As some of you may know, several months back now I went on holiday over to the USA. Naturally as a gamer I hit up a lot of the gaming retailers and for those who are either curious or are planning on going over there, I have composed this blog detailing what I found.
Games that I bought (all PS3 except Thief - Xbox One)
Please Note: These are not sale prices as there were no sales on at the time.
I visited Walmart in Honolulu, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. They have a decent selection of New Release games on all platforms at the typical $59.99 USD mark. There were a good amount of Nintendo Wii, Wii-U and 3DS (unfortunately all region locked.) but the PS3 and Xbox 360 departments were rather lacking. Most of those games were reasonably popular games under the 'greatest hits' range at about $19.99 USD each (also including both the Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank trilogies). Unfortunately if you're after a rare game you won't find it here.
Walmart does however have a very good range of accessories for all consoles. They stock headsets, controllers (many different coloured ones), charge kits and many other accessory kits at pretty reasonalbe prices ie, an official Wii sensor bar was $9.99 USD where at Noel Leeming (the only place here I could find one) it is about 3 to 4 times the price.
KMart in the United States is a lot different to what we have over here. It's bigger and has more departments to it. I visited Kmart in Los Angeles and New York. Their New Release game selection was similar to Walmarts with similar pricing. Beyond New Releases, Kmart didn't have much to offer. There were very few Nintendo games and the PS3 and Xbox 360 games seemed to be the ones that nobody really wants.
In regards to accessories, they have a couple of controllers accessory kits for some consoles but apart from that there wasn't really anything to see.
I visited Target in Los Angeles and San Francisco. To be honest, Target was rather disappointing in terms of their gaming selection. They had the newest of the New Releases and a handful of other games for each console and that was it. Nothing really in terms of accessories (you might find the odd kit but that's about it). Their prices seemed to be higher than any of the other store I visited as well.
If you love your technology then you'll absolutely love Best Buy. The Best Buy I visited in New York was comprised of 3 stories (down) and finding the game section (which happened to be on the third floor down) was not an easy feat. They have all of the New Releases at the standard $59.99 USD and a good selection of other games. They have a lot of 'greatest hits' games which are $19.99 USD but seem to have a bigger range than Walmart, KMart and Target, not much in Nintendo though.
They had some accessories, mostly controllers, charge kits and headsets but their collection didn't seem as impressive as Walmarts.
Gamestop is EB games. Of all the store I visited (except for one little store I came across that I haven't mentioned), they are the only ones who sold pre-owned games. Gamestop has a massive selection of games and in some cases has a floor dedicated to each Sony and Microsoft consoles. I visited Gamestop in Honolulu, Washington DC, New York and San Francisco.
For the most part, Gamestops pricing was rather reasonable with a lot of pre-owned games under $25.00 USD. It's also the best place to find that really rare game that you're after, I found Ragnarok Oddyssey Ace and Drakengard 3 which are almost unheard of in New Zealand stores. Gamestop also seemed to have the biggest Nintendo selection including DS games.
Unfortunately if you're buying preowned over there and don't actually live there you run the risk of a bad disc. I asked the staff who were happy enough to show me the disc surface so I could verify the condition. If you're going to buy second hand where the return policy won't really work in your situation, check the disc surface first. All of my preowned games that I bought work perfectly fine.
They had some accessories, but as these were mostly behind the counter I didn't get as good a look as I did the other shops.
Buying games in the United States is for the most part, cheaper than buying games in New Zealand. It is also a great place to find rarer and hard to get (yes I did see a copy of Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 and a copy of Fate of Two Worlds in a single store) games. If you're ever planning on visiting, make a list of the games you're hunting cause you're very likely to find that one you're after usually at a better price than you'd find it for here.
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