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GameStop considering a gaming tablet

GameStop President Tony Bartel tells GamaSutra that if the company's partners can't come up with a tablet "that's great for gaming," GameStop would go it alone.

Video game retailer GameStop might jump into the tablet space, the company's president said in an interview published yesterday.

"If we can work with our partners and the OEMs and they come up with a great tablet 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," GameStop president Tony Bartel told GamaSutra.

He went on to tell the gaming publication that if its hardware partners can't deliver the level of quality that the company is after, GameStop will go it alone.

"If we can't find [a tablet] that's great for gaming, then we will create our own," he said in the interview.

Bartel didn't divulge when a GameStop tablet might launch or what kind of features it might offer. However, the tablet will likely rely on digital gaming.

Last week, GameStop acquired streaming technology firm Spawn Labs for an undisclosed sum. GameStop plans to use Spawn's technologies to offer "immediate access to a wide selection of high-definition video games on demand on any Internet-enabled device."

In addition to buying Spawn, GameStop also announced last week that it had agreed to acquire Impulse from Stardock Systems. Once the acquisition is completed in May, GameStop hopes to offer customers access to a library of more than 1,100 games through Impluse's digital service.

GameStop did not specifically say if its recent acquisitions will play a role in its tablet plans.

However, GameStop's tablet push goes beyond its own development. The company is currently allowing customers to trade in their tablets in a few stores in Dallas, Bartel told GamaSutra. If the program is successful, it plans to roll it out nationally later this year.