GameStop, and any other brick-and-mortar entertainment retailer for that matter, have to be scrambling to prepare for the future. The company has already started initiatives to sell downloadable-content in-store via pre-paid cards and codes; not to mention their acquisition of digital gaming distribution sites like Kongregate and Impulse. Apparently, the retailer is also looking to tap into the profitable mobile market by selling an GameStop-branded Android tablet.
According to gamesindustry.biz, GameStop have already started work on a gaming-centric Android tablet that will carry the retailer’s name. The device has already been selected, and should start appearing for sale – presumably in both GameStop stores and other retailers – sometime next year. The device uses currently existing hardware.
“We’re in test phase right now. But we’re excited at the prospect of coming out with this tablet,” GameStop president Tony Bartel said. “I would call it a ’GameStop certified gaming platform.’ We looked at all the tablets and these are the ones that really worked for gaming and we’re going to give you a few benefits that you’re not going to get elsewhere.”
Those benefits apparently include pre-loaded games. According to Bartel, the company already has a refurbishment center – probably where all those used consoles come from – and will take in the Android tablets, loading them with games. The company also plans to stream games to the device, as well as releasing a compatible controller.
“So we’ve created a controller that we’re testing to really allow for immersive gameplay. It’s hard to imagine how to stream a game – let’ say ’Modern Warfare 3’ – onto a tablet and then play it with your finger,” said Bartel.
Cloud gaming is looking more and more like the future, so it’s not surprising that GameStop would go down this road. While companies like OnLive attempt to get a head-start on the competition, it’s hard to deny that GameStop have a massive amount of brand recognition – whether you love them or hate them. The idea of playing a visually pleasant ’Modern Warfare 3’ with a controller, on the go, doesn’t sound half bad. Of course, that’s assuming you can find a suitable network on which to play those cloud games.