GameStop CEO J. Paul Raines spoke to GameIndustry following a GameStop earnings call about the next-generation Xbox console from Microsoft, the 7% drop in sales, and the shift from retail to digital.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time with Microsoft, but we have to let them take the lead on this, but it will be a very hot, compelling device. 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,” said Raines who, while speaking to GameIndustry revealed that Microsoft have got an exciting console in their hands.

Currently there’s little to no real details on the Xbox 720/Durango appart from some apparent hardware leaks, the rumour that games will be tied to accounts, amongst other things, but what we don’t have is some solid evidence like what we had with the PlayStation 4 controller. The latest rumour on the reason why we’ve not seen leaks of the hardware is because each next generation Xbox console and controller have been decorated with zebra-like stripes in order to discourage leaks, that’s just an idea anyway as no-one has actually been able to compare devices to see whether the tell tale stripes are unique to the developer. That aside sources have claimed that the next Xbox controller doesn’t actually differ from the current one other than it’s a little smaller and has more refined contours – more on that as it gets revealed.

GameStop CEO J. Paul Raines seemed quite optimistic whilst talking with GameIndustry. When asked about the current industry predictions on the next generation consoles not selling quite the same as previous consoles he replied “We don’t subscribe to that.” he continued “I was talking to one of our founders, Dan DeMatteo, and he was telling me every console cycle you get people who will say ‘there will never be another console,’ or ‘what else can the consoles do?’ And we just believe it’s a cycle and we just haven’t had a new product in so long. But we certainly don’t believe that the new consoles won’t be as exciting,” he also pointed out the fact that over 900,000 people signed up to the PlayStation 4 mailing list.

It’s also great to see that he has a positive outlook on the whole consumers turning to digital debate; “We don’t think digital is going to replace retail. I know everybody likes to get worked up and dream about a world without stores and all that, but our point of view is that consumers want both,” and that’s something I certainly believe. It’s something we’ve discussed quite often here at n3rdabl3. Call me old fashioned but if I’m going to spend £40+ on a game I at least want to be able to touch it, I want to be able to peel off the plastic wrap and run my thumb through that annoying seal that every Xbox 360 game has. I want to be able to flick through the manual and not take any notice of the instructions, something we’ve noticed has already started to go digital.

It’s an interesting question, what are your thoughts on physical copies vs digital copies? Leave a comment below!

[Sources: Xbox Stripes: Kotaku, Gamestop CEO: GameIndustry]

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