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GameStop chief: 'We're going to be the destination for VR'

Speaking to Fortune, GameStop CEO Paul Raines says the company sees VR as big business and is cutting deals to offer in-store demos of HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR headsets and games.
"Analysts believe there could be 10 million VR users by the end of 2016, and there are hardware forecasts of $30 billion by 2020. We’re going to be the destination for VR."

- GameStop CEO Paul Raines believes virtual reality will be big business in the years ahead.

GameStop has seen profits rise this year as it continues to expand beyond its core business of selling new/used video games, and now the company seems to be setting its sights on a new venture: virtual reality games and hardware.

Speaking to Fortune, GameStop chief Paul Raines says the company is cutting deals to offer in-store demos of HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR headsets and games. That's chiefly notable for developers because it means that one of the biggest games retailers in the world is throwing resources into promoting and selling VR experiences, even as it remains remarkably upbeat about the future of physical disc-based games.

"Disc-based games will be around forever," said Raines. "Even in a doomsday scenario, disc-based games will be around for a long time. I see a complimentary business where we sell discs plus download like the current console model. Virtual reality games will also likely follow this model.”

Of course, Raines chimed in on this very same topic during a recent GameStop investors call in which COO Tony Bartel outlined plans to stop selling game consoles bundled with digital games.

It's yet unclear how GameStop intends to sell VR hardware and if it expects be stocking a large variety of disc-based VR games, though Raines did tell Fortune that the company is beefing up its PC hardware offerings ahead of anticipated demand from VR enthusiasts looking to upgrade their machines.

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