GameStop to Bring Console Games to Phones and Tablets Through Its Cloud Service
In a gaming scene becoming increasingly dominated by downloads, rentals, and taking small but steady steps to the cloud, GameStop is developing a service that will keep the gaming retailer giant relevant. Customers will soon have the option to purchase cloud access to a select library of games.
When purchasing a game designed for Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, customers can choose to subscribe to GameStop’s loyalty program for the ability to play the game remotely from the cloud. Games would run on servers in GameStop’s data centers, then a video feed would be streamed to supported platforms. Ultimately, the goal of the service would be so that gamers could play a wide variety of games even when away from their consoles – effectively enabling possible access on smartphones and tablets.
One of the caveats for players only looking to play games on their iOS devices is that the console version of the game would have to be purchased; currently-undetermined cloud streaming fees would have to be taken into consideration as well. At this point, the retailer views the upcoming service to be an extra available with games purchased from its stores. It seems that this has been put in place since it would not be in GameStop’s best intention to replace 6,500 retail stores just yet. I would have to agree with them: the retailer’s premium would be worthwhile for the sake of playing on-the-go, it is certainly a significant enticement.
GameStop has been in talks with major publishers, as well as Microsoft and Sony so that games streamed could indeed be identical to the console versions. Possibly for free, game demos could be played instantly through the cloud.
OnLive is a similar service that allows gamers to play PC games remotely. The company is working on adding console games to its selection and is set to release an “OnLive Player” application on the iPad very soon.
GameStop’s cloud gaming service is set to release in 2012. Private beta testing had begun during the summer.