xStream re-christened ‘Triton’
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 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.