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GameStop 'Becoming a Technology Company'

GameStop has long been one of the most well-known retailers of new and used video games. However, the company has decided to branch out, and is planning a very interesting venture. The Dallas Morning News reports that during the company’s Investor’s Day event on Friday, GameStop announced that it would be using its purchase of Spawn Labs, a company that provided remote console streaming for developers, to offer an OnLive-like streaming service for tablet and notebook users.

Victor Godinez writing for the Dallas Morning News said that the games can be played via any internet-connected, large-screened device with a 720p resolution. The service connects the user’s device to an individual Xbox 360 or PS3 in Spawn Labs’ data center in Austin, Texas. Godinez says he also saw a real-time demo of Halo: Reach activated through a web browser on a PC.

To ensure streaming doesn’t cannibalize hard-copy sales, GameStop will initially only allow streaming access to games that Power Up Rewards customers have already purchased. DMN also reports that there will probably be a subscription fee in place for customers who wish to stream titles. In the future, it’s possible GameStop will allow users to register and stream titles they’ve purchased from other retailers and there’s also potential for a ‘try before you buy’ option for customers shopping online.

As exciting as it sounds, the service is far from finished. GameStop is apparently still in discussions with tablet and hardware manufacturers regarding the next generation of tablet technology and the possibility of Bluetooth peripherals and controllers for touchscreen mobile devices. The company also has plans to sell a selection of specially-optimized tablets in store -- quite a departure from new and used games.

"We're definitely becoming a different company," chief executive officer Paul Raines is quoted as saying in an interview. "We are becoming a technology company."

Further Reading:

GameStop's digital transition accelerates with two streaming and downloading acquisitions