Amazon opens download service for casual games

After striking a blow at iTunes with Amazon MP3 in late 2007, Amazon has now taken its first step into the brave new world of digital game distribution. Rather than compete with Valve’s Steam service head-on, though, Amazon has decided to start small: the Game Downloads section on the Amazon website includes only casual PC games priced at $9.99 or less.

Amazon’s selection includes over 600 games, from classics like Risk to more obscure titles with names you’ve probably never heard of before. The Amazon Games & Software Downloader is a requirement for game downloads, and Amazon offers free, limited trials of all available titles.

Judging by what Amazon Video Games and Software VP Greg Hart told Kotaku this morning, casual games are only a first step, however. Hart says casual games naturally fit Amazon’s demographic, but he adds, “We always want to offer the widest selection possible, just like we’ve done with our boxed games over the past two years.” (Thanks to Shacknews for the tip.)

Comments closed
    • Delphis
    • 11 years ago

    I saw this on ‘another site’ yesterday and someone pointed out that ‘good old games’ (gog.com) is an alternative that has no DRM or anything like that on the games. Even those are spendy for what they are (IMHO).

      • Voldenuit
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah, but at least GOG specialises in classics and underdog games. And with no DRM, they will last forever.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    Steam likely doesn’t have every game because it costs money to tool these games for steam rollout, and to support them [again]g{<.<}g

    • Thanato
    • 11 years ago

    They have for a limited time three free games. But it requires you to install their downloader just to download the games. I’m not really a fan of stuff like as it’s most likely just spyware crap.

    • PRIME1
    • 11 years ago

    These seem a bit expensive. A lot of these are the types of games that you buy for $10 on a disc with 20 games on it.

    Considering Steam had Bioshock for $10 around the holiday, they may need to tweak their prices a bit.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Actually Bioshock was $5 during holiday saleg{<.<}g

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 11 years ago

      It just started. I bet it will be loaded with all sorts of older, great games that are hard to find or not sold at all anymore.

      It’s a good idea, so long as everyone jumps on board. I don’t know what in the world the problem is with the slow uptake on these sorts of things. I would have thought the Wii Virtual Console would have 1,000 games, and Steam would have every PC game ever made. It’s not like this isn’t the way things are going to work for everything in the future, or that they’re making any money off of old games by letting them sit around and collect dust.

      • Voldenuit
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed, they’re not worth more than $4.99, if that.

      Then again, Amazon had the audacity to charge $350 for the Kindle (and let’s not even get into the DRM and proprietary file format).

    • jstern
    • 11 years ago

    I’m so tired of these terms hardcore gamer and casual gamer. Particular when I saw a guy playing Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Kart Wii bragging about how he’s a casual gamer because he was playing those games. I guess my problem in that situation is how in early to mid 2006 he would have just been a gamer, but some people are such idiots for buss words, that if they play Metroid Prime 3 they would consider themselves a casual gamer, just because it happens to be for the Wii. I play GTA IV about twice a month, doesn’t that qualify me as a casual gamer.

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      I dunno, there’s a pretty clear difference between someone who buys games like Crysis, BioShock, and Call of Duty and plays games online with a headset over ventrillo, and someone who plays The Sims and plays once every couple weeks. I think the terms are pretty well justified, but indeed, I wish we saw the simple all-inclusive ‘gamer’ group more.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        What about people that spend 20-30 hours a week playing The Sims? My wife fell into that category at one time.

          • coldpower27
          • 11 years ago

          Hardcore casual gamer 🙂

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