Gamestop is working on a tablet device specially designed for gaming. In what appears to be an unconnected move, it’s also now accepting Apple portable devices as a trade-in.
The tablet won’t be a brand new creation but rather an existing device that will become “a GameStop certified gaming platform.” It will be repackaged, sold with the branding, and with several games pre-installed. Games will be playable online and will be downloaded via a wireless connection or streamed, depending on their size. The system is already in a closed beta testing program.
The suggestion is that the system will run the type of games currently on full-blown consoles rather than just those specifically designed for portable gadgets. The company is currently designing a special controller rather than relying on a touchscreen, but hasn’t said if this will be built in to the casing of the device or will be a plug-in peripheral.
One question that’s already been raised is whether the device will have access to the Android Market (without having to be modified). It’s something you’d expect as a buyer, but from Gamestop’s perspective it might not want to effectively encourage users to buy cheaper games from which it gets no revenue.
The store has also announced it is now taking iPhones, iPods and iPads as trade-ins, both for cash and for store credit. Any model of the devices can be traded in but they’ll have to be in working order with no visible damage. Personally engraved devices aren’t eligible for the deal.
There’s no official word yet on the prices customers will receive for trading in devices, or indeed how much the stores will eventually sell them on for after refurbishment. One site is reporting prices including $150 for a 16GB iPhone 4. That compares to a price of $649 for a new, unlocked model with no service contract requirement.
There’s also no confirmation that this is a step towards Gamestop stocking new Apple devices as well as used ones.
(Picture credit: Dwight Burdette via WikiMedia)