GameStop's upcoming cloud gaming service won't support consoles.
Though it's the world's biggest gaming retailer, brick and mortar stores just aren't enough for GameStop anymore. The chain increased its focus on digital gaming in recent years, and will be offering a streaming service starting in 2013. The cloud service will support tablets, PCs, and internet-enabled televisions, which may be partially due to feedback received during the recent private beta.
No specific date was given for when the streaming service will begin, though GameStop president Tony Bartel did elaborate on why consoles won't be supported during a conference call. "Based on consumer feedback, our success in selling mobile devices, and the imminent launch of new consoles, we have decided to move our technology to a PC-based model," Bartel said. The company is currently working with developers and publishers to make hundreds of games available for the service.
GameStop has struggled a bit to keep up with the industry as gamers use digital downloads and streaming services more and more. The retailer's sales declined in the first quarter of 2012, even though digital sales were up. Launching its own streaming service to compete with OnLive and Gaikai makes sense, though it's a bit odd that it wouldn't include console support. Given that the company isn't exactly beloved, it will probably need to offer some great incentives to convince gamers to abandon the already available streaming services.