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GameStop COO Says New Console Launches “Imminent,” but Which Ones?

GameStahhhhp I can't take all the rumors anymore.

GameStop video game storefront

The companies that actually sell video game consoles and games to consumers usually know what’s coming at least a little down the line in the industry, and GameStop COO Tony Bartel reminded us all of that fact with recent comments on upcoming console releases. They also can’t tell us too much or risk angering the console giants, so just what his words meant is still a bit up for interpretation.

At the GameStop Investor/Analyst Day briefing last week in Texas, GameSpot reports that Bartel said, “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.” Right away, the most likely candidate seems like Nintendo’s NX, which the company has been working on since before 2015’s E3 and mentioned during that year’s show that it would be ready for debut in this year’s presentation. Frankly, it might be a bigger surprise at this point if the NX didn’t make it into stores for 2016’s holiday season.

However, there’s also the possibility that he’s including the “PlayStation 4.5” in that statement, a rumored upgrade to the PlayStation 4 with better virtual reality capabilities in mind to go along with the launch of the PlayStation VR hardware. GameStop also has big expectations for VR according to Bartel, with analysts estimating it as a multi-billion dollar industry in the near future, which just makes a VR-focused model of Sony’s current hardware seem all the more likely.

Meanwhile, the head of Xbox himself has said that we won’t get any incremental upgrades to the Xbox One hardware—which also seems to be ignoring VR for the time being—so it’s unlikely that Microsoft has anything on the way, as the current console generation (for Xbox and PlayStation, anyway) is only just over two years old. Odds are that we’ll have all these questions answered in just under two months at E3 2016, which runs from June 14–16.

(via GameSpot, image via Mike Mozart on Flickr)

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