Amazon's Kindle Fire may corner the market for e-books and movies/television shows on a mobile device, but GameStop sees a future in mobile cloud gaming by rolling out its own "certified gaming tablet" to 200 select stores and on its website this weekend.
As Ricardo reported back in September, Android is the GameStop tablet's chosen platform and comes preloaded with seven games like Dead Space and Madden NFL, access to GameStop's own Kongregate Arcade app store, as well as Android Market for your Angry Bird fix. Most importantly, the device should make console quality gaming on a tablet possible, thanks to the retailer's acquisition of Spawn Labs back in April.
So far, GameStop.com is listing four different Android slates with various price points and configurations: the $300 7-incher Viewsonic VPad 7, $400 10.1-inch Asus Eee Pad Transformer, $400 Acer Iconia Tab A500, and $500 Motorola Xoom. Rather than sell you a watered down slate for a reduced price like the Amazon Kindle Fire (it doesn't have a camera, microphone, Bluetooth or SD Card slot), GameStop seems more willing to give you a full-powered tablet that serves up a wide variety of gaming content (from casual to AAA titles). With their native Bluetooth connectivity and the Acer A500's full-sized USB port, you will be able to plug in your USB controller and or pair your Wii-mote or DualShock 3 controller for console titles not geared for tablets. Ultimately, GameStop will be offering its own wireless controller to go with its line tablets like the OnLive system, but that's for the future as it is focused on building its user base and demand for cloud gaming first, as the retailer's President Tony Bartel told GameIndustry.biz last month.
Judging from these tablet's specs alone, they don't seem very different from their Android cousins save for a few extra games and games. I hope GameStop will offer at least the app store and cloud gaming service to current Android tablet owners to expand its user base, without requiring that they purchase a slate from the retailer. I doubt serious gamers shopping for a tablet this holiday will opt for a GameStop one to replace their console/PC setup, but to enable them to play "real" games anywhere and anytime, though that means they would need to tote along their controller wherever they go. What do you think? Will a GameStop slate be on your wish list this year?
- GameStop's gaming tablet will run Android on existing hardware
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- CNET Review: Motorola Xoom
- Asus Transformer in-stock at Office Depot, $399 for 16 GB
- Android tablet on the cheap: Acer Iconia A500 is the XOOM "Light"
- CNET Reivew: Viewsonic Vpad 7
- GameStop plans to start streaming games to tablets
- OnLive on the iPad: PC gaming to go (hands-on)
- OnLive Player App could turn your Android tablet and iPad into a budget-friendly Nintendo Wii U alternative