Gamestop already has an iPod, iPhone, and iPad trade-in program to help increase game sales, but the company is further hedging their bets in the mobile gaming hemisphere by carrying Android tablets preloaded with games.
Earilier this year Gamestop claimed they were going to bring a Gamestop branded tablet to market, but were unclear which tablet maker they were going to partner with for the hardware. Well it turns out Gamestop is going to partner with three different tablet makers according to the Wall Street Journal.
Asustek, Acer, and Samsung will all reportedly bring their tablet making expertise to Gamestopís stores with ďspecialized tablets.Ē What ďspecializedĒ means is still unclear. Could the tablets flex more graphics and processing muscle in an effort to woo developers to create more 'hardcore' game offerings to tablets? Or is it an effort to make sure Gamestop doesnít completely miss out on the amount of money pouring into mobile gaming outside of traditional handhelds.
Many tablet games offer users a more mainstream experience a la Angry Birds, but as the hardware in tablets and mobile phones has become more powerful, so too have the number of complex games increased. First person shooters, RTSs, RPGs, fighting and racing games, while not outclassing their console or PC counterparts, have started to become viable alternatives and complements.
Gamestop is going as far as to create a controller for tablets, which of course will be sold separately. The free games included with the tablets hasnít been disclosed either. Color me disappointed if itís seven difference versions of Angry Birds.
Gamestop isnít betting the house on this venture, their bread and butter is still consoles. However, if sales figures for the Nintendo 3DS are any indication, the future of mobile gaming isnít necessarily going to ride on the back of the usual portable suspects. The iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and their competitors could very well be the future of mobile gaming. If this is the case, Gamestop will lose resale revenue from used games, peripherals, and hardware sales. Whether or not Gamestop starts offering iPads pre-loaded with games, or offering a line of iPad gaming peripherals isnít known.
But, the company is adapting to the times. And in time even the home console market could become a completely digital and very portable entity. Imagine using the iPad 4 to stream Bioshock 5 to your home theatre system via Airplay.
[via Tech Crunch