Having opened Xtreme Zone electronic entertainment concept stores in 17 locations nationally, toy retailer Toys "R" Us has now expanded the concept in four NSW stores.
Buoyed by the success of Xtreme Zone - which includes a large range of multimedia CDs, PC and console games and gaming peripherals - Toys "R" Us merchandising director John Redenbach told ARN the company has not ruled out further expansion.
He feels there is irreversible digital convergence in home computing and entertainment with Xtreme Zone being designed to cater to that demand for "toys which are very sophisticated, technologically advanced and which display the latest in computer interactive technology".
Redenbach feels that all electronic entertainment will soon be controlled by one box that sits on top of the television. When that day arrives, he says, Toys "R" Us will be in the picture.
"The box I am guessing is not far away will be compatible with the Internet, it will play DVD games and will view DVD movies," said Redenbach. "It will have fully interactive function. You can turf your video. You can turf your CD player and in a lot of cases you will be able to turf the computer. Personally, I think that is where the market is heading and if it does, we are going to be there with it," he said.
Redenbach also said that there are some other categories of business which actually make sense for Toys "R" Us to consider entering thanks to the convergence of technologies. The latest expansions into music CDs and more games peripherals in four stores - Chatswood, Parramatta, Moore Park and Kotara - are just the start. He hinted that mobile phones and handheld computers will be logical extensions.