Close Look at Gametap

by Jen McPherson on November 7, 2005 in Gaming

GameTap is a new application that boasts a hoard of video games for the biggest of gaming enthusiasts, with many old and new game titles from multiple platforms and systems. It promises all the games in their original formats, total old school glory, and you can access the GameTap network right from your desktop, all in one. GameTap also promises new game releases often, new content and original programing for their MediaPlex within the GameTap software. Itching for some old school gaming? Then lets dive right in!

Page 3 – Interview Cont. and Conclusions

Jen McPherson: Will GameTap ever be functional with a dial-up connection or is it going to stay strictly high speed users?

Rick Sanchez: GameTap is currently focused on the broadband market since it is the optimum medium for experiencing the array of content GameTap offers in the manner in which it was designed. At its heart, GameTap truly is a “Broadband” network and all of our video programming and game selections are made with that in mind.

Jen McPherson: How often will new titles be introduced? Will there be online game options for online multi-player, or other MMO’s available later? Can subscribers request game titles to be added?

Rick Sanchez: New titles will be introduced on a weekly basis every Thursday. We are working towards online multi-player, but it is not a part of the current network. In terms of subscriber requests, GameTap has been actively courting the publishers of all the best content, so if it’s a decent game, chances are it will end up on our service.

Thank you Mr. Sanchez for answering my questions, it is very much appreciated.

Conclusion & Observations

From what I’ve seen GameTap boasts a huge assortment of games that is only going to grow with time. The service is geared towards broadband only, which can be a bit of a disappointment to those who’d really like this application. Yet with its features I can see why it is broadband only, and so don’t see this as a negative factor. The actual program is easy to use and navigate, with a nice layout and good design.

I only have two complaints about the actual GameTap application. First is the slow loading times for PC titles. Yes, they state in their FAQ that it can take a while, and why, but it is still a bit of a disappointment to wait so long. You can wait up to 40 minutes or so, even longer, for a game to load up, and for some of us who like to play a quick game… it isn’t a plus. You can tab out of the GameTap program, which saved me on staring at the MediaPlex that at this time doesn’t have a huge assortment of content. It is a great feature though, and so playing it up more in the future would be great for those long loading times.

My second dislike was that there is no current way to assign keyboard controls or configure your controller within GameTap. This feature alone may turn people off, like it did me when I couldn’t use my Logitech Precision joy pad. An update by GameTap fixed that compatibility issue, but the buttons were assigned weird, and there was no way to change it. Yet I have been assured that this feature is being worked on, and hopefully will be implemented soon.

For kids or adults GameTap offers many games across a broad range of platforms, that can sedate the casual gamer to the old school junkie. Not only that, but you can sign up now, and play over 300 games on GameTap for two weeks free. After the trial period GameTap is $14.95/ month… which at this time I think is steep, considering that the average MMORPG costs that much, and with the minimal content it holds it just doesn’t feel worth that much. Its also only available for US residents.

So if your itching to find the chaos emeralds and beat Dr. Robotnic in Sonic the Hedge Hog, or play an fun round of ‘leap over the crock pond’ in Pitfall, then this service is surely worth a try. The subscription fee just kills my inner child though. Maybe you would find it worth the fee, so I’d suggest trying it out and seeing for yourself.

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