Xbox One, and the company has hinted at a possible return for the feature – albeit in a way that seemingly excludes retail.

GMG once pioneered digital PC game trade-ins although the offer barely features in its current proposition.

GameSpot also reports that Bartel said the launch of new consoles "seems imminent", and a presentation slide added that virtual reality and new consoles are expected to accelerate category growth in the near future”.

Whether that refers to Nintendo’s NX, Sony’s PS4 4K or Microsoft’s Xbox 1.2/Xbox 2 is uncertain.

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