GameStop beta testing console game streaming service

Game retailer GameStop has revealed that it is now beta testing its game streaming service for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 games. Gamesindustry.biz reports that the closed beta test will go nationwide by the end of 2011 but that the official public launch won't happen until sometime in mid-2012. The service uses technology from Spawn Labs which GameStop acquired earlier this year along with the Impulse PC game download business from Stardock.

While streaming full PC games is already happening thanks to the OnLive service and Gaikai is also offering streaming PC game demos, GameStop is also working to offer Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 games to its streaming service audience. It also is working to develop dedicated hardware that will work with that service. According to GameStop president Tony Bartel, "We continue to get positive feedback from our publishing partners about the pro-console, low-investment model that we have chosen." He added, "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."

GameStop plans to offer access to the Spawn Labs streaming client to its PowerUp Rewards subscribers which GameStop says now has 12 million members. However, the company has yet to reveal some important details about the streaming game service including its pricing model. Earlier this week, GameStop revealed that in its last fiscal quarter it had a 69 percent increase in revenues from its digital businesses which was over the company's expectations.

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