GameFly, the video game rental service, announced that it’s taking the plunge into the all-you-can-play video game subscription market. In May it acquired Direct2Drive and now it plans to launch the “Unlimited PC Play” beta on September 8th at an event in Los Angeles.
The GameFly downloadable client shown in the video looks very similar to Valve’s Steam service application may PC gamers are accustomed to. It’s a digital shelf of games organized into categories with news and other related media. The one social feature shown is a news feed of posts and game invites from friends or other players. Current GameFly members might appreciate the ability to view available games and organize your GameQ from inside the application.
Joystiq spoke to GameFly co-founder Sean Spector and learned some details about the beta and the game selection that will be available.
“We’re talking to all publishers about participating. Several have been signed, but we’re not announcing at this time… In the ‘Unlimited PC Play’ portion for GameFly subscribers, we expect to have over a hundred titles available for the beta launch, but we’ll be adding to the list constantly and should have hundreds at the time of our holiday launch.”
In comparison, OnLive currently offers over 130 games and 70+ are included in the all-you-can-play Playpack Bundle at a cost of $9.99 per month. OnLive also doesn’t require downloads or installs and can be played on the OnLive microconsole as well as a Mac, PC and maybe soon even iPads. Also important to consider is that OnLive’s service is very similar, but without the hardware costs and requirements. All the customer needs is a solid internet connection (not always a simple ask) and they’re good to go. OnLive also has original features that allows the players to watch their friends or other players play their games in real-time or create short clips of game play to show off called Brag Videos.
Unlike Netflix, GameFly expects its customers to continue using optical media and will not offer “Unlimited PC Play” subscriptions on its own. Spector:
“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.”
It’s surprising that Sean thinks all PC gamers are console gamers. The issue could be that they won’t be able to compete on price for PC games but as an bonus feature to their console game renters it will be appealing.
Check out the GameFly application in action in their promotional video below:
Unlimited PC Play is set to launch its beta on September 8th, 2011. For more details or to sign up for more details in the GameFly newsletter you can head to the official site.