GameStop forecasting "largest console launch in history"

Retailer says it will have "significant increase" in launch quantities for Xbox One and PS4 relative to last generation; PS4 "first to know" list double that of Xbox One.

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GameStop is expecting to see the "largest console launch in history" this holiday season, CEO Paul Raines said today during a post-earnings financial call.

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The retailer saw sales fall for its latest quarter, noting sales have been negatively impacted by consumers holding out until new consoles arrive later in the year.

Raines did not offer an estimation as to which platform--Xbox One or PS4--will reign as king this holiday, but said expectations are high for both systems.

GameStop president Tony Bartel said the company's launch allocations for the Xbox One and PS4 are "much stronger" relative to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. He said GameStop expects a "significant increase" in launch quantities for both platforms.

Overall, Bartel described the launch quantities as "unprecedented."

He did not provide specific numbers, but said GameStop has bolstered its supply chain capacity for the upcoming console launch by 60 percent through using contracted distribution centers.

Regarding preorders, Bartel would not say which system had more at present. However, he did say that the PS4 "first to know" list currently has 1.5 million members, compared to 700,000 on the Xbox One list.

Sony previously announced that PS4 preorders have exceeded 1 million units.

To prepare its employees for the impending arrival of the Xbox One and PS4, Bartel explained that next week, GameStop's 4,400 store managers in the United States will receive hands-on training with both platforms.

"We will continue to be the most knowledgeable source for buying a new console and related games and accessories," Bartel said.

The Xbox One and PS4 will launch in November.

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