During an amble through my town centre’s shopping mall this afternoon, I managed to, stupidly, purchase a Polish dubbed edition of Battlefield 3 for my PS3.
Now, that’s entirely my own fault, it does say Polska on the box, albeit somewhat hidden in the corner by the PEGI rating; Still, I have chosen to blame this frankly ridiculous purchase on fact rather than sheer idiocy – the fact I’ve resorted to buying my games from Cash Generator.
I’d like to think had I walked into the GameStation a few doors down I’d have been given an English edition of the EA DICE shooter – you know, one I could actually understand and enjoy, or at the very least, the staff would have asked if I was aware that this one disc, for whatever reason, was Polish.
Unfortunately, as we all know, the GameStation brand was dissolved during GAME Group’s financial woes and the stores that once housed RPG geek’s-a-plenty are mostly now filled with “loot hunters” of a different kind – those who frequent Poundland or charity shops.
My local GameStation branch however, after sitting empty for 10 months or so, has bucked the trend and just reopened as a bright, welcoming, technology filled… mobile phone shop.
Another phone shop? How do they manage it? If I take a casual walk from one end of the shopping centre to the other, it will take somewhere between five and ten minutes. In those few minutes, I’ll pass numerous tacky clothes stores, a handful of discount outlets, and depressingly, just as many empty units as those occupied.
Oh, and nine mobile phone shops.
Thats nine dedicated mobile phone shops; The likes of Phones 4 U or the ubiquitous EE. I’m not including the Virgin Entertainment or Apple units, or the four or five independent sellers on the market. Nor am I including the handful of second hand stores, like CEX, with cabinets full of iPhones and Samsung Galaxys.
I really don’t understand how they’re still in business. It’s a ridiculously saturated market, one that surely cannot be sustainable much longer. These shops are often mere footsteps apart, and all sell the same handsets and accessories at RRP, very rarely with any distinction to the handset only buyer – thus becoming little more than contract showrooms.
Is this what “high street retail” has become? Cheap multipacks of Quavers and people scrambling over each other to offer me more international minutes than I’ll use in a lifetime?
I despair. I just want to shoot someone.
Preferably, in English.