June 1 — mark that one on your calendars, PlayStation 2 holdouts, because not only is it International Children’s Day, it’s reportedly also the last you’ll be able to divest yourself of PS2 classics like Knight Rider 2, Little Britain: The Video Game and Miami Vice. Yep, according to Reddit, which apparently has a snap of an upcoming in-store display, GameStop is pulling up the drawbridge on PS2 trade-ins next month, including systems, games and accessories.
Woe unto Sony’s poor PS2. Its incredibly drawn-out demise was arguably unbecoming given its sales pedigree. Sony never cut it a break after the PlayStation 3 arrived in 2006, briefly supporting PS2 game playback in its flagship console with a dedicated “emotion engine” chip (in those early, monstrously big, ridiculously expensive models), then shifting ever-so-briefly to software emulation and finally — unceremoniously — pulling the rug out from under “holistic” PlayStation devotees by yanking PS2 backward compatibility from the PS3 entirely and forever. To this day, bizarrely, the PS3 plays PS One games (as do the PSP and PS Vita), but nary a PS2 title. That’s a shame, at least for videophile PS3 owners, who know that playing PS2 games on a backward-compatibility-supportive PS3, running HDMI-out to 720p or 1080p, the upscaling can enhance the image quality slightly (though yes, to be fair, plenty of 480p games still look better at 480p, and then there’s the display medium itself: pretty much every 480p games looks better to me on a CRT, hands-down).
In any event, the days of unloading your stack of PS2 games at GameStop for quick cash or to help fund a new purchase via store credit may nearly be over. Is anyone surprised? Sony formally discontinued PS2 production worldwide last January, so hello inevitability, but slow clap that the PS2 survived (and thrived) this long, emerging back in 2000, then going on to sell over 155 million units. It’s the bestselling game console in history — still a few million ahead of Nintendo’s DS handheld, and at least 50 million ahead of the next-bestselling set-top box, Nintendo’s Wii, with just under 100 million units sold.
So where else can you trade-in PS2 games if GameStop turns out the lights? Here’s a quick list.
Amazon accepts PS2 trade-ins, and we’re talking everything from systems to games to accessories. The site offers free shipping, then applies credit received from your trade-ins toward future store purchases. Note there’s a standard “up to 10 business day” turnaround on shipping, plus another two-day turnaround to unbox and validate your items. In my experience, trading in electronic equipment (though not games), Amazon is much faster than that, typically just a couple days to receive the items, then 1-2 more to process and issue a credit.
Goozex accepts PS2 game trade-ins (no systems or accessories) for what it calls “Goozex Points,” which you can then use to buy games or movies from other Goozex members. Note the company scrapes a little off each transaction, so while there’s no membership fee, you’ll pay shipping and up to $3 per transaction ($1 per token, up to three tokens per item) depending on the item’s “point value.” Sidebar: Goozex deals in virtually everything, game-wise, including legacy stuff reaching back to the Atari 2600.
Walmart will take your copy of FIFA Soccer 12 for the PS2, but that’s it, alas.
Target accepts used PS2 games — looks like over 800 in all at this point — and will actually pay cash (so long as you hit the minimum $5 trade-in value) or pass along store credit via a Target gift card. The company only takes games, though, so no systems or system accessories.
CashforGamers.com offers a healthy library of PS2 trade-in prices (125 pages, nine games to a page), either paying by mail (check with a $1.50 processing fee) or direct via PayPal (there’s a transaction fee). The site also takes a handful of PS2 accessories (well, these three) as well as used PS2 systems. You’ll have to pay for shipping on orders valued at less than $30, but exceed that amount and CashforGamers.com picks up the tab.
Get-Games.com apparently deals in used PS2 games, allowing you to buy or sell new or used games (it also has an “accessories” link, but nothing’s currently listed). Caveat emptor: I can’t find any further info about this site, where it’s located or what users think about it.
eBay may well become the go-to site to sell PS2 stuff, if it’s not already. You’ll almost always find buyers for PS2 content here as well as stuff that may be of interest to you, say copies of pricey PS2 rarities like “Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater Premium Package” and “Street Fighter III: Third Strike Limited Edition.” Expect PS2 game and hardware prices to inch up here and elsewhere once GameStop sells through its remaining PS2 stock.
Your local pawnshop / used games store. You’ll need to do research, of course — thank goodness we live in the future with search engines! — but many pawnshops will take used game consoles (and sometimes games and accessories), and pretty much all the places I’ve lived over the past decade, from Nebraska to Iowa to the U.K. to Michigan, have local used game retailers that’ll gladly take a used PS2 off your hands for cash or store credit.