Survey Sunday Roundup: GameStop and Tablets

And what did people think of the announcement on GameStop's branded tablets?

1. So GameStop is going to brand their own tablet with an eye towards gaming. What do you think of this?

  • 14.3% – Good idea.
  • 14.3% – Bad idea.
  • 71.4% – Neutral Idea

This surprised me as I expected people to have stronger opinions.  So let's see what the comments say – and boy did people have opinions.

  • The tablet market is "middle-aged" already; GameStop has a good idea, but for their product to seriously take off, they need to turn up its capabilities all the way to "11" (any initial glitches/slip-ups a la Amazon Kindle, and it's bye-bye). Furthermore, GameStop's reputation is in their retail and trade/exchange services, not in any production/development/creative abilities, possibly excepting their Kongregate casual game site. If they are indeed skilled in those other areas, they absolutely have to prove it or they won't be taken seriously.
  • Tablets are Apple's game to lose. Most everything else is not going to fly due to a lack of ecosystem (save possibly Amazon's ebooks and Prime).
  • I could care less about GameStop, so their tablet is irrelevant to me.
  • I have no strong feelings either way. With the game market slowly drifting towards digital distribution, particularly in the portable field Gamestop has to do *something* to stay relevant. But everyone that's challenged the iPad's dominance in the tablet field has experienced an uphill battle, and I expect Gamestop's effort will be no different.
  • I can't call this one because: 1. Good idea: Looking at the Barnes & Noble Nook and Nook Color, it is possible for a popular brick and mortar retail store to be successful with its own tablet device. 2. Bad Idea: the tablet market has already become saturated and was dominated by the iPad in the first place. HP stepped out of the game, and Amazon is about to jump in with the newest Kindle. There's already so many established brands out there doing tablets and almost all of them have gaming capabilities. Thinking about that, my questions for Gamestop would be "What's the point? What will honestly separate your tablet from all the others to the point that people would own both an iPad and a Gamestop tablet or yours over the others?"
  • Game Stop is entering a crowded market. Going for the gaming niche might help the tablet, but the company will have to supply games for it. That will be the hardest part – if the library isn't diverse enough or, well, fun enough, then the tablet is doomed. Game Stop is a chain that sells games, not creates them. They have a long hill to climb.

My take is a bit neutral as well – this is a good idea that'll be hard to implement, and they have to do it right.

One of the most interesting statements here is that the Tablet market is ALREADY aged – which, when you think of it, is true.  So they have to present a very mature product.

Any thoughts from you, our readers?

Steven Savage