Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
6 March 2019
Xbox One brings the death blow to GameStop
The new Xbox One is rumored to include a new feature that is likely to worry retailers like GameStop – no disc drive.
If rumors are true (and granted the validity of rumors is at best mixed), this represents just another nail in the coffin for GameStop.
It appears that Microsoft, the maker of the new “Xbox One S All-Digital Edition,” has finally figured out that you don’t really need a disc drive anymore. Laptop manufacturers have known this for some time. I don’t think you can buy a new laptop today with a disc drive. With streaming and, hell, the internet as a whole, who needs one? Physical media is dying much like the fax machine did.
What the new Xbox One means for retailers
But what about all of those old games? Used games represent a big part of GameStop’s business. Well, it seems Microsoft is allowing gamers to trade in their physical games for digital copies. While there are no specifics, Microsoft is launching a program called “disc-to-digital,” partnering with stores like Best Buy and its own Microsoft stores. There, users can presumably bring in their physical games and receive digital download keys.
“But, if these rumors are to be believed, downloadable digital platforms like this edition of Xbox One become the new trend the GameStops of the world can’t stop.”
So for GameStop, there goes the new and used Xbox game sales. Sure, there are many gamers who will still own the older versions of the consoles. But, if these rumors are to be believed, downloadable digital platforms like this edition of Xbox One become the new trend the GameStops of the world can’t stop.
That means GameStop, like many retailers, needs to think of a new model. Brick and mortar will exist for awhile, but expansion in that area is fool’s gold. You can’t stop progress – or the power of convenience shifting to the end user. So you either adapt or die.
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