Uk entertainment retailer HMV is opening a 2000 sq foot Xbox 360 gaming centre in its Edinburgh store (I’ll have to go along and check it out.)
With 27 Xbox 360 consoles and plans to run regular competitions on Samsung HD screens, the HMV gaming zone is not quite as ambitious as the Omega Sektor which opened in Birmingham a couple of months ago. Combining as it does a pay to play environment with a store which sells the games you’ve been playing, the Edinburgh centre will be a test bed for the scheme, which if successful may see similar game zones rolling out across the larger branches of the retailer.
Tim Ellis, head of games at HMV had this to say:
“Games are now an integral part of the HMV offer, and whether we’re selling them or, as in this case, also making them available on a pay-per-play basis, it’s about getting our customers closer to the things they love, and giving them access to content however they wish to consume it.”
With events for Guitar Hero III, Halo 3 and Project Gotham 4 already planned, the game zone seems set to generate quite a bit of interest in gaming and may go some way to improving its image and widespread acceptance as a respectable pastime. If more of these kinds of centres start appearing on our high-streets, proving that there is a social aspect to gaming, beyond that of chatting with your friends via the internet, it may dispel the myth of spotty teenagers playing games alone in their bedrooms.