Gamasutra reports that GameStop's cloud gaming service, which is now slated to arrive in 2013, won't support consoles as originally planned. Instead it will support the PC, tablet and Smart TV platforms -- so far there's no mention of its status on high-end phones.
The games retailer purchased Spawn Labs in early 2011, and soon after announced its plans to provide a service rivaling OnLive and perhaps even Gaikai (although the latter isn't a subscription-based service). Talk of supporting both the PC and console platforms has been central to its cloud service push since the beginning, and there was even talk that the game streaming platform would arrive this year.
But now it's August 2012, and a national private beta has pushed the company to support only the PC, tablet and Smart TV form factors. Even more, the service is now slated to launch next year, giving the company more time to negotiate with developers and publishers.
"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," said GameStop president Tony Bartel during a conference call with investors on Thursday morning.
New consoles. There's a good chance GameStop doesn't want to tinker with the current generation because Microsoft and Sony are expected to dish out new hardware next year. That said, GameStop may return to the console sector with its cloud platform, but only after the new consoles hit store shelves.
Another prohibitive factor may be the publishers and console makers themselves, not wanting gamers to move away from physical media just yet. GameStop may have also hit a roadblock in dealing with Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, or the console makers may have wanted too much in licensing fees.
Just recently Sony announced the acquisition of Gaikai, and will likely offer new and older titles for the current and next-gen consoles. Microsoft will likely provide its own cloud solution with the launch of Xbox Infinity next year.