HMV opens pay-to-play games zone

HMV opens pay-to-play games zone

Edinburgh store to charge £3 an hour to play Xbox 360 games

High street retailer HMV is to open a gaming centre at its flagship Edinburgh store on 19 October to allow customers to play the latest Xbox 360 games for £3 an hour.

The HMV Gaming Zone offers 27 Xbox 360 consoles with full Xbox Live connectivity, Samsung HD TV screens, and a full range of the latest Xbox 360 titles.

Customers can play on their own or with up to 15 other players, either within the gaming zone itself or online. Gamers will also be able to preview some forthcoming titles ahead of release.

The HMV gaming zone will start with a Halo 3 tournament, and organise regular events and tournaments as well as offering prizes for the winners. Upcoming events include Project Gotham Racing 4 and a Guitar Hero 3 'rock-off'.

Access will be through a membership scheme managed by HMV staff, which is being developed in consultation with local trading standards and will be in line with BBFC age-rating requirements.

Customers will need to fill in a form to get their HMV gaming zone 'play' card, and may also be asked for ID and parental consent.

The store will offer an over-18s area so that younger players are not exposed to inappropriate content.

"Games are now an integral part of HMV, and the games zone is about getting our customers closer to the things they love, and giving them access to content however they wish to consume it," said Tim Ellis, head of games at HMV.

HMV has said that if the new launch proves successful, it will look at rolling out the concept to other stores.