Software retailer Gamestop has announced that it is getting into making tablets which it will flog preloaded with titles.
Tony Bartel, president of GameStop, said in April that the company was striving to meet the changing needs of consumers who “consume games in a hybrid manner.”
Apparently this does not mean that you eat like two different types of mammal. If you consume in a hybrid manner you buy both hardware and software using a distribution model along the lines of Apple’s App Store and iTunes.
Bartel said GameStop would consider building its own game-centric tablet and it will run on Android.
The cunning plan involves self-branding existing tablet hardware built by an unnamed third-party manufacturer.
Bartel said there was no need to create a new tablet with the three hundred or so on the market already. Gamestop has a refurbishment centre and we can bring in the product and preload certain games onto it.
Bartel didn’t say when the GameStop tablet would be released, but he told GamesIndustry.biz http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2011-09-12-gamestop-chooses-android-for-own-brand-gaming-tablet that the company has been testing the device with consumers in Dallas for the past two weeks.
What will be a bit different is that the GameStop tablet will come with a dedicated controlle and will stream console games to the device as they become available.
Gamestop is desperate to break out of its bricks-and-mortar stores as it starts to lose ground to online game distributors like Stream. Already it is having a hard job taking on Internet retailers like Amazon.
Earlier this year, GameStop acquired Impulse, a subsidiary of Stardock that provides a digital distribution service, and Spawn Labs, a developer of streaming technology.