During January's sojourn to Kotaku headquarters in NYC, I stopped by the fabled Video Games New York, where I picked up a scratched but serviceable PlayStation 2 for $80. Today GameStop announced it is once again accepting trade-ins of the best-selling game system of all time. My timing sucks.
A haven for fans of old and rare video games and a wellspring of game sales knowledge (the rep there told me demand for Tony Hawk's Ride was up), Video Games New York was one of the only planned stops on my New York trip, along with Vanessa's Dumpling House and the ridiculously expensive Times Square Toys'R'Us. I actually went to the game store twice. During the first visit I found these:
That's right, one of the best old-school role-playing games on the PlayStation 2 and its two sequels, new and sealed. I spent about $130 on the whole Atelier Iris PS2 set, which isn't bad for sealed classics unless you plan on, I don't know, ripping them open and playing them.
The only problem with my plan to rip them open and play them was the lack of a PlayStation 2. I swore I had one around here somewhere, but apparently I was wrong. As my original 60GB PlayStation 3 died a year ago, I had nothing to play my PS2 games on. After deciding against going the emulation route, I returned to Video Games New York and purchased my silver baby.
I did shop around a bit online, but waiting for shipping isn't my style. Neither is thinking things through and realizing I wouldn't have any time to play it until I got home from the trip anyway. With the memory card (I remembered the memory card!) my total came to a little over $90.
Starting yesterday, GameStop is now accepting used PlayStation 2 consoles for trade once more. A system with an AV connector, spare controller and power cable will score folks $25 in trade-in credit, while the system alone is worth $20—I imagine GameStop is sitting on a pile of used cables, controllers and memory cards, so they'll be fine.
What will they do with them? Most likely the systems will be refurbished and resold. Least likely they will build a fort out of them and hide away the day reading back issues of Game Informer. The current price for the unavailable refurbished PS2 at GameStop is $49.99. Not bad. Well, bad in that had this happened sooner I would have saved $30. That said, there's a chance that price could rise given a fresh influx of consoles and perceived demand. From GameStop's official announcement:
The video game console that had captured millions of hearts around the world continues to breathe life. The Sony PlayStation 2 is known for its vast library of games and being the top selling video game console of all-time. GameStop knows that a demand for this iconic piece of video game history is still high and will once again buy back PS2 consoles
How's that old saying go? When GameStop knows there is demand, consumers pay through the nose. It might have been ass. No one reads Old English well enough these days for an accurate translation.
The point is, had I played my cards right I could have stood outside a GameStop and snagged one from an incoming trade-in for $30. I probably would have had to shave the beard off and cover up the tattoos to avoid being maced, but a bargain is a bargain.