In the past year or so, we’ve seen the cloud gaming market being assaulted by numerous companies that are knee-deep in the gaming industry, much in the way that the tablet market was assaulted (unfortunately, with limited success) by numerous companies knee-deep in the consumer electronics industry. We’ve talked about OnLive and Gaikai (recently bought by Sony) as the two most important cloud gaming networks, as well as about Nvidia’s plans to release its Nvidia GPU Grid. But during the past couple of months nothing especially interesting has surfaced, so I’m reporting on yet another soon-to-be-released cloud gaming service: GameStop’s Spawn.
Some of you might not be surprised by this: when GameStop acquired Spawn Labs (a company that specializes in streaming technology) back in early 2011, the retailer was not shy of officially announcing its intention to take on the cloud gaming market at some point in 2012. It also casually said it would support both PCs and consoles. But unfortunately, to those that are just dying to try out GameStop’s cloud gaming solution this year, it looks like the Spawn network won’t be released until next year. In addition, the overly-ambitious company has also announced that the Spawn cloud gaming service will not make it to consoles, probably due to the unfeasible investment costs required to make that happen. Instead, the service will be available only on PCs, tablets and online-connected TVs.
While the real reasons might lurk somewhere in the dark side of the corporate universe, here’s an official statement from Tony Bartel (GameStop president) explaining the situation:
“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. Customers tell us that they prefer to leverage cloud gaming to power their mobile occasions, and we are in active conversations with publishers and developers to leverage our patented game virtualization technology to deliver hundreds of games to PCs, tablets, and connected TVs. We expect to launch this new service in the summer of 2013.”
What do you guys think? Are you annoyed that GameStop Spawn won’t make it to consoles, or is it all the same to you? Drop a comment in the section below and share a thought!