Store: GameStop
Location: Stratford Square Mall – Bloomingdale, IL
Employee Description: Pasty Kid and Nerd Girl
Submitted By: Dan

Shortly after the PSP launched in the US I was walking through a nearby mall with a friend of mine and passed through the GameStop. Shortly after walking into the store I got a spiel “Welcome to GameStop where we have PSPs in stock” as if the employee behind the counter was answering the phone. Since the PSP had only launched a week or so prior I asked how it was selling at this particular location. The employee said “Great, it’s killing that kiddie DS” and I responded very politely “Well, so far in its first week or two in the US.” The employee’s reaction was rather frustrated and said “No everywhere, it’s crushing it in Japan too.”

At that point it was the last straw, I’ve worked for video game magazines (both print and paper) in the past and I still keep up with the industry. I knew exactly how well the DS and PSP were doing in Japan since Famitsu’s sales numbers are extremely easy to locate and are updated weekly. At this point I corrected the employee with the appropriate differences in sales figures based on the most recent numbers I had heard.

The pasty employee (and then the nerd girl employee who came from the back of the store overheard) then said “No, you’re wrong. The Sony rep came in and told me they’re killing Nintendo.” I then said “He’s the Sony rep, he’s probably no better informed than that lady siting on the bench by the mall fountain” at which point he became more irritated. The female employee then came up to me and said “Like we’re going to believe you over the Sony rep.”

I decided to settle this dispute, my friend had a phone with web, though the resolution was low, reception was lousy in the mall (since it’s using a cell phone), I was able to bring up the numbers on the phone to show the GameStop employees I was correct. Their reply “Those numbers could be fake, anyone can make a website.” I then showed them several other sources, they remained quite unconvinced and eventually said “Maybe if I saw it in a magazine I’d believe it.”

Since Famitsu is the source of Japanese sales statistics a week or two later I picked up an issue at an overpriced Japanese bookstore in a Japanese mall nearby. While the magazine is Japanese I was very fortunate in the sense that this particular issue had a visual chart of sales numbers for the PSP and DS up to that point. Just for fun I decided to return to the mall (with a different friend and copy of the magazine in hand) a few days later.

To my luck one of the two employees (the pasty kid) was working. After he finished with some customers I brought up my earlier discussion and showed him the chart, at first he tried to deny what he saw since he couldn’t read it, but when you look at pictures of the two systems and numbers attached directly below it, the truth became inevitable. He then said “It doesn’t matter anyway. The Microsoft rep told me they are coming out with a portable soon, and it will kill the DS.”

Store: EB Games
Location: Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, CT
Employee Description: Too much turnover to remember
Submitted By: Nick Utter

This was right about the time that GTA was finally announced for the Xbox. I was browsing the store looking for God knows what and a mother and her small child entered the store. The boy couldn’t have been more than 10. Anyhow, mom noted that she wanted a videogame system for her boy and that he wanted two games. She looked down at him and he noted that he wanted Grand Theft Auto and Halo.

After the parent of the year ceremony ended, the clerk let her know that she’d want a PS2 for her boy. He noted that GTA was a Sony franchise and that those games weren’t going anywhere. As for Halo? Microsoft was going under and Sony was already in position to buy the rights to the Halo franchise…

Store: GamExpress
Location: Flushing, NY on Northern Blvd & Main St, long closed
Employee Description: 20something kid
Submitted By: Rich

This was early 2000. I happened to be working with my friend running a somewhat successful interwebs/mailorder import video game store, but would occasionally get that pang for browsing retail. So I headed down to the gameshops in the main shopping area near my house.

While browsing the rack I overheard a customer expressing his love for all things Resident Evil, and the employee either trying to convince them to buy a $700+ Japanese PS2 or wait for the US one later that year.

“Dude, you really should get a PS2 – Resident Evil 4 is only going to be on Sony!”

‘Uh, what about Code Veronica?’ (not out quite yet in US, I think it might have just came out in Jpn)

“…. well, uh, that’s not a real RE game. No number. Sony owns all the numbers!”

And that’s when my brain had a little stroke. Right in front of me on the rack was a used Jpn copy of Biohazard 2 for Dreamcast (US RE2 didn’t come out til much much later). To add insult to injury I recall there being a nice new copy of RE2 for N64 rotting on the shelf behind the employee.

I chuckled to myself, bought a copy of PSX Mort The Chicken (yeah, MORT THE MOTHERF**KIN CHICKEN, B***HES), and went home to check to see if my Game.Com RE2 was still there and not erased from existence by Sony. 😉

At the time I guess, PS2 would have been the defacto system Capcom would have dropped RE4 on I suppose…