We've been following GameStop's entry into the tablet gaming world for some time now. Rumblings started when GameStop started taking iOS devices on trade-in, which we determined utilizing the latest tinfoil hat and witching stick technology might mean they were going to start selling iOS devices soon. A few days later, news hit that GameStop wouldn't be selling iOS devices, and instead is launching it's own Android gaming tablet. Since then, we've speculated heavily on our podcast regarding what this tablet will be like, if GameStop will have a proprietary storefront for it, and whether or not that storefront will offer some kind of trade-in gimmick.
Per a recent report from PC Mag, GameStop just started a pilot program where they will be selling not one but three Android tablets in 200 locations. The lineup includes the Acer A100 at $329, the Asus Transformer at $399, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab at $499. Naturally, these are coming pre-loaded with GameStop software, and they'll be promoting tablet-optimized games to play on them. Interestingly enough, it doesn't sound like GameStop is going to be pushing touch-based games, as all but the low-end tablet will come packaged with a Bluetooth controller.
We'll have to wait and see how this pilot program does, as it's very interesting seeing GameStop respond to iOS games taking off the way they have as well as online game distributors and streaming services like Steam and OnLive eating so much of their proverbial lunch. I tend to think for this to get anywhere GameStop will need to take a much more unified and powerful approach to the whole thing, far beyond the "Oh hey, here's three Android tablets and two of them come with Bluetooth controllers" thing they're doing now.
[via PC Mag]