This store clearly had a recent refit or moved the gaming section, as we were greeted with a large sign which told us that the new gaming area was now downstairs, in an area which felt like an independent concession store within HMV.
Like many others, the store assistant pushed PS3’s Blu-Ray as a killer app, while the 360’s library of games was considered the main selling point for the Microsoft console. In terms of GTA IV, the downloadable mission packs were stressed as a key factor and in his opinion made 360 the best choice for the game.
All of their allocation of pre-orders had been taken, but this was a good visit – HMV clearly has knowledgeable gaming staff.
CHIPS was further away from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare, but had more customers squeezed between its walls than GAME.
Despite the small size, there was a surprising amount of sections, from a huge range of pre-owned titles to the usual new releases.
The store assistant clearly favoured the 360. He claimed to have a friend who worked at Rockstar and that the game had been coded on the 360 and ported to the PS3. He then went onto mention that the DLC was 360 only.
Although he had raved about the Xbox 360, he didn’t forget to remind us that the Blu-Ray was the high-definition format of choice, re-enforcing that Microsoft backed ‘a now redundant format.’
CHIPS still had a few pre-order allocations available, although it expected both formats’ allocations to be met by the end of this week.
Obviously Currys stocks a multitude of products, so to focus on any one product range is difficult.
The game segment was tucked away in the corner, with POS inviting customers to pre-order GTA IV for both PS3 and 360, and by doing so will receive a voucher book with up to 150 worth of savings.
After being led to the ‘gaming expert’, he said that 360 had a much wider library of games and superior online gaming, and that it was easier to download content on the 360.
Moving onto PS3, he stated: I’m just not convinced by the PS3, it has Blu-Ray but just seems overpriced and not worth the extra money. The 360 is a true games machine.”
This store was still taking pre-orders although customers had to pay a 5 minimum deposit – we got the impression there were plenty of pre-orders to go round.
Nearly all stores visited were confident in the 360 as a platform. However, many believed that the Blu-Ray aspect of the PS3 would help Sony’s format claim victory.
Those who recommended 360 as a choice for GTA IV based their opinions on gameplay factors, whereas reasons for the PS3 was based on the bigger question: why buy a PS3 over a 360?
We find it curious that in a market whose leader (Wii), has a mantra of keeping it simple, that so many feel high definition compatibility is a factor in a platform’s success.
Overall Grand Theft Auto IV was recommended for the Xbox 360 four times and the PlayStation 3 twice, with PC World not certain on anything whatsoever.