GameTap, Turner Broadcasting System's broadband-only video game entertainment network, will offer 300 games from 24 publishers along with original programing created specifically for the subscription service, which bows today.
GameTap general manager Stuart Snyder said that initial testing and market research had gone well. "Now we're ready to take GameTap to a mainstream audience," he said. "The game community, and for that matter the Internet itself, has never seen anything like it."
Consumers download a small software application and pay $14.95 a month for unlimited access from as many two household computers to GameTap's catalog of games and other content.
Initial original programing will include a selection of shorts along with regular shows such as the celebrity lifestyle magazine "Fame & Game"; the game spotlight "Tapped In"; and a revival of the animated cult favorite "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" tailored for GameTap's subscribers.
"To reach GameTap's broad audience spanning novice to expert gamers, we've created a lineup that features something for everyone, from how-to's with a twist to insider looks at how celebrities play games," GameTap vp content Rick Sanchez said.
Turner first revealed GameTap in April, describing the broadband service as a first-of-its-kind immersive environment for games. TBS vp product invention Blake Lewin said cable operators are supportive because it gives consumers another reason to get high-speed broadband, and publishers like it because it gives them a new revenue window in their products' life cycle.
The games available on the service are refreshed every week from titles originally played on arcades, PC and consoles -- including the Sega Genesis and Dreamcast, Atari 2600 and Intellivision.
Once selected, each title displays an "InfoCard" that includes original release year, platform, publisher, description, screen shot and bonus material, which can include classic commercials and original Turner programing.
Activision, Atari, Eidos Interactive, G-Mode, Intellivision Lives, Midway, Namco, SEGA, TAITO, Team 17, Ubisoft and Vivendi Universal Games are among the publishers who have licensed titles to GameTap.