GameStop has chosen an existing (but unspecified) Android tablet which it will begin selling next year under its own brand and with a selection of game titles pre-installed. It will positioned as the “GameStop certified gaming platform” and will be offered next to hardware from Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and Apple that the company already sells.
Tony Bartel, president of the games retail and resale company, told GamesIndustry.biz about his plans in an exclusive interview. He noted that the company already has a refurbishment center in place, which will make it easy to preload software.
He said the device began being test-marketed two weeks ago in Dallas. GameStop Corp. is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, which is just the other side of Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport from the city of Dallas itself. The company is also developing a controller that will enable gamers to play streamed console games on the tablet in addition to mobile games, possibly in preparation for its own service that will compete with OnLine and Gaikai.
In March, GameStop acquired streaming technology company Spawn Labs and digital distribution specialist Impulse Inc., both of which will be very useful to a streaming games service. The move also seems to mesh well with GameStop’s revenue streams. In its last earnings report, the company said its digital revenues increased 69 percent and now accounted for nearly 42 percent of income, while total sales and comparable store sales were down, by 3.1 percent and 9.1 percent respectively.
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