Video game retailer GameStop on Monday announced that its GameStop Technology Institute business unit has added a new partner: Microsoft. As part of the collaboration, GameStop will use Microsoft's Azure cloud-powered network to take "retail innovation to the next level."
The retailer adds that it will tap into Microsoft's Azure, which is also behind some of the Xbox One's cloud-powered services like those used to run Titanfall's multiplayer, to "enhance the in-store engagement of its customers in interactive, informative, and entertaining ways."
Specifically, GameStop said it will use the cloud platform to stream video game and promotional content directly to mobile devices. Thanks to the Microsoft Azure technology, GameStop shoppers will be able to view content such as trailers and promotional materials for games on their smartphones and tablets while in a store.
In addition, GameStop will use Microsoft Azure to stream game trailers to TVs within its stores, and to offer faster checkouts through a new in-store mobile shopping cart.
What's more, GameStop says the new partnership with Microsoft will allow GameStop's employees provide a more personalized shopping experience to customers who have opted in to receive and share information--such as previous buying history--through the Game Stop Technology Institute app.
Before today, GameStop had shown some reluctance to invest in streaming technology. The company had its own game streaming service, but shut it down last year, opting to instead support Sony's Playstation Now. Today's announcement with Microsoft, however, is of a different variety, as GameStop doesn't plan to stream full games through Azure.
Announced in March 2014, the GameStop Technology Institute is a wide-ranging initiative that aims to remove the complexity of shopping and improving customer service overall.