Digital downloads are clearly the wave of the future. DVDs? Blu-ray? Who needs them when you’ve got Netflix? Buying software? That’s old meme. You can get it from a hundred different sources – Amazon, the Mac App Store, etc. Games, though? It’s a little trickier. Steam offers the most popular service, though upstart OnLive has its own take on the matter. GameFly, though? GameFly is looking to shake it all up.
The company made waves recently when it acquired IGN’s own download service, known as Direct2Drive. GameFly hasn’t done too much with it, though, until now – with its new push into the download market. Tentatively called “Unlimited PC Play”, the new service will offer access of 100+ games (at launch, with titles unknown) to GameFly’s subscriber base.
Currently, GameFly’s plans are limited to getting console titles through the mail on disc, similar to the way Netflix built its empire by mailing out DVDs. The new system, however, promises to bring PC (and Mac!) gamers into the fold – GameFly hopes to rapidly expand the title count before the end of the year.
Unlike Netflix, however, don’t expect the company to switch its priorities entirely to the digital side of things – co-founder Sean Spector told Joystiq that, “We currently have no plans to offer a digital only subscription, as we believe the real value to gamers and our members is our unique combination of console and digital PC game offerings.”
There’s no word yet on whether current subscribers can expect a surcharge to gain access to the service, or whether GameFly expects to make up the costs by bringing new subscribers (mainly PC, and some Mac) gamers into the fold. We’ll be able to find out next month, when the company plans on launching the new platform in a limited beta on September 8th. If you’re in the San Francisco area, you can check it out at a pre-release party – if you attend, you’ll score a beta code both for you and a friend.
Everyone else will just have to wait. Go ahead and sign up at their current beta site to put in your e-mail address. If you’re lucky, you just might score access on your own.