GameStop's steaming service is currently undergoing beta testing and slated for a 2012 launch. Now the company has detailed exactly how it plans to provide the streaming versions alongside its regular retail business.
"In terms of a service, the consumer has to have bought the game," senior GameStop VP Mike Mauler told GamesIndustry.biz. "So we're not looking at a service where you can just play games in the cloud, you would buy the game through our loyalty program and through a partnership with the publishers we would give them an opportunity to possibly - this is still something we're working out - to be able to play their game when they're not at home with their Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3."
In short, GameStop would be providing streaming versions as supplements packed in with certain games. Square Enix tried a similar promotion with the launch of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, partnering with OnLive. This led to a scuffle with GameStop, which eventually led to an apologetic letter from Square Enix.
Mauler calls it an "additional service" and a "win-win" for game companies and consumers alike. He argues it benefits developers particularly because "it doesn't require any work on the developer part to do something to the game like they do for OnLive or some of the other services."
It seems like the service will be a pack-in bonus for retail games to start with, but Mauler doesn't rule out the possibility of demos. "Clearly try-before-you-buy adds value for everybody - the consumer, the publishers, the retailer. Click a button and not have to download a demo but just begin playing the game."
Steve Watts posted a new article, GameStop streaming service detailed.
GameStop has detailed its streaming game service plans, which will initially launch as an extra version packed in with certain retail games.
I keep saying this - but I hope that Steam eventually launches a game streaming service to go along side local play. As tablets get more and more popular (and accept inputs such as keyboards, mice, and controllers) hooking one up to any TV and being able to play any game from my steam library that would only otherwise require/need a good gaming PC would make any other streaming service pale in comparison.
Steam is already Steam and is very awesome doing what they do. I bet when the game streaming/cloud gaming/loads up instantly and you play, gets bigger and better, then it might be something Steam does.
Right now the biggest draw for me to On Live is the playability on a tablet, like an iPad, because having your game collection with you, on the go, would rock. But, I have tried the On Live service on my PC, and when you're used to playing games at 1920x1200 resolution minimum, the 720p streaming video, while impressive, still looks like 720p streaming video. If compression can get to a point where 1080p, or preferably higher is available, then I think "cloud gaming" or whatever will really take off. And thats probably when we'll see alot more people embracing it, Steam included