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Wal-Mart Wants Street Dates Over Ship Dates

Wii Ship I never thought I'd find myself siding with Wal-Mart over something related to policy, but the gaming industry can make for strange bedfellows sometimes.  Consider this statement from the company's corporate buyer blog in which the need for consistent street dates (e.g. "New DVD Tuesdays") is emphasized over our current system of "well, the game ships on Sunday so you'll find it in stores on Monday or maybe next week sometime; I dunno, just whenever we unpack it from the shipping crate I guess we'll put it on the shelf if we have time."

Expect More Street Dated Releases – Here too, we have much to learn from our brethren in music and movies. You know that Tuesday is the day for big releases in movies and music. Even smaller releases are out on Tuesday. With some of the marketing and development costs we heard last week, there is no need to just ship date these titles. A street date serves as a call to action for the consumer. Hey, if I were spending $10 MILLION on just marketing a title, I would want a street date. Only one retailer does not want street dates, the other retailers want them. Seems that less than 30% of the industry is trying to have it their way. It just does not make sense to the industry or the consumers.

I've been hoping for street date announcements for years now.  Ship dates are nice, but just don't provide a definitive expectation for when I can expect to walk into a store and buy a game right off the shelf.  No preordering, no calling ahead, no pestering a salesclerk to find out if the game is even in the building yet.  If DVDs and CDs can pull off a unified release day, why not games?

(via MetaFilter of all places)