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As modern consoles wane, GameStop prepares for a new hardware generation

With the current generation of home consoles getting long in the tooth, major retailer GameStop is making preparations for the hardware of tomorrow, and it's sharing much its internal data with manufacturers to ensure these devices succeed.
With the current generation of home consoles getting long in the tooth, major retailer GameStop is making preparations for the hardware of tomorrow, and it's sharing much its internal data with manufacturers to ensure these new devices succeed. Referencing data from a recent consumer survey, GameStop president Tony Bartell pointed out that console manufactures will need to ensure that their devices offer a robust suite of new features if they hope to sell them at a relatively high price. "We anticipate a high level of innovation in the devices, but we also anticipate that to command the higher price points," Bartell told shareholders on Thursday. "They will have to be sensitive to those things consumers told us are important to them: backwards compatibility, pre-owned games, etc." While GameStop has chosen to keep most of this survey data out of the public eye -- at least until after E3 -- Bartell pointed out that the company has noted a rising trend in consumers that want to use their consoles for more than playing the latest games. "We do know that there's an expectation around innovation and use of the device for multi-uses," he said. During today's financial earnings report, GameStop reported that new hardware sales have declined more than $80 million year over year, and the company is looking forward to the boost in sales a new hardware lineup would bring. Bartell pointed out that GameStop is already prepared to help launch the first of these new consoles -- Nintendo's Wii U. As it's poised to be the first new machine of the gate, the Wii U will mark the beginning of the new hardware cycle, and GameStop has already devised its launch strategy to take advantage of the eventual spike in hardware sales.

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