GameStop to Debut Tablet Device
Back in April, when RetailWire ran a story/discussion on plans by GameStop to explore the development of its own tablet device, reaction was generally positive.
At the time, Larry Negrich, retail business solutions consultant, Avnet Technology Solutions and a member of the RetailWire BrainTrust, said, "Perhaps a bit outside of its core competencie,s but likely a step they should take. OEMing this device with their brand would be a good way to get a firmer grip on the distribution of their products and put the store in the hands of their best customers. The device needs to be high quality and rugged to meet expectation of these high-value customers."
Now comes word that GameStop will begin selling its Android OS tablet devices in 200 of its stores beginning this Friday. GameStop, which operates around 6,500 stores, worked with three different manufacturers — Asustek Computer, Acer and Samsung — to produce the units, which come equipped with seven free video games plus links to the retailer’s Kongregate Arcade app store.
"Customers have been telling us that they like to game on multiple devices," J. Paul Raines, GameStop’s chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal. "We believe there is a gaming opportunity on tablets."
While 60 percent of respondents to a RetailWire poll back in August — sans details on the launch — thought it was somewhat or very likely that GameStop would succeed with its tablet, others are less sure now that more facts are being revealed.
Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told the Journal that slow sales of Android tablets as well as a price in the $400 to $500 range will work against GameStop.
According to the Joystiq website, "GameStop now accepts iOS-device trade-ins, which means, in theory, you’ll be able to trade in your Apple product directly for an Android one."
- GameStop May Develop Tablet Device – RetailWire
- GameStop Steps into Tablet PC Sales – The Wall Street Journal
- GameStop selling specialized Android tablets at 200 U.S. stores right now – Joystiq
Discussion Questions: What effect do you think GameStop’s tablet device will have on the video gaming business? Is this the right or wrong move for GameStop?