Microsoft’s currently unannounced next generation console, persistently rumored to be titled the Xbox 720 or NextBox, is worth getting excited about, according to GameStop bossman and CEO J. Paul Raines, who has been “spending a lot of time” with Microsoft lately.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Raines mentioned that the next console from Microsoft “will be a very hot, compelling device.”
“Hot” huh? Tell us more…
“They are doing some really cool stuff, and I’m eager to hear them start their announcements because I think the world is going to stand up and take notice.”
Technically we’re all sitting down in the types of conferences where these sorts of things are revealed, but I’m willing to stand up if it’s truly that mind-blowing.
Raines also clarified that digital sales on the next console(s) will not replace the retail shelves entirely (not yet), as he believes that consumers prefer to have both options at their disposal. He even went as far as to mention that 7% of GameStop’s revenue stream is made up of digital sales, which would be a pretty substantial figure if the majority of those sales weren’t still made in-store. In his words, consumers “just aren’t ready to go massively digital yet.”
Given that “every streaming product has failed so far,” according to Raines, he’s also skeptical of his company’s own streaming game service Spawn Labs, which they acquired in 2011.
“OnLive was a disaster, Gaikai was taken off the market by Sony and they haven’t really come to market, Otoy hasn’t come, and so what we see is streaming has to be positioned differently. We’re trying to understand consumers so we can position it the right way, and that’s why you haven’t seen [GameStop] talk a whole lot about it.”