US: Game retail kiosks scrapped

Retail giants Wal-Mart and Best Buy have pulled out of a plan to extend their reach in the games market via automatic store-based kiosks.

In May last year Wal-Mart teamed up with E-Play to place kiosks in 80 of its 3,600 U.S. stores, while Best Buy also carried the experiment in a limited number of stores. However, the plan has been terminated due to underwhelming response. Ohio-based E-Play’s website is carrying a placeholder stating that the company has suspended operations.

Under the scheme, consumers could buy and rent games via the kiosks. They could also sell their used games. Users would key in the name of a game, receive on an on-screen price, insert the game disk and deposit the packaging in a bin. Their credit card would then be credited.

When it was launched last year, the E-Play plan was widely seen as an attempt by leading retailers to wrestle share of the highly profitable used game market from GameStop.

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