By Claire Reilly

Harvey Norman has quietly launched a new online store selling direct imported video games direct to consumers. The website, which goes live only three days before Christmas, sells games for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS.

Delivery is charged at a flat rate of $3.95 per game, and products are delivered in between 7 and 14 working days from the date of dispatch. According to the Harvey Norman Direct Import website, “our games are at fantastic prices and will be well worth the wait”.

The website terms and conditions state that pricing is not available in Harvey Norman stores, products are not available for pick up in store, and the Harvey Norman Best Price Guarantee is not available on the products sold.

All direct imported games are genuine and are provided by normal gaming distributors based in the United Kingdom and will come with English Manuals. Harvey Norman will never provide or support the sale of pirated software. All games are new and supplied directly from the manufacturer.

The products are imported directly from the United Kingdom, and the site stipulates that “imported games may have slightly different game play than a game purchased in Australia”. However, it also notes that all products are supplied directly from the manufacturer with English manuals.

Unlike overseas sites, the Harveys direct import site will not sell games that are refused classification in Australia.

The move to another online store is an interesting one for the retailer. Having previously brushed off the significance of online retail, Harvey Norman announced the decision to move into e-tailing just two weeks ago.

With shipping set at 7 days minimum and the new site opening up just before Christmas, the store has well and truly missed the lucrative pre-Christmas sales period for video games. Whether it will be a viable competitor to bricks and mortar games stores or online retailers next year remains to be seen.

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