As gamers are slowly abandoning their portable consoles in favor of smartphones and tablets, it might come as no surprise that GameStop, the top U.S. games retailer, is now turning to Android tablets to boost sales. The retailer announced a variety of tablets running on Google’s mobile OS are on sale at more than 1,600 of its U.S. stores, from manufacturers such as Acer, Asus and Toshiba.
There aren’t as many games and apps for Android tablets compared to the iPad, so GameStop will pre-load a bunch of free games with each tablet sold, including Sonic CD, Riptide, a free issue of GameStop’s gaming mag, Game Informer, and the Kongregate Arcade gaming app that GameStop acquired.
GameStop’s Android tablets offer starts from $230 for a 7-inch Acer Iconia 8GB tablet, all the way up to $400 for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 16GB and to $500 for an Asus Transformer Prime 32GB. The Toshiba Excite 10 should be available later for $450 and GameStop also stocks pre-owned iPads, starting at $300.
If you’re short on cash but have a pile of old games you’re not playing anymore, you can buy one of these tablets from GameStop with trades of games, consoles and even an old iPod, iPhone or iPad, or use the trade-ins as credit toward the purchase.
Last year, GameStop president Tony Bartel said in an interview the company is considering making its own tablet if it can’t find an Android tablet that is great for gaming. Later in 2011 the company began trialing selling a limited number of Android tablets at some 200 stores, leading up to the latest push of several models across most of its stores.
Is an Android tablet better at gaming than an iPad? Sound off in the comments.
Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today @ PCWorld on Twitter