New Console Launches Could Be "Imminent," GameStop Exec Says

"We are very pleased to see the introduction of technology like virtual reality and rumored new console launches."

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Speaking today at the GameStop Investor/Analyst Day briefing in Texas, COO Tony Bartel commented on the rumors about new PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo consoles, saying the launch of at least some of these "seem[s] imminent." The executive stressed that GameStop has not yet built the consoles, and virtual reality platforms, into its earnings projections, but explained that they represent areas of potential growth for the company.

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"Although we have not modeled extensive growth for new innovation in this presentation, we are very pleased to see the introduction of technology like virtual reality and rumored new console launches, some of which seem imminent," Bartel said.

A recent Wall Street Journal report claimed that Sony would announce a new, more powerful PlayStation 4 before October. It's also rumored that Nintendo will launch its new system, the NX, as early as the end of this year, which could qualify as "imminent." Microsoft, too, has spoken about the possibility of a new Xbox, though no timing for its release has been tipped, officially or otherwise.

New hardware launches would theoretically be a boon for GameStop, so it's not that surprising to hear Bartel speak enthusiastically about them.

Another slide shown during the event put a dollar amount to the launch of new consoles and VR over the coming years. If GameStop has a 33 percent share of new $15 billion console launch, GameStop would potentially make $5 billion in sales. Assuming the VR market is $15 billion by 2019 and that GameStop holds 20 percent, it would generate $3 billion in sales.

This is only a projection. GameStop management stressed it's not modeling anything in terms of earnings projections for new console launches and VR.

In a Q&A session, an analyst asked if the "new console" comments were related to the NX or other consoles, GameStop executives said they would not be commenting further. Those types of announcements will come from platform-holders. Later during the event, in a segment unrelated to new console launches, management teased, "As usual, we know more than we can share."

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Also during the presentation, Bartel said "the expectations are very big" for virtual reality devices such as PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. He said he's seen numerous reports about the VR market, and while they have varied, all of them conclude that the industry will be a multi-billion dollar business.

GameStop will sell PlayStation VR and is currently taking preorders for it, while discussions with Oculus and HTC are ongoing to offer their devices in-store.

The GameStop Investor Day briefings are happening throughout the afternoon; check back later today for more.

Update: This post has been updated to more accurately attribute GameStop's quotes about new console launches.

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