Sep 12, 2011

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GameStop to Sell Branded Android Gaming Tablet

GameStop to Sell Branded Android Gaming Tablet

With cloud and mobile gaming both on the rise, the games industry is heading for uncharted territory. Now, after a debacle that involved removing OnLive voucher codes from retail copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, major retailer GameStop will be looking to seize its share of these market changes. Tony Bartel, president of GameStop, has announced that the retailer is currently developing a gaming tablet that will be powered by Android and released in 2012. The model for the device has already been chosen, and the tablet will come pre-installed with a number of mobile games. However, GameStop’s plans for the device are extremely ambitious. The company has recently tested the streaming of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games and plans to bring cloud gaming to its tablet sometime after launch. To achieve this end, a controller peripheral will be developed for the tablet. On the controller subject, Bartel stated:

There’s not a lot of tablet/android based games for the consumer that are designed to use an external controller. There are a few games out there and more that are coming, but our thought is that the tablet is a great immersive gaming device so it’s hard for us to envision how that tablet will really function as such without some sort of controller. So we’ve created a controller that we’re testing to really allow for immersive gameplay. It’s hard to imagine how to stream a game – let’ say Modern Warfare 3 – onto a tablet and then play it with your finger . . . I know people have tried it and shown it, but it isn’t a great, immersive experience for the customer. Once it is, I think that’s really exciting. As it stands now, I think we’re seeing developer interest in developing immersive games that use the controller as well, but our first foray is to really be working with developers to create an install base of devices with the controller to allow them to develop immersive games.

As stated above, the tablet will not be developed by GameStop per se, but rather branded and sold as a GameStop-certified device. GameStop has no plans to decrease exposure of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo hardware in their stores. Instead, the tablet will be sold alongside home consoles and iOS devices. Meanwhile, GameStop’s Spawn streaming service has begun beta testing and will likely support not only the branded tablet, but PC gaming and perhaps dedicated hardware down the line.

What do you think of GameStop’s foray into cloud gaming? Will the idea work on a mobile platform like a tablet? Sound off in the comments below and stay tuned to Vivid Gamer for more on this development.

[Source: GamesIndustry]