At the end of September, Tony Bartel, president of GameStop, announced they would try to market a "GameStop-certified gaming platform" that involved tablet devices. As we inch closer into the holiday season, GameStop has announced that 200 of their U.S. stores will be sporting a variety of Samsumg, Acer and Asusteck Computer Inc. Android tablets. According to GameStop's CEO, J. Pauls Raines,
Customers have been telling us that they like to game on multiple devices. We believe there is a gaming opportunity on tablets.
Along with the tablets, GameStop is offering a package of 7 games that will be included with the purchase of the device. They also have a specially designed controller that you can pick up for an additional $39. The purpose of the controller is to allow gamers to play 4 of the 7 games from across the room, assuming that you can send the video to your TV, or that the tablets are about 27". You'll also be able to access the Android Marketplace and GameStop's own mobile app store, Kongregate Arcade. How much will one of these tablets set you back and will all that in-store credit you've racked up do you any good? Find out after the break.
GameStop doesn't expect these tablets to be the end-all for console games buy they are hoping to generate an "aha" moment for mobile gamers and manufacturers according to Tony Bartel, president.
It doesn't replace the gold standard of the gaming console in your living room, but it's a good experience. We expect manufacturers to jump in and say 'Ah-ha, that's what consumers are looking for.'
There is no word on pricing yet but we do know that instore credit can be applied toward the tablets just the same as their Apple products. This might come in handy should they decide to push them out the door at $300+. My guess is that gamers wouldn't be enticed to spend more than $250 for the privilege to play 4 games that work with their special controller and then suffer through not being able to play many of the console games they're used to, and many other games that weren't designed to be played on tablet devices. As far as pricing is concerned, hopefully GameStop picked up on what other retailers and manufacturers learned from the HP TouchPad fire sale.