Once again I’m going to throw out my aging gamer status and tell you young whippersnappers about two console generations ago. As we all know The Last of Us Remastered is tearing up a majority of PS4’s at the moment. Which allows one to believe that they would be easy to come-by on store shelves. I never thought that I’d be proven wrong by one of the biggest brick and mortar electronics stores out there, Best Buy. I rush to the store after work to beat their closing time and do my nerd walk to their video game section. My proud walk was soon turned into one of disdain as I reached the video games aisles. I though to myself, “Man, I have more video games at home than they have on the shelves.” And that wasn’t a joke, better games too.
I began looking through the paltry games aisle; each step taking me closer and closer to panic. There I was, with some money to burn and I couldn’t find The Last of Us Remastered on the day of its release. My feet began to wear holes in their carpeting and I walked around and around, constantly being tricked by their used games. “Why don’t they keep these separated from new games,” I asked myself. I had almost given up, but then I saw some employees standing by a massive 65 inch television and I managed to flag one of them down. I asked if he could help me find a specific game, the employee plinked away as his keyboard and told me to wait here a moment as he went into the backroom. Several minutes later he came back with a brand new copy of the game I was seeking, my quest was done and I was homeward bound to relive the lives of Joel and Ellie.
As I drove home I began to think about years past when you would walk into a Best Buy or Circuit City and they’d have games upon games upon games. My memory took me back two generations when Xbox and PS2 were battling for my money. I remembered walking into Best Buy and the first displays I would see would be huge Xbox shelves with games seemingly dripping off of them. Needed a copy of Halo, they had forty. Looking for Blinx, they had you covered. Heck I remembered walking into my Best Buy and picking up the worst comic book game since Superman64, Batman: Dark Tomorrow. Of course, looking back on that decision I wish they wouldn’t have had that game. Yes, this was about ten or more years ago and I do understand that online stores have taken away some of the market from brick and mortar stores. However, the picture below is only about five or six years old, and look at all those amazing products. What happened Best Buy? Have you given up on video games and want to stick to cell phones and movies?
The change in inventory has been slow, but now it is very apparent. The shelves are bare, and the stores (at least the one I went to) doesn’t care to put new releases out on their release date. This apathy may have been the catalyst to the decline in game inventory, or Amazon could have been the death knell for brick and mortar. Either way, I know I’m turning somewhere else should I have some money burning in my pockets on release day.