YAHOO! TO LAUNCH
VIDEO GAME SERVICE
Copyright 2002 Yahoo! Press Release
[ September 22nd 2002 ]
latest move to generate revenue outside online
advertising, Internet portal Yahoo! is launching
a fee-based service Monday that lets users download
and play videogames on demand. The service will
offer well-known titles that can be rented for
a few days or weeks at a time and run as if the
CD-ROM were bought at a store and popped into
the personal computer, said Daniel Hart, Yahoo's
senior director of games and entertainment.
of the data required to run each game is streamed
to the PC over the Internet before the game is
started for the first time. The program then runs
off the hard drive, downloading additional files
as needed. It expires at the end of the rental
period. "It's a full-screen, rich audiovisual
experience - exactly like a CD from a store,"
Hart said. Other Internet gaming sites typically
offer programs that were developed in the Java
programming language or run through the Flash
service is scheduled to launch early Monday with
prices ranging from $4.95 for the rental of one
game for three days to $14.95 for the rental of
10 games for 30 day. About 40 games - including
Grand Theft Auto 2, Skate Park Tycoon, Tomb Raider
Chronicles and Backyard Basketball - will be available.
a game is selected, users must download a large
file - up to 200 megabytes. The so-called "precaching"
file remains on the computer, so subsequent starts
of the same title are faster. The new service
only works on Windows-based personal computers
with high-speed Internet connections. Sunnyvale,
Calif.-based Yahoo has been launching numerous
fee-based services since the collapse of the advertising
market that supported the dreams of most dot-coms
during the boom years.