Saturday afternoons spent trailing the wife around clothes shops may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to HMV.

The high-street music and games giant is to introduce an in-store gaming zone. So for just £5 geeks and shopping widowers everywhere will soon be able to settle in for a three-hour gaming stint in HMV.

This Friday HMV will open its first gaming zone in an Edinburgh store. The 2,000ft zone will boast 27 Xbox 360s with HD screens, and a musky odour. Probably.

And far from being a lonely pursuit, as well as Xbox Live, gamers will be able to play multiplayer games with up to 15 mates. (Someone needs to build a massive HMV gaming zone in Second Life, or gaming is going to appear a dangerously sociable activity.)

The HMV gaming zone will run a membership scheme. Punters will cough up a fiver for three hours of unadulterated game time, which seems reasonable. And HMV will pander to the competitive gamer by offering Guitar Hero III and Halo 3 competitions.

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Tim Ellis, Head of Games at HMV, today said: "Games are now an integral part of the HMV offer.

"It's about getting our customers closer to the things they love, and giving them access to content however they wish to consume it.

"If the HMV gaming zone proves a hit, then we'll consider if there are opportunities to roll out the concept to other stores in the chain," he added.

Gamers of Edinburgh, your country needs you. Make it a hit.

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