In this exclusive Gamasutra interview
, Wal-Mart game buyer Steve Perry talks about the U.S retail giant's approach to next-gen, including console pricing, launch supply flow, and the availability of demo units for Wii and PlayStation 3.
Perry's role as video game buyer for the Bentonville, Arkansas company sees him traveling to suppliers around the globe looking at new games and accessories and assessing what consumers will choose, what will sell, and what will remain in stock at Wal-Mart stores.
On the company's plans to handle the imminent launch of both Nintendo and Sony's new consoles, Perry had this to say:
"GS: Sony is stating that 400,000 PS3 units will be ready for launch while Nintendo is stating that 1,000,000 Wii units will be available. Wal-Mart is well known for its distribution flow, are there any special preparations that Wal-Mart is making this holiday season to keep the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 in-stock?
SP: Well, we'll make that decision based on how the flow is, and how the in-stock position is in the store. If we need to expedite product we will certainly do that. The most important thing is that we try to keep as many stores in-stock as we can.
It will be challenging, we sell a number of systems, it's kind of hard to predict what the customers are looking for, and we try to keep it in stock. We do expect a demand for PS3 to exceed what they (Sony) will be able to supply. We certainly expect that to happen.
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic
, including much more on Wal-Mart's policies on UMD movies, the downsizing of E3, the ESRB, and the store's approach to the "digital entertainment lifestyle" (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).