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Downloads next wave in PC gaming

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN JOSE – Walk into any store that sells or rents video games, and chances are you’ll find only a few shelves, if any, for personal computer games amid the aisles dominated by console software. The PC still has a solid future as a gaming machine given the rising popularity of games played online – for both casual games such as “Tetris” and such intricate multiplayer games as “World of Warcraft.” But the way in which people get their games is getting a makeover as game makers experiment with online distribution as an alternative to boxed CD-ROMs. Some companies are even betting that PC gaming is on the cusp of a download revolution, much like its counterparts in music and video. “It’s just another evolution of retail commerce of what in the end is a digital product,” said Jamie Berger, general manager at IGN Entertainment. IGN owns Direct2Drive, one of a growing number of online stores for downloadable PC games. At its inception in September 2004, only four game publishers were on board, selling about 25 older titles. Today, the Web site carries about 130 games from 44 publishers, including titles released the same day they hit physical store shelves. While refusing to disclose specific figures, Berger said sales and traffic to the store have tripled every month. Meanwhile, Electronic Arts Inc.’s Pogo.com, Comcast Corp. and Yahoo Inc. are offering games-on-demand services in which computer users buy subscriptions to access and download PC games, ranging from “Scrabble” to “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.” As more households get high-speed Internet connections, downloads become more practical. Downloading games can take anywhere from just a few seconds to a few hours, depending on the file size.last_img read more