Will GameStop Make Its Own Gaming Tablets?
GameStop seems to be planning on making some changes and head out into new territory. One of the major moves it accomplished this year is acquiring the Impulse game download service from Stardock. Then it went ahead and purchased Spawn Labs’ device which allows streaming of heavy high-end games from consoles and desktops. Another is that they’ve started offering Android tablets suited up for gaming. These are available online and across stores in the US. With all these developments, one can’t help but wonder: are they planning to market their own gaming tablets?
It is after all a growing trend with other major online retailers. There’s Amazon and Barnes & Noble who have each come up with their own e-reader slates and met with varying degrees of success. Also, a compelling reason to expand in this direction certainly exists for GameStop. It started out in 1984 as a brick-and-mortar game retailer. By 2009, the company had around 6,450 stores and distributed titles on the global market. Lately however it has been losing ground to the increasing widespread distribution of mobile games. Tablets and smart phones are becoming just as good gaming platforms as dedicated consoles and PCs.
The situation may be somewhat alleviated with the newly acquired download service, streaming technology, and tactic of selling Android tablets. It is somewhat baffling however that the first two solutions aren’t present in the first line up of tablets they’ve offered. This batch includes popular models such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and the Acer Iconia Tab A100. And they come with free pre-installed titles that include Monster Madness, Sonic CD, and Riptide HD. Kongregate Arcade, the company’s Flash game portal is also pre-loaded. For an additional $39, the customer can equip these tablets with a Bluetooth game controller.
It’s not likely that GameStop went into the tablet computer trade just so it could sell a couple of game controllers. Perhaps the Impulse download service and Spawn Labs streaming device are meant for something more ambitious. Current tablet vendors could adopt the technologies GameStop acquired but if that doesn’t happen then the company might come up with their own mobile device that has those features built-in. It’s not going to be easy to transform from retailer to hardware manufacturer. There are the various mobile operating systems and their complementary app stores to consider. But if this idea does push through, the tablet market is going to be a much more exciting option for gamers.