GameStop cooks up Android-based gaming tablet


— 6:00 AM on September 13, 2011

Lately, just about everyone and his dog seems to have an Android tablet either on the way or in stores already—including Amazon. I suppose it's no surprise, then, that GameStop is joining in. According to GamesIndustry.biz, the game retailer has confirmed that it will release an Android-based gaming tablet next year.

Speaking to the site, GameStop President Tony Bartel painted the upcoming device as a "GameStop certified gaming platform," not a proprietary offering. Presumably, that means the device will run the same games as other Android tablets, and vice versa. Bartel nevertheless added, "We're going to give you a few benefits that you're not going to get elsewhere."

What kinds of benefits? GamesIndustry.biz says GameStop "intends to stream console games to the device and ship a dedicated controller for the experience." That sounds a lot like what OnLive announced earlier this year. As Bartel points out, the controller is a key component. Playing Modern Warfare 3 using a touch screen as your only input device probably wouldn't work so well.

Cloud gaming certainly sounds like an interesting new ingredient in the tablet gaming recipe. Today's tablets have a lot of potential—heck, the iPad 2 can run Infinity Blade with antialiasing on—but native games that rely on touch screen input can only do so much. At the same time, latency remains an issue with cloud gaming services. I'm guessing fast-paced Modern Warfare multiplayer sessions will be out of the question even on GameStop's "certified" tablet.

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