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Is this retail's digital console breakthrough?

Ben Parfitt
Is this retail's digital console breakthrough?

We're told time and time again that retail can play an important part in the digital gaming landscape, but one obstacle has always remained – the iron grip platform holders have over digital console platforms.

But international games retailer GameStop could be about to shatter that stalemate thanks to new plans that would offer a console streaming service for smart devices and net-ready consumer electronics.

This is the first fruit to emerge from GameStop's acquisition of streaming specialist Spawn Labs last year.

A closed beta is expected to commence before the end of the year with a view to a possible US rollout in the first half of 2012.

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

"We continue to get positive feedback from our publishing partners about the pro-console, low-investment model that we have chosen."

"Those conversations are taking place today. 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.”

Of course, the technology itself merely apes that already being implemented by the likes of OnLive and Gaikai. But the idea of a streaming offer that offers and markets console-free digital console gaming would be a significant first – and could me a paradigm-shifting moment in the transition toward cloud gaming.

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Tags: ps3 , xbox 360 , streaming , console , gamestop , service

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