Via Next Gen, Alienware (maker of gaming PCs) has launched a digital download store for games. Similar stores and services are becoming increasingly common, though this is (to my knowledge) the first hardcore offering made by a company outside the entertainment/media industry. A very interesting attempt by Alienware to build a closer relationship with its customers (and make some extra cash in the process).
I was particularly impressed by the availability of recently-released, popular games such as FEAR, Civ 4, and King Kong. You don’t normally see titles like those offered by a digital 3rd party portal.
And speaking of digital distribution, I stumbled onto the Game xStream service, a competitor to Valve’s Steam that one-ups it by enabling gameplay within minutes of initiating a download. The service attracted press several months back, and just raked in a second round of funding.
PS. Unrelated news of interest: someone’s selling real products (PC hardware) for virtual bucks in Second Life, and E3 appears to be forbidding scantily-clad booth-babes this year.
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