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xStream re-christened ‘Triton’

Steam competitor preps for launch :: April 23rd, 2006 :: Other services :: 21 Responses (Feed)

Attentive reader Sarkie has spotted the new brand name and website for DiStream‘s Steam competitor, formerly known as Game xStream, in the newly released Prey Super Trailer.

The trailer ends with an advert for downloading the game through Triton, and provides a link to www.playtriton.com, an address registered to DiStream, with whom Prey producers 3D Realms and developers Human Head last year signed a distribution contract, and clearly a part of Game xStream’s pre-launch re-branding.

The site currently consists of a Coming Soon message and a flash video player of the logos of four games, providing our first hint of Triton‘s launch titles:

Prey creature
Prey has the weight of the entire Triton platform on its shoulders. [Full image]

While the list covers a wide range of titles, the fact that DiStream are advertising their service with such low-key (save Prey) games does not bode well. It gets worse: Air Raid‘s Metacritic score is 39, Armies of Exigo‘s is a slightly more respectable 69, and Battle of Europe isn’t even listed (Prey is currently unreleased). In the fact the sole consolation that can be taken away from the scores is that the games’ respective pannings have not been unanimous.

Prey now has to not only compete with Half-Life 2 as the face that launches a new digital distribution platform, but also take up the slack of an otherwise mediocre launch line-up, discounting any aces up DiStream’s collective sleeve that they are not yet playing.

While derision will likely be the general reaction to this news, it is important to remember that fair competition is always beneficial. It drives customer service, lowers prices, improves products and creates a better market for everyone. If xStream can’t deliver, Steam will retain its quasi-monopoly over heavy-duty, connected digital distribution for some time to come.

Three new games have appeared on the Triton website:

These new figures add one new Made By Kiddies title alongside Air Raid: This Is No Drill!, and two new Strategy First titles. Perhaps SF have a deal after all?

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21 Responses to this post:

0 Comments

  1. hahnchen Says:

    I really don’t think it’s that bleak an outlook. For one, they now have a proper name. Prey is definitely going to get some people onto their platform. And have they managed to get one up on Valve by managing to snatch up a Strategy First title?

  2. Tom Edwards Says:

    And have they managed to get one up on Valve by managing to snatch up a Strategy First title?

    I thought about mentioning that, but the chances are it’s not that important. SF probably didn’t have much to do with it: they are an indie publisher after all, and don’t have as much control over their devs as the big names.

    Armies of Exigo is different, though. EA won’t be using their Downloader service as it’s only designed to provide expansions to retail games, but actually going out and permitting a third party to distribute would suggest some form of partnership. One-offs aren’t EA’s style…

  3. Andy Simpson Says:

    Steam’s non-Valve portfolio isn’t entirely stellar either. At the moment at least. It’s better than that line-up, though. It’ll be interesting to see what competition will mean for Steam. If Triton’s tech turns out to be superior, it will really make Valve have to pull up their collective socks.

  4. Tom Edwards Says:

    Steam’s non-Valve portfolio isn’t entirely stellar either.

    I don’t think I agree with that. The only game up there right now I wouldn’t describe as at least ‘good’ is Earth 2160, and even that is supposed to have some decent gameplay once you get past the guff. They are niche, sure, but that doesn’t make them good or bad.

  5. Andy Simpson Says:

    True. But to get digital distribution to really take off as a mainstream thing is to get mainstream games on it. Steam is so big today because it was bootstrapped on the back of CS and HL2. It’s Steam’s competitive advantage over pretty much anything so far, a pretty big slice of the PC gaming population has had it installed at least once. And the mainstream audience can only be a good thing for getting the niche games out.

    I know personally I wouldn’t have gone to the effort to hunt out and buy a copy of Darwinia unless Steam had made it so easy. And I’ve got Steam because of CS and HL2.

  6. Fuzzy Says:

    Yeah, I don’t really agree with the article here either. I see that both Steam and Triton are both in the same kind of situation; 1 massive developer and a collection of indy devs.

  7. Tom Edwards Says:

    The difference I was trying to point out was one of quality.

  8. DiSTuRbEd Says:

    Great now I’ll be getting confused when people say Triton on AIM, doh. I still want to see how this platform will work, after a year or 2 of silence.

  9. Andy Simpson Says:

    Indeed. Steam was rocky for the release of HL2, and it had been tried on such massive scales twice before, for the releases of CS:CZ and the public release of CS 1.6, so who knows how Triton will fare with its first major launch ever?

  10. hahnchen Says:

    Is anyone actually going to get Prey? Cause I just think it looks shit, another Doom3/Quake4 same-a-thon. Apart from the gravity weirdness and portalarity that’s sure to fuck with some minds, it really just looks like a generic “really grotesque monster shooting gallery 5”.

  11. Tom Edwards Says:

    Grotesque monster shooting gallery maybe, but I wouldn’t call it generic. Did you not watch the trailer I linked to? It’s an incredibly imaginative setting.

  12. hahnchen Says:

    Tom, totally irrelevent to this post. But I can no longer access the comments by clicking on the comments button on the main page. I’m using the slim theme, and have cleared my cache. You can delete this message.

  13. RP Says:

    2 things:

    1. Atm STEAM’s games line-up is still much better than xStream (Triton) with games like HL,CS (still most popular fps online game), DoD and thier Source versions, and offcourse HL2 (and EP1 coming soon), and SiN which I belive will score something around 85+.

      And even thier indie games are quality ones with Darwinia (prolly the most succesfull indie game in the last 2-3 years)and RO:OS.

      It’ll be really hard for xStream to match up with this, especially if 3Drealms aren’t going to change the speed of thier title release times πŸ˜›

    2. Indeed. Steam was rocky for the release of HL2, and it had been tried on such massive scales twice before, for the releases of CS:CZ and the public release of CS 1.6, so who knows how Triton will fare with its first major launch ever?

      Biggest problem imo, STEAM was tested for almost a year before releasing the first title (CS 1.6), and almost two years before releasing a real new title – HL2, and even then there were alot of problems.

    Unfortuantlly I predict a very non-solid release (altough I hope i’m mistaking), but some stuff are only learned by expiriance, and this is one thing xStream don’t have at all.

  14. RP Says:

    I’m logged in but can’t edit? :/

  15. Tom Edwards Says:

    [Comment ID #714 Will Be Quoted Here]
    Fixed that just now. I’m always tinkering, and even a local mirror can’t save the live version from all of my numerous mistakes. πŸ˜‰

    [Comment ID #717 Will Be Quoted Here]
    Were you logged in when you made the comment too?

  16. Dwarden Says:

    Well i’m still suprised that Steam list of games is so “tiny” with Darwinia and ROO success man will say there are small developers and small publishing houses interested in increasing $ income…
    ex xStream is still in “hmm” phase where You can’t say what happens next day (cancel or new name etc.)

  17. wizpig64 Says:

    I’ve got to say, Prey looks like a helluva game. Even if I do buy it (and I probably won’t) I would get it at the store. Being the only game for Triton that stands a chance at being good, that doesnt help the platform much. I got HL2 off steam because it came with a bunch of other awesome games, not just because I could do it from home.

  18. wizpig64 Says:

    by the way, i was logged in when i posted the above comment. no edit button for me. maybe the new themes?

  19. Tom Edwards Says:

    Nothing’s changed in that department.

    Is anyone else having the same problem?

  20. RP Says:

    Yeah, same here, I’m logged in and no edit button.

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