GameStop PS3 DLC partnership is future of retail

The leading video game retailer in the US has forged a partnership with Sony, announced right at the beginning of the world's biggest video game trade show. GameStop will begin selling downloadable content for the PS3 in nearly all major regions around the world, in a testament to the drastically changing environment of retail in a digital distribution world.

GameStop has already been selling downloadable content (DLC) in the US, and this latest announcement now brings that same strategy to Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland, covering around 1,600 more stores. The DLC strategy is to incentivize gamers for buying content at a physical retail store when all they really need to do is just click a button from their console.

But GameStop is promoting it this way – if you buy DLC from its stores, you can use GameStop gift cards, you can pay with cash, and you can also use trade-in credit, all of which are not possible with the built-in payment platforms on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, or WiiWare. It's a tough time for big box retail right now, but GameStop and Best Buy are on a very proactive path to ensure they remain relevant. The question is whether or not their respective plans will work.