The online arm of major U.S. video games retail conglomerate GameStop and EB Games has launched a new digital distribution program for PC games called Download Now.
The service currently offers 1,025 individual titles for download across a variety of genres. While the majority of the available titles include more causal releases such as Idigicon's 3D MiniGolf and PopCap Games' popular Bejeweled Deluxe, the service also offers more mainstream releases such as Majesco's Advent Rising and 2K Games' Civilization IV.
The Download Now service allows users to select the game they wish to purchase, which will then be downloaded to their PC's hard drive following the transaction. In addition, some titles are also offering free trial downloads, allowing users to try out their potential purchases before deciding to buy.
Digital distribution services for full-sized PC games continue to grow. Other competing or similar services for the PC marketplace include Valve's Steam 'content delivery system', as well as game subscription download services such as Stardock's TotalGaming.net and Paradox's Gamers Gate portal.
This latest move by the online retail chain echoes predictions made in June by analyst firm Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian, who noted at that time that brick-and-mortar shops could play a significant role in the marketplace by offering their own game download service, or selling cards that could be used for micro-purchases online.