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In May this year GOG announced their new universal Galaxy 2.0 launcher. Many nerds have long complained about the growing number of launchers and friend lists every publisher seems to want us to use. I personally have purchases on literally every major platform, including Uplay, GOG, Steam, The Microsoft store, Epic, Origin, and Rockstar, as I’m quite cost sensitive. I’ve never cared all that much about the need for a variety of launchers, but I think it’s safe to say that most of you do. That being said, even with my relative apathy, I was still quite interested in this new launcher.
Some repeats exist, but usually due to playing a game on multiple platforms or having installed a demo
Promising essentially the One Launcher To Rule Them All (I think literally everyone who talks about this thing is obligated to use this phrase), Galaxy 2.0 incorporates a variety of other stores directly into the GOG launcher, including game art, leader-boards, and friend activity. Microsoft has worked with GOG to officially integrate the Xbox Live platform with Galaxy 2.0, including Xbox One support. No other company has approved an “official integration” yet, and I’m skeptical if others will, given that Microsoft has become almost uniquely open as a platform owner. There are “community integrations” allowing access to the platforms. By default, Epic, Origin, Playstation Network, Steam, and Uplay are included to be setup, but GOG says that other communities will be able to be added and it’ll be releasing the documentation for anyone to add whatever community they’d like.
Sadly, I go through life without a Playstation Network account
So after signing up for the beta, it was time to wait. Installation was quick, as was signing into each ecosystem, as you just type in your details to a browser window that opens for each one. As would be entirely expected, you are required to have the actual store/platform apps installed, though you can then largely manage them right in GOG without a need to open them again. Games can be sorted based on which store they’re through, or you can have them aggregated into one giant list. You can install/uninstall games in other platforms and clicking on a game from any platform gives you a tasteful full screen overview of your play length, achievements, and details about the game. It’s quite well done, and in my opinion, generally looks quite a bit nicer than Steams UI.
Not terribly information dense, but does the job and looks attractive
At this point Friend chat isn’t functioning, so there’s not much I can say about that feature. Galaxy 2.0 offers to import your Facebook friends and match them up with their GOG accounts, just in case you needed that. GOG expects to have the full friend integration rolled out in the reasonably near future, however.
All in all this looks quite promising, and even though it does require the installation of these other programs, you have very little need to interact with them, particularly once the cross-platform friend integration goes live. I’m going to keep this beta installed, as even at this early stage it has made my gaming less complicated. Look forward to a wider release in the near future or checkout the beta signup page.