GameStop CEO J. Paul Raines, in an interview with Joystiq, has revealed that the retailer is slowly but surely unrolling its vintage games initiative. Without mincing words the main reason behind it is their overwhelming leftover stock of old games for PS2, Game Boy Advance, and Xbox:
Well, we don't have a lot of NESes or Dreamcasts. That's some pretty old stuff. But we just took Game Boy Advance out of stores recently, about a year and a half ago. Original Xbox, I think we took out of stores in 2009, as I recall. We're reducing the footprint of PlayStation 2.
On that front, I don't believe it should be called a "vintage game" initiative; more like a "last-gen" initiative than anything else. I wouldn't be calling NESes and Dreamcasts "old" when that's what people want.
GameStop, however, doesn't have a straight plan on how to set this up yet, whether it's through buymytronics.com, which is a site of their own, or going through eBay or through their PowerUp Rewards program somehow. Pricing is even more unclear.
The only exciting development is that, from feedback by its PowerUp Pro members, GameStop is considering selling current consoles that can play retro titles, consoles like the Retro Duo or Neo Geo X. Also, if someone wants to buy a title that isn't exactly in one store, they have the opportunity to purchase it through an online hub.
It's understandable that GameStop is attempting to cut in on the retro game market, but right now the vision feels muddled. More on this story as it develops.