GameStop president Tony Bartel, head of one of the world's largest video game retailers and resellers, believes console manufacturers understand the importance of used games for their next-generation systems. In an interview with Forbes, he gave insight into the next-generation concerning the PS4's price, availability, and ability to play used games.
Bartel touched on whether the PS4 will be able to play used games, something that has been on many gamers' minds over the past several months. A wide range of rumors have made varying claims, causing some gamers to fear that the next-generation will see the killing off of the used games market.
"There has been a lot of speculation on [the topic of used games]. Console manufacturers understand that recent surveys indicate 60+ percent of video game consumers would be less likely to purchase a new console that did not play pre-owned games. Also, used games generate more than $1 billion of trade credit annually, 70 percent of which is credited towards purchasing new games and new hardware," said Bartel. "We are committed to supporting the gaming community with the widest offering of hardware and software in all formats as the industry evolves. Given that there are more than 100 million current generation systems in the U.S. alone, that market will remain alive for some time to come."
Bartel mentioned the importance of the PS4's pricing, stating that "price point is always an important factor, especially in a tough economic climate. We expect a lot of consumers to utilize our buy-sell-trade model to offset the price of the new system."
He also touched on the likelihood of shortages, as with the release of any new anticipated console: "The PS4 will top a lot of wish lists and we expect consumer demand to be high. We obviously hope supply will flow well throughout the holidays, but, as with other new consoles, there will likely be some shortages," said Bartel.
He also threw in his perspective on the future of digital distribution in the gaming market:
"We are excited about digital content distribution and have had great success selling it at retail. We expected, and are ready for, next-gen consoles to have a significant amount of digital content options and we’ll continue to drive sales of this content through all of our channels whenever possible. We believe that PlayStation Plus is an under-leveraged asset and we are anxious to help gamers discover the rich benefits that it brings," said Bartel.
While much of what Bartel said only reinforces previously circulated rumors, any claims made by the head of major video-game retailer are important.