This story has been updated from 12:01 am EST to include additional information in the last two paragraphs.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report) is launching a video game trade-in program that it hopes will "disrupt" the $2-billion pre-owned video game market and take share from competitors like GameStop (GME - Get Report).
Starting March 26, approximately 3,100 U.S. Walmart stores will begin buying back used video games, the company announced in a conference call with reporters. The new program will add to Walmart's mobile device trade-in program, which was launched last year.
Customers who bring in older version games, specifically from Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony (SNE) PlayStation 3, will receive Walmart credit that then can be used on most store merchandise from groceries to socks to bikes, the company says.
Trade-in values will vary, from just a few dollars to as much as $35 per game, Walmart says. Customers can use the credit at Walmart and Sam's Club, both in stores and online.The traded-in games will be sent to be refurbished and made available for purchase in like-new condition both online and in stores. The video games will be labeled "Certified Pre-Owned," which means the product is fully refurbished and in like-new condition, Walmart says. "We're going to shake up the market place," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart U.S., in a conference call with reporters on Monday. "This is a new category for us and something our customers have been asking for," Mac Naughton stated. "Gaming continues to be an important business for us." He expects the first crop of used games to be available for sale this summer.
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