Continuing with plans to create its own mobile gaming platform, GameStop has begun selling tablets with games preinstalled. Based on previous announcements, most people expected the company to launch its own tablet, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead of delivering something unique, GameStop has simply partnered with major Android tablet manufacturers including Acer, Asus and Samsung. You can purchase GameStop-exclusive versions of the 7-inch Iconia Tab, 10.1-inch Eee Pad Transformer and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab for their standard prices of $329, $399 and $499.
However, they come with six free games: Dead Space, Re-Load, Sonic CD, Monster Madness, Riptide GP and Cordy. Folks who buy tablets through GameStop will also get a link to Digital Game Informer along with the Kongregate Arcade app, which contains over 580 free games. Although it hasn't gone as far as developing its own slate, GameStop is offering an exclusive Bluetooth gamepad with rechargeable batteries and a customizable button configuration.
When GameStop revealed its plans to enter the tablet segment earlier this year, one of the most common criticisms noted how lousy it can be to play games with touch controls. The gamepad seems like it addresses those concerns -- for a price. The controller is fetching $39 and unless you intend to play with your tablet on a flat surface, you'll probably have to purchase or jury-rig some kind of stand. In the case of the Transformer, its keyboard dock will set you back $99.
There's obviously a market for mobile gaming, but the platform tends to favor casual titles. Smartphones and tablets have less hardware resources and interface options, and people generally have less time to play (per session) on mobile platforms. Do we really need a third-party game supplier for those devices? I'm not big on mobile gaming, but the standard iOS and Android marketplaces seem to have things covered. Would you buy a tablet or controller from GameStop?