Die-hard gamers chuckling at the mainstream masses playing Angry Birds on their smartphones and iPads may soon have a device of their own.
If last week's move to acquire streaming technology specialist Spawn Labs and the company behind the Impulse digital delivery service didn't signal a shift away from physical retail for the leading video game store chain, how does a GameStop tablet grab you?
It doesn't necessarily have to happen.
In an interview with gaming news site Gamasutra this week, GameStop President Tony Bartel is hoping to work with the retailer's partners and original equipment manufacturers to see if they can crank out a Bluetooth-friendly device that hard-core gamers can rally behind.
"If we can't find one that's great for gaming, then we will create our own," he says.
It's easy to see why GameStop is thinking outside of its small box. Comps may have been positive during its most recent holiday shopping season, but they weren't strong enough to offset the 8.6% dive during the 2009 holiday season.
Retail isn't dead. Microsoft
A gaming tablet may not be the answer, though. When folks are buzzing about brisk tablet sales, they're really only talking about Apple's
GameStop has ambitious digital dreams. It expects the company's digital revenue to grow from $290 million this year to $1.5 billion by 2014. It's made a few digital acquisitions along the way.
However, Bartel is dismayed by the proliferation of $0.99 games that occupy the best-seller lists on Android and Apple iOS tablets. If GameStop follows through with its goal of tablet gaming, it also hopes to arm software developers with beefier prices for digital diversions.
We'll see how well that flies. An unproven tablet with costly apps doesn't seem like a good idea at all.
Would you buy a gamer tablet? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.