Gearing up for the coming season of hot new video game titles, Best Buy says it is expanding its video game trade-in service. The program—first announced back in June—is rolling out to 600 Best Buy stores this week, with additional stores to soon follow.  It is offering a $20 video game gift card as an incentive. Eventually,  the Minneapolis-based chain says, it will also offer pre-owned games for sale.

The company says the rollout is timed to coincide with some highly anticipated new-product launches, with gamers around the world salivating over such products as Microsoft’s “Halo: Reach for Xbox 360,”  currently Amazon’s No. 1 most-craved product, out within weeks.

“The fall will be an incredibly exciting time for gaming,” Dave Benson, Best Buy’s merchant director for gaming, tells Marketing Daily. “Besides ‘Halo,’ fans are eagerly awaiting ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops,’  ‘Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II,’ ‘Medal of Honor,’ ‘Fallout New Vegas’ and ‘Donkey Kong Country Returns.’ We expect the new releases to drive trade-in volume as customers will use their old games as currency toward the new ones they want.”

He says the company will promote trade-in across all of its marketing channels, including online advertising, the Best Buy insert, and its loyalty program, Reward Zone Club for Gamers.

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