GameStop Just Started a Tablet Price War

Three days ago GameStop announced that they were now selling a trio of Android tablets that came bundled games. The tablets are available on line and in some stores. I'm 3 days behind everyone else on this story, so that would have been enough to pass on it and go write other posts. But I've read a couple of the posts about these tablets and I thought I could add something: first hand knowledge. Also, this story is related to one I posted last month, and I wanted to wrap it up.

You might recall that back in early September GameStop released a few details on their upcoming gaming tablet. It was supposed to be branded by GameStop and be made by a major manufacturer.  I posted on that story, and it turns out much of what I wrote was wrong. That's okay with me; much of what GameStop said last month was also wrong.

The "GameStop branded tablet" isn't actually carrying a GameStop brand; I know this for a fact because the "GameStop branded tablet" was launched last week, and all 3 tablets are still branded by the original manufacturers.

It was a little disappointing to find out how much was wrong about last month's story, but I was still curious about how GameStop was handling the bundled games, retail packaging, and so on. I couldn't find the info online so I visited my local GameStop store. One of the 3 in my area (they're within walking distance of each other) had the tablets on display and in stock.

The 3 tablets are the base models for the Acer A100 (7", 8GB), Asus eeePad Transformer (10", 16GB), and the Samsung Galaxy Pad 10.1 (16GB). So far as I can tell the tablets are identical to ones sold elsewhere; they have the same hardware specs and come in the same retail box (I saw them). The only difference is that the ones sold by GameStop have 7 free games already loaded onto the Flash storage. They also have an extra sticker on the box reminding you about the free content.

Most importantly, these 3 tablets don't cost any more than the regular retail price (same as Best Buy, Walmart, etc).  While you can find them somewhat cheaper online, the 7 free games make up for the difference.

I don't care for gaming, and I'm not in the market for a new tablet. But if I were going to get a tablet I would definitely  get one from GameStop. I might not like any of the those 7 free games but free is free.

This was not the move I expected from GameStop, but this is also a much better idea than the plans discussed last month. I'd get one of these tablets because they are the standard retail product and thus I can check online reviews and count on the standard manufacturer's warranty. If they had been completely rebranded by GameStop then I likely wouldn't want one; they'd be unknown hardware and thus a greater risk.

What GameStop  have done here isn't just to get more gaming customers into their stores; instead they will be taking tablets customers away from BB, Walmart, and other retailers with the bundle offers. This includes casual gamers, a group that is far larger than GameStop's core customer base. And that is why this was such a smart move.

It looks like GameStop may have just kicked off a new price war for tablets. It won't be long before someone else responds to GameStop by launching their own bundle. Things could get really interesting by Christmas.

 

About Nate Hoffelder (11390 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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