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GameStop to Use the NookColor for their Gaming Tablet?

September 12th, 2011 by · 11 Comments · hardware rumors

Gamestop announced earlier today that they were going to launch their own gaming tablet. It’s going to be a rebranded version of an existing Android tablet (but there is no word yet on which tablet).

The US retailer has already chosen the model of tablet, which president Tony Bartel told GamesIndustry.biz is considered by the company to be the “GameStop certified gaming platform” and will sell alongside hardware from Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and Apple when it hits stores next year.  (source)

It’s going to ship next year with a number of titles and GameStop plan to stream console titles to their tablet. They’re even planning to have a dedicated controller for the GameStop tablet.

Update: They’ve released the tablet.

This was a gaming tablet story so I barely even noticed it. (Sure I’ll cover the tablet when it’s launched but the frenzy around the bare announcement isn’t worth my time.)  But a few minutes ago I was lucky enough to get an email from a reader who noticed a detail that slipped by everyone (thanks, Peter!). There’s a detail from Gamestop ‘s past that everyone should have figured out but no one did.

According to Peter (and Wikipedia), they are a B&N spinoff. That changes things, doesn’t it?

They want a tablet, it needs to be existing hardware, and they are already on friendly terms with B&N. Why not use the NookColor? It’s a popular device with a great screen, adequate processor, Wifi, and Bluetooth. It certainly appears to fill all their needs.

Okay, there’s no evidence for this, but you have to admit that there is a high probability that I’m right. What do you think?

 

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • curiosity killed the...

    i think this will just be 1 of many of the new tablet devices to come to market geared specifically for gaming.
    case in point Sony released 2 tablet devices recently that have full PlayStation network compatibility(ie download any game from the stores and play them on the device)
    Nintendo next year will have the wiiu and the new controller is a giant tablet that can play any of the games even with the tv doing other things through WiFi of the console and playing directly on the tablet.
    Microsoft is about the only game console company not coming out with a dedicated tablet device for gaming but they are busy getting windows 8 ready lol give them a year and I’m sure they will have their own version hanging around as well.

    the 1 distinct problem i see with gamestop selling a gaming device under their own name is it will probably be perceived as just another device like those emulator consoles that you plug into the tv and play old classic games on. in other words unless they get big time 3rd party developers porting games to their device that’s all it will become a portable emulator device or a list of no nothing games that look more like Facebook games than console.

  • willem

    Would a 7 inch tablet be okay for most games though? Not a gamer so I have no idea.

  • Sweetpea

    It would depend on the type of games. I think 7″ is enough for an average racing game, but a first person shooter, I doubt it.

    But if there would be a version of Civilization on a tablet, I’d buy it without even thinking…

  • Tyler

    I think that there are better choices for them to go with. Biggest complaint about the Nook Color for portability and playability would be the weight. The best thing about it would be the screen resolution. It is beautiful.

  • Peter

    Peter here- thanks for posting!

    The point about 7″ not being big enough is probably valid.

    But if the new device is a version of the nook- I think it will be heavily modified for whatever Gamestop wants to do. Change the screen size- maybe add some buttons or a controller port.

    There will probably be an additional Gamestop streaming app released for the current nook- and other tablets as well. But they would want a dedicated “gaming” tablet as a selling point for the service.

    The reason they would partner up with Barnes and Noble is that would allow them to sell the device with a more complete ecosystem- the ebookstore, emagazines, and app store are already in place.

    The official android market would be better, but Gamestop probably can’t get it because of Google’s hardware requirements. And even if Gamestop can use the official market- as a smaller company, Barnes and Noble can be more generous than Google with revenue sharing. The arrangement might be something like: Barnes and Noble keeps the ebookstore revenue- and they let Gamestop keep all the app store revenue from the Gamestop devices.

    If this IS what is happening, then I’m on the lookout to see Barnes and Noble round out the ecosystem by crafting similar deals with Sirius satellite radio and Starz! streaming. These companies also have overlapping ownership.

    • Nate Hoffelder

      That’s certainly possible, but it’s something of a stretch to go from a gaming tablet to them wanting a whole ecosystem. And besides, it sounds like they plan to customize the OS enough that it might break the existing apps running on the NookColor.

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