This holiday season will see "the largest console launch in history," GameStop CEO Paul Raines proclaimed on the company's post-earnings investor call today. While Raines didn't say whether the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 would be claiming that title, the company is clearly expecting big things from both machines.
Speaking on the call, GameStop president Tony Bartel said the retailer's launch allocations from both Sony and Microsoft are "much stronger" than they were for the release of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Bartel said the company expects a significant increase in launch-day quantities of both machines compared to the previous generation. While he wouldn't give specific numbers, he did say GameStop has increased its supply chain capacity for the launch by 60 percent using contracted distribution centers.
Bartel also declined to mention which system had more preorders, but he did reveal other GameStop numbers gauging consumer interest in the new consoles. GameStop has "first-to-know" lists for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, allowing customers to receive updates on preorders, game announcements, and other deals related to each system. Among the company's PowerUp Rewards program members, Sony's system appears to be drawing the lion's share of interest. GameStop currently has 1.5 million members on the PlayStation 4 first-to-know list, with 700,000 on the Xbox One list. The PowerUp Rewards program boasts more than 25 million members in the US, and GameStop refers to them as the heaviest spenders in the category.