GameStop porting game-streaming Spawn Player to Android devices
by James Ransom-Wiley on Apr 28th 2011 6:30PM
GameStop is wasting little time expanding the scope of Spawn Labs, its newly minted "cloud gaming division." A recent job listing for the company seeks a senior software engineer to be "responsible for the development and maintenance of our Player software on Android tablets and smartphones." (Additional job postings are for key roles in the division, which is also looking to port the Spawn Player app to Linux-based systems.)
Upon announcing the acquisition of the game-streaming tech outfit late last month, GameStop laid out a clear goal: "Once the Spawn Labs integration and testing on a new consumer interface is complete, users will have immediate access to a wide selection of high-definition video games on demand on any internet-enabled device." Android phones and tablets (and Linux systems) would appear to be next on the checklist, but what about iOS devices?
"Getting the audio and video onto the iPhone or iPad is not too hard," Spawn Labs' David Wilson pointed out in the community forums (some months ago). "Getting game control in a way that works for console games is hard -- but only because Apple controls both the physical and Bluetooth interfaces to the device." In response to a followup question, he added, "Yes, Android is more within our control than the iPhone."
While Spawn Labs has operated as a sort of "Slingbox for gaming," with its Spawn HD-720 box providing the technology to stream your game consoles' content to a computer, GameStop appears to be angling to cast a much wider net -- not just to stream your console games on more devices, but to sell you new games to stream on more devices. The retail giant has also scooped up a digital distribution platform in Impulse, which would seem just the thing to provide that "wide selection of high-definition video games on demand" -- just as soon as Spawns Labs' "new consumer interface is complete," of course. (Muahahahahaha!)