GameStop plans to enter the fast-growing tablet computer market – and may even build its own games-oriented one.
The word from the retailer comes a week after it bought two games download technology firms – Spawn Labs and Stardock’s Impulse – in a bid to grow its stake in the digital space.
"Our customers are beginning to consume games in a hybrid manner, both physical and digital, so we are becoming a hybrid company to meet their needs," Tony Bartel, president of GameStop, told CNBC.
"Both of these programs are designed to sell more of the games we sell today."
GameStop will use the technology to cut through the cheap app crisis some publishers and format holders fear will unseat their business, by streaming big budget games to handheld devices.
"Our whole premise is there are a lot of people caught up in the 99 cent fray and a lot of people frustrated by that," he says. "We really believe that’s a chance for us to lead the tablet playing field."
A few test US stores are selling and trading in tablets, but as the market grows Bartel said there was nothing stopping GameStop launching its own device.
"If we can work with our partners and the OEMs and they come up with a great table 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," he says.
"But if we can’t find one that’s great for gaming, then we will create our own."