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Friday, September 08, 2006

Game Break Explores Subscription-Based Video Game Services

In 1996 there was Sega Channel; This video is a commercial for it...

(vid via trynot2laugh)

In 2006 we have GameTap; In this video, Christopher Grant(Joystiq) interviews David Reed(GameTap)...

Two videos, top one is a Sega Channel commercial, bottom one is a Joystiq interview with GameTap. Why did I post them both?

First some background on , Sega Channel. I've never even heard of Sega Channel, according to Wikipedia; "Sega Channel was a project developed by Sega for the 16-bit Sega Genesis console. Starting in 1994, Sega Channel service was provided to the public by Time Warner Cable and TCI Inc., which later was acquired by the old AT&T during its cable acquisition spree that formed AT&T Broadband."

"For a monthly subscription fee (usually $14.95 depending on where you were located), along with a $25 activation fee, the subscriber would get an adapter, which plugged into the Genesis cartridge slot, and was connected to their cable television connection. The service would provide them with unlimited access to 50 games, selectable through an on-screen menu, with new games appearing every month and later every 2 weeks. The games would be downloaded in about 1 minute and play just like the retail versions."

"To provide Sega Channel, a cable company would need to install new equipment into their head end, integrate service authorization into their sales center, and purchase the game adapters. Game adapters were manufactured by Scientific Atlanta and General Instruments with a cost to the cable operators of approximately $100 per unit."

"Sega Channel ultimately failed due to the retirement of the Sega Genesis game platform and the difficult economics for the cable operators. The service ended in June of 1997." Ahead of it's time perhaps?

Now lets tackle the second video. It's a Joystiq interview with GameTap, I've heard of GameTap, you probably have to, but just in case, for more deets visit Wikipedia.

Now to answer the question, Why did I post them both? I guess I posted the two videos together, 'cause I wasn't sure how to use the Sega Channel commercial, until I saw the GameTap interview. Then as I was about to begin the post a couple things caught my eye; the years 1996 and 2006. Seems 10 years(give or take a year, heh heh) would pass before someone would try another subscription-based video game service.

This attempt by GameTap seems to have gotten it right, I found the Joystiq interview very interesting, I especially like the format, visual. 'cause Walter don't like reading. Reading confuses Walter.

I've heard nothing but positive things about GameTap, and was lookin' for a way to post something on the service. Well a found two, Sega Channel failed, but GameTap seems to be off to a good start. What a difference 10 years and Ted Turner make.

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