GameStop beta testing console streaming

GameStop is putting its acquisition of Spawn Labs to work, already beta testing streaming PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games. The company is expected to offer it as a consumer service in mid-2012.

"Spawn recently began its first beta and is currently live, testing streaming of Xbox 360, PS3, and PC games from a data center in Austin, Texas," said GameStop president Tony Bartel.

GamesIndustry.biz reports that the plan is ultimately to offer the streaming to smart devices and dedicated hardware, a la Gaikai and OnLive. GameStop is expected to talk about the service in more detail in early 2012, along with pricing.

Referring to dedicated hardware, Bartel says those issues are still being discussed. "Those conversations are taking place today," he said. "There's a whole cadre of services that GameStop can offer far beyond just Spawn. The beauty of Spawn is it can take a very large assortment of games. There's really no restriction versus an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game.

"We're also experimenting with PC game delivery as well, but we can take that to any Internet-connected device including TV. So clearly, it's part of our acquisition forethought. We anticipated being involved in smart TVs as well."

It was recently revealed that OnLive is currently in talks with Sony and Microsoft, so GameStop and OnLive could be racing to offer their service to more than just PC titles. Still, GameStop carries a lot of sway due to its status as a retail behemoth, a clear advantage the company has over OnLive.