In just 2 or 3 years time, the gaming landscape has been transformed tremendously. Whereas the majority of gaming a few years ago was strictly console-based with systems like the PS3 and xBox 360 reigning supreme, gaming today has become more casual in nature, a direct result of the proliferation of mobile devices like the iPhone and Apple’s iPod Touch. Consequently, some console makers, and in particular Nintendo, have struggled to adapt mid-stream to a new world of gaming where users are seemingly more interested in a casual game like Angry Birds than with the latest version of Super Mario Brothers.
Make no mistake about it – mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch undeniably fall into the ever expanding umbrella of modern ‘video gaming’ – and all at the expense of competing mobile devices like the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS series.
Recognizing this, video game retailer GameStop will reportedly begin selling Apple iOS devices in an effort to stay relevant in video game market where typical giants like Sony and Nintendo now find themselves competing against Apple, a company with a long disinterest in video games.
If GameStop aims to be a purveyor of video games and video game systems, it makes good business sense that they get into the iOS game. And while this is just a rumor at this point, it’s interesting that GameStop recently began a new program wherein they buy old iPod, iPhone, and iPads for in-store credit to be used towards games, accessories, and consoles.
GameStop’s current business model is primarily software based. While they do sell hardware, their bread and butter is selling physical copies of software, repurchasing said software at cheap pricepionts, and then re-selling the used copies at a high markup. Just recycling the same video games over and over and over.
Apple’s iTunes App Store, however, digitized the distribution of software and as devices like the iPhone and iPad continue to soar in popularity and use, GameStop perhaps realizes that getting into the hardware market might be a savvy move they can ill afford to pass up.
While we can envision picking up an iPad or iPod Touch from GameStop, we’re not sure if we see them selling iPhones anytime soon on account due to training and equipment issues concerning cellular activations.