The Apple iPad could soon have competition from
an unlikely source. In addition to announcing the launch of its own store on Facebook yesterday,
the video game retailer, GameStop is considering developing its own gaming tablet in the very
"If we can work with our partners and the OEMs and they come up with a
great tablet that is enabled with a great gaming
experience and coupled with a Bluetooth controller, then there's no need to go
out and develop our own. But if we can't find one that's great for gaming, then
we will create our own," said GameStop president, Tony Bartek.
Earlier this week, the company announced that it had just purchased the
digital service Impulse and game streaming service Spawn labs.
They have plans to create a gaming tablet that would let customers try any game before buying it, and
without having to download or install a demo.
According to Bartek, customers are beginning to consume games, both physically
and digitally in a hybrid manner and the company is adapting accordingly.
"Both of these programs are designed to sell more of the games we sell
today," said Bartek.
The company speculates that people are becoming frustrated with the current
gaming set-up with Apple and Android devices.
"Our whole premise is there are a lot of people caught up in the 99 cent
fray and a lot of people are frustrated by that," said Bartek. He
adds that this is a chance for GameStop to lead the tablet playing field.
A pilot program has already been launched at select GameStop stores in Dallas,
which allows customers to trade in their tablet devices for store credit.
The program will begin offering tablet hardware later on in the year,
nationwide that allow users to download games through Impulse or stream them through Spawn.
The brass at GameStop predicts that its digital game sales will reach $1.5 billion by 2014.