For the longest time GameStop was of the opinion that anything older than PS2 was worthless. Now they seem to rapidly be reversing their thinking. First they reinstated trade-ins for PS2 hardware, and now they’ve re-opened the floodgates to accept machines and games they haven’t taken since the days when they weren’t a monopoly (wow, that was a long time ago).

In 250 stores centered around New York City and Birmingham, Alabama, GameStop will begin testing the new policy, and if it bears fruit they will expand it nationwide. We can only guess why they’re doing this. One theory is simply that the PS2 reversal increased sales, but another is that they’ve begun to appreciate how older consoles don’t take DLC or threaten to go all-digital and leave them with empty shelves. Funny how that works.

It may not work out as well as the company and some game buyers hope, now that a larger amount of retro consoles and cartridges out there are owned by collectors who would never part with them, especially for $10 in-store credit. In this modern digital era, that won’t even buy you horse armor. Plus, they don’t have the monopoly in the old game market. They’re competing with eBay and similar markets that have sprung up in their absence, markets that pay sellers better and give buyers better discounts. Offering $15 for Chrono Trigger and marking it up to $179 is not going to cut it.

For the program to succeed, GameStop is going to have to be willing to behave unlike themselves and offer people a fair price, both for their carts and for those who wish to purchase them. Let’s see if they can grow a little humility.

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