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The Beauty That is GameTap 38

We've already discussed the Evils of GameTap, so it seemed only fair to talk about what makes GameTap so good. Gamers With Jobs' Julian Murdoch talks about how the GameTap system 'revolutionizes' the 90-minute gaming session ... all for the cost of a single console game. From the article: "The act of browsing in and of itself is a powerful, positive experience. I go to my local bookstore not just to buy books, but to drink black coffee and wander around the aisles, reading a page of that, a chapter of this. Gametap brings this experience to gaming, and it's uniquely suited for the ADD gamer with too much to do, and not enough time. Sure, I own a lot of Gametap's library already -- they sit out there on the shelves, their ROMs rest peacefully on servers 30 feet away in the furnace room. But I can't surf them. "
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The Beauty That is GameTap

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  • I still don't play many games...
  • Ah yes, the sweet guilty pleasure of surfing an ever growing heap of crappy games that were crappy when they were new and somehow seem to stink even more as they age and decay. Such the deal. Sign me up where? I'll pass thanks. I think I am much more likely to enjoy surfing my collection of Steam games that are actually worth spending 90 minutes of my valuable time playing. :-)
    • by radarjd ( 931774 )
      sweet guilty pleasure of surfing an ever growing heap of crappy games that were crappy when they were new and somehow seem to stink even more as they age and decay

      I actually really enjoyed Gametap. Besides Sam & Max, there's most of the King's Quest series, most of the Space Quest series, most of Ultima (the good ones, anyway), Civ 3, Far Cry, Altered Beast, Baldur's Gate I & II, Icewind Dale I & II, Planescape: Torment, Castlevania I-III, Prince of Persia, Contra, and the list goes on.


      • I know my original remark was overstated but it was based on the fact that well over half of the games offered there and by similar services such as my ISP Verizon's own online games service, are all junk. There's no denying there are some gems in the mix but the problem is there is so much filler with games you would never want to waste your time on and that's what I object to. I think this sort of thing could be great if it featured a far better and richer selection of current and even classic games such
      • As soon as you mentioned King's Quest and Space Quest and Prince of Persia... I'm signing up this weekend.
  • ... was the ability to rent games for so much per month. I get a game, play it for a bit, if I like it, I keep it longer as I can keep it as long as I want. If not, I send it back. And if a game has real merit, I buy it eventually. It's certainly made me less tolerant of crappy games because I don't feel obliged to play it as I haven't bought it.
  • Gametap has the ability to make old/obsolete games the source of revenue. If these old titles are percieved to have monetary value, they will put more pressure on the emulator community.

    • by nickos ( 91443 )
      Excellent point - MOD UP please!
    • And why is that a bad thing? Gametap hired several emulator developers and are using their work to play Genesis, Gamegear/SMS, Neogeo and Arcade games through their service.

      When Nintendo first announced the Virtual Console for the Wii I had starry eyed dreams of them having a subscription model which would allow access to their entire back catalog for $5/month. Sadly it will cost that for a single game on the Virtual Console. With Gametap's recent 1/2 promotion getting a year of access for $60 was well w
      • If it puts a more professional focus on emulators, why the heck not. OK, so now you have to pay (what is probably not an overly large amount) for the emulator/games. If the company who is being emulated produces the emulator (and therefore has a lot better access to internal code, specs, etc) you are going to end up having a better product, and in the end somebody is probably getting paid for the development work.

        End result, a few more jobs, a better product, and slightly higher cost.
  • Well, I was SOO happy when I read the positive reviews for the new Sam & Max game, I went over to Gametap with the intention of signing up immediately, only to be met by "Your IP number says you are from Europe. This service is for US customers only. Sorry".

    Why, oh why, do you set up a online delivery system and deliberately design your system to exclude potential customers? Do they get a kick out of pissing me off? Is my money not good enough?

    You can of course go through a web proxy to hide your IP adr
    • Yeah. I wonder why that is, though. Probably due to legal issues/taxes or something like that?
      Anyway, it's November the 1st so S&M: Culture Shock is now available (or should be, anyway) from Telltale's website: []
    • by Zonk ( 12082 ) *
      I think Telltale games are going to sell the boxed game themselves later, so I will wait for that.
      It's certainly not outside of the realm of possibility, but so far the only information I've heard about accessing Sam and Max is 1.) Gametap or 2.) Directly from the Telltale site.

