GameStop has announced their intentions to launch an Android-based gaming tablet next year complete with a custom controller. The plans were made official by company president Tony Bartel in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz.
GameStop has been contemplating a gaming tablet for several months and it seems the company is making good on those plans. According to This Is My Next, GameStop has found an OEM tablet that fits their vision and has been testing the unit for about two weeks.
The tablet is said to run local gaming apps and have the ability to stream console titles using their own cloud gaming division based on the acquisition of Spawn Labs and Impulse, which was announced in April. The device itself likely wouldn’t be groundbreaking but the planned wireless controller could add a whole new dimension to tablet gaming.
“If we can work with our partners and the OEMs and they come up with a great tablet that is enabled with a great gaming experience and coupled with a Bluetooth controller, then there's no need to go out and develop our own,” Bartel told CNBC in an interview earlier this year.
GameStop captured headlines last month when the company ordered store employees to open and remove coupon codes from the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution that would allow buyers to play the game for free via cloud-based streaming service OnLive. The company defended their decision by claiming they do not promote competitive services without a formal partnership. Square Enix, the game's publisher, issued a statement on their website admitting they didn’t make GameStop aware of the coupon code and that they respect the rights of GameStop to make the final decision on the content of products they sell and to adjust them as they see fit.
There’s no price point or release date set for GameStop’s tablet, although we can expect it to launch sometime in 2012.