Android partners have been mighty quiet about their plans for second-generation devices leading up to the holiday season, but a newcomer is ready to try something different. Gamestop plans to sell tablets running Android with its own brand across its vast retail network, hoping to entice gamers that tend to prefer iOS with several preloaded games.
Gamestop told the Wall Street Journal that the tablets would become available on Friday. No information was provided on which version of Android they’ll be running (Honeycomb versus the brand-new Ice Cream Sandwich) or how much they will cost, although the report indicated that the Gamestop tablets would be priced at “typical sticker prices in competing stores.” Gamestop will include a tablet version of EA’s Madden NFL and DeadSpace games on the device and a separate remote control designed to work with the tablets will be sold separately.
Android hasn’t really made much of a dent in the iPad’s lead over the tablet market, depending on which market share purveyor strikes your fancy. Early devices like the Xoom are retrenching, while Samsung faces a host of legal issues pertaining to the Galaxy Tab.
Yet Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is hopeful that a new generation of devices can make some headway. The company predicted the launch of gaming-oriented tablets in an interview with paidContent earlier this year as well as a surge in tablet launches from traditional PC companies trying to get into the tablet game.
One flaw in Gamestop’s plan is that any serious mobile gamer is using iOS: Android gaming in general, but especially Android tablet gaming, pales in comparison with the quantity and quality of titles being developed for Apple’s platform.