Nov 1, 2011
The details of Gamestop’s tablet program have finally been unveiled, and they’re quite different from what was expected. GameStop is simply getting into the business of selling Android tablets, though they will come with several Android games preinstalled. The three tablets that they will be selling are the Acer A100 for $329, the Asus Transformer for $399, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab for $499. The last two tablets will be available with a Bluetooth controller for playing games on the tablets.
The games that will be available? They are Dead Space (making its Android debut after an excellent iOS version), Cordy, Riptide, Monster Madness, Re-Load, the Kongregate Arcade App, and a timed exclusive launch of Sonic CD for Android. The controller will work with Cordy, Sonic CD, Riptide, and Monster Madness. Some of these games are already available on the Android Market as well.
GameStop may be missing a real opportunity here to launch their own tablet. The Kindle Fire hype has shown that interest in a low-cost tablet does exist, and a gaming-focused product could be of potential interest. Instead, these tablets are competing with the iPad on cost and features, and a few pre-installed games might not be enough to push interest in favor of these devices. Still, the lack of physical controls is what often off-puts those unfamiliar with touchscreen gaming, and this could be a great introduction with a controller available. As well, unlike the Kindle Fire, there is actual access to the Android Market, so these aren’t limited devices at all. They’re just tablets that GameStop is trying to push gaming on.
Still, the Android Market does lag behind the App Store as a gaming platform, and Android tablets have had their sales issues. Can GameStop manage to help push Android gaming forward, along with tablet sales, through their sale of Android tablets? Time will tell. The pilot program has launched on GameStop’s website and in 200 GameStop stores.