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GameStop predicting biggest console launch ever

This is going to be a very good year for gaming, if GameStop’s CEO Paul Raines is to be believed. The retail exec dropped a healthy dose of optimism on investors during a recent earnings call in which he proclaimed that this year will see the “largest console launch in history,” GI.biz reports.

Considering the almost unending stream of bad sales reports that have plagued the gaming industry for years now, Raines’ outlook is refreshing. GameStop itself has been one of the hardest hit due to declining sales, and with early reports of used games being phased out in the next-gen, or at least fundamentally changed in a way that could have put it out of business, GameStop and its investors are likely breathing easy for the first time in a long time.

Before you wonder, Raines was not willing to reveal who is winning the pre-order battle yet, but he did say that, of the people that signed up for notifications about one of the next-gen consoles or the other, Sony has an almost 2 to 1 lead, with 1.5 million requesting info on the PS4, and 700,000 wanting to be informed about Xbox One news. GameStop was also among the first to announce that it had sold out of PS4 pre-orders. Don’t read too much into those numbers though; after all, Sony announced the PS4 a full three months before the Xbox One.

Regardless of which system you side with, GameStop president Tony Bartel claimed that the launch allocations from both manufacturers are “much stronger” than they were with the PS3 and Xbox 360, which means more boxes in stores on launch day. If the demand is there, and both Sony and Microsoft are able to keep up with it, 2013 could end up being a very good year for the video game industry. And about time.