Starting today it appears that GameStop is taking their mobile initiative through a whole new door, not just offering one single tablet (the iPad), but four, the other three being special edition Android tablets from Acer, ASUS, and Samsung. While each of the tablets will be essentially the same sticker price they would be at competing retailers, each comes with a set of seven free games including Dead Space and Madden 12. These tablets are not brand new models, but the game deal certainly is.
While before we'd heard that GameStop was testing a tablet before it would release said tablet in 2012, it now seems that they've opted for tablets already on the market to push a new deal. The tablets are set to be costing between $400 and $500 as they normally would be elsewhere, but GameStop hopes that the added benefit of a games pack will bring people in to the stores. At first just 200 stores will be offering the tablets with the pack, which also includes a push to use GameStop's Kongregate Arcade.
Paul Raines, Chief Executive at GameStop appears quite pumped about the tablet situation on the whole: "Customers have been telling us that they like to game on multiple devices. We believe there is a gaming opportunity on tablets." Also included in the initiative is a controller shaped rather like a wireless version of the current Xbox 360 console controller. This controller sells for $39 and connects to each of the tablets with a "special code," as the Wall Street Journal puts it, that will allow the controller to connect with each device. Of course we know this connection better as the mystical "Bluetooth," but shhh, don't tell them that. These controllers are set to work perfectly well with each of the seven games included in the pack.
Gamestop's president Tony Bartel notes:
"It doesn't replace the gold standard of the gaming console in your living room, but it's a good experience, [but] we expect manufacturers to jump in and say 'Ah-ha, that's what consumers are looking for.'" - Bartel
We're currently waiting for confirmation that these tablets are actually just the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, and the Acer Iconia Tab 500 that we expect they are - stay tuned for confirmation!
UPDATE: The tablets they'll have on hand are the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 16GB for a bundled price of $439, the Acer Iconia 7 inch (aka the A100) for a bundled price of $369.98, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 16GB for a bundled price of $539.98. Each of these bundles includes the games Dead Space, Monster Madness, Sonic CD, Cordy (which is free anyway), Riptide GP, and more. Check them all out at Gamestop.com/tablets and let us know if you pick one up!