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More Details on GameStop's Streaming Service Revealed

Mike Mauler, senior vice president of GameStop, recently told GamesIndustry.biz that the retailer's upcoming "game slinging" service is on track for a 2012 launch. It will require consumers to own an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 console, and a physical copy of a specific game. The streaming version will be an additional purchase, but will play on other devices like tablets and internet-connected HDTVs.

"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," Mauler explained.

"You would have to actually own a console and buy the game," he added. "And in this case we're making very closely with the console manufacturers. It would be an additional service that you would be able to purchase as you buy a copy of the game to play on your Xbox. So it's a win-win for everybody."

In addition to selling cloud-based versions, GameStop also wants to offer streaming console demos as seen with Gaikai, and a service for PC gamers that allows them to purchase and play the game as soon as it begins to digitally download -- possibly within 30 seconds. Mauler didn't elaborate on the latter service, but there may be stiff competition from OnLive which only requires the user to download a small client to play purchased or rented games.

But given that the industry is changing at a rapid pace, GameStop is willing to remain flexible in order to keep up with the fast-developing and evolving environment. "Every time we think of something new at five other things pop up," he said. "I don't think anyone at this point knows what the next 3-5 years are going to throw up. It's exciting."

When launched, the streaming service will be offered to GameStop's PowerUp rewards program members which currently enlists over 12 million gamers. A closed beta is already up and running, but an open beta is expected to launch sometime before the end of the year.

  • rawful
    This seems horribly useless to me if you still have to buy a physical copy of the game to buy their streaming service for that game. What incentive do you really have to buy the streaming service? It isn't very hard to bring your game disc with you when you go to play on someone else's console. It isn't like they take up a lot of space, especially if you keep them in a disc book.
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  • dark_knight33
    It would be an additional service that you would be able to purchase as you buy a copy of the game to play on your Xbox. So it's a win-win for everybody.

    Yeah, it a totally win for me when I get to pay for the game...twice! Mike Mauler is a jerk, and this 'experiment' will be an epic fail.
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  • theconsolegamer
    Oh yeah, because I carry around my ps3 when I'm not in my home. These guys are geniuses!!!!

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  • Darkerson
    So this was what was worth screwing over Square-Enix earlier this year? What a joke...
    Reply
  • psychobob
    Ah..pay more money to play the game I already have....on my TV. And i'd love to play Skyrim on my tablet with some sort of virtual keyboard and mouse covering the entire screen.
    Reply
  • g00fysmiley
    offering a cloud copy to play with the purchase of a game would be a great addition to the purchase of a game and go a long way to helping brick and mortar stores compete with digital services like steam... if it were FREE with the puchase of the game... having to buy it a second time is just asking to fail

    maybe it'll work due to patronage by the console people with no idea of how tech works, but any tech savy user (IE most poeple who will be readign this) will just set up a throw from thier home pc to thier tablet or smartphone .... but who knows,
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  • eklipz330
    this is dumb unless the digital version is like $5 and they have no way to stop me from returning the game.
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  • theconsolegamer
    g00fysmileyoffering a cloud copy to play with the purchase of a game would be a great addition to the purchase of a game and go a long way to helping brick and mortar stores compete with digital services like steam... if it were FREE with the puchase of the game... having to buy it a second time is just asking to fail maybe it'll work due to patronage by the console people with no idea of how tech works, but any tech savy user (IE most poeple who will be readign this) will just set up a throw from thier home pc to thier tablet or smartphone .... but who knows,Hey not all console people are ignorant to tech, I know people that play on PC that i'm more knowledgable than them. Stop the stereotype.
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  • mchuf
    eklipz330this is dumb unless the digital version is like $5 and they have no way to stop me from returning the game.
    Yah, but knowing how the console makers and gamestop operate, you'll have to have the disc in the console drive tobe able to stream the game.

    Unless it is just a low fee (like the $5 you mentioned), this is just plain fail. It really sounds like something the console makers would do. Why do they need Gamestop, just to bankroll it?
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  • aaron88_7
    Why is Gamestop even still in business? They sell opened games as new and charge more than anybody else, give crap for trade ins and resell them almost as much as the new ones (or perhaps as new in some cases).

    Seriously, of all the companies that have been crushed by the economic collapse why the hell is this sh!t company still around?
    Reply