      Now, once the entire series is released they'd be crazy not to do a boxed version; just wanted to warn you that it might be a while before you see that.
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      From what I can tell, it is merely legalities. Different countries have different software import laws. Gametap is launching in the UK soon, and has just launched in Canada. They are feeling a LOT of pressure from the Sam & Max and Uru Live (Myst Online) communities. They already have plans to sell JUST Uru Live to Europe for the same price as a Gametap account, and once they have launched in Europe, that subscription will also include the rest of Gametap. I subscribed when they were having the hal
      • by afidel ( 530433 )
        It's about legalities, but not the kind you point out. It's about contract law. Distributors usually have a contract to do retail distribution in one or more geographical areas such as North America, Europe, etc. Allowing online distribution worldwide would interfere with that system and would honk off those who purchased exclusive distribution rights for a game over their area. I think that going forward the most likely solution is for those negotiations to include a rider for online distribution and that
  • The GameTap interface was just SO BAD I couldn't stand it. They spent too much time trying to be clever with the UI, and it's bascially unusable:
    • Annoying intro video
    • GameTap TV Videos that play with no way to tell them "Don't play any video", even when simply launching a game.
    • No way to see the whole list of games available, you need to spin through their "ring" interface.
    • Interface as a whole is graphically terrible

    I had actually paid for a subscription, based on the news of "Sam & Max" and "Uru", but af

    • You can browse a list of games through []
      • by g051051 ( 71145 )
        Duh. But why would I want to go to a whole separate location just to look at hte list of games? The client obviously has them all, it just doesn't have a way of displaying them in a useful manner.
    • by Mondoz ( 672060 )
      I had this service for a several months. I started with a free 2 month trial from somewhere.
      At first, it was cool to play the really old Pitfall-era games.
      However, as soon as I started playing the more recent games, I started having lots of problems. The application would crash, games would fail to start, some large games insisted on re-downloading every time I wanted to play them (the 'correct' behavior was to cache these games to have them available immediately after the first download.)

      A pleasant surpr
      • by nuzak ( 959558 )
        Another month later and even more frustration from the very few attempts I made to actually use the service anymore, I called again to cancel. This time I was firm, took no prisoners, and was able to cancel after a mere half hour of repeating "No, I really want to cancel" to the customer service brick wall.

        They're owned by AOL Time Warner. That would explain it. You might want to make sure they're not still billing you.

      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        This time I was firm, took no prisoners, and was able to cancel after a mere half hour of repeating "No, I really want to cancel" to the customer service brick wall.

        This tactic by service companies suck, but the easy away around it is to state in absolute, clear terms that you want to cancel your account (which you did), and then hang up the phone. If they don't cancel your account call your credit card company and they will reverse the charges. The merchant gets hit with a small fee when this happen

        • by Mondoz ( 672060 )
          I had no idea you could do that.
          How does that work exactly?
          My CC company will care if I tell them I said "cancel my account" and hang up?
          This sounds great, if my CC company doesn't laugh at me for doing it...
          • by Raenex ( 947668 )

            I had no idea you could do that. How does that work exactly?

            What if there was a fraudulent charge on your card? Would you pay for it? No, you would call your credit card company and they would reverse the charges. What if you ordered an item online, but it never showed up? Guess what, you can call your credit card company about that too. What if you called to cancel your account, but the merchant refused to do so? Right again, you can get those charges reversed as well.

            My CC company will care

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually I signed up for Gametap 2 weeks ago and have found it to be a great deal so far. The price was $9.95 for the first month, with the second month free. While I have little interest in playing a lot of the older console games (sports games on the Atari 2600?), others such as Golden Axe I-III and Altered Beast have immense retro appeal. I doubt anyone can argue that Black Tiger, Crazy Taxi and Joust (to name a few) are 'crappy games no one bought the first time'.

    Of course the collection of mainly ol
  • Gametap and its ilk scare me. A lot of businesses are trying to blur the lines between "owning" and "renting" and that's something I don't support. Virtually every media company in the world has wet dreams about the day that they never SELL anything. That there are no "fair use" rights to music or movies. That they can shut down your OS if you haven't upgraded it recently. That your game collection can be wiped out by a failure to pay your monthly bill.

    People rejected this exact same model of getting

  • Anyone try GameTap with WINE? How's it work? It'd be great to get this going on Linux.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!