Telstra’s Big Pond has taken the hassle out of PC gaming by launching a web site that lets user’s trial a game for 1 hour prior to buying the game online.

 The site is set to hurt retailers who sell boxed games. The move claims Justin Milne the Managing Director of BigPond  means that gamers need no longer risk buying expensive games only to find they’ve bought a dud.

BigPond Games Shop, is the latest in BigPond’s suite of online content, entertainment and games products, that allow customers to trial most games for up to 60 minutes, before purchase is required if they wish to continue and own the game. Game prices range from $9.95 to $99.95 with a 20% discount for BigPond members.

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Mr Milne said “try before you buy” was just one of the unique features offered by Games Shop. .

“My family loves playing PC games, but like many people, we’ve bought games where the actual gameplay fell a long way short of the packaging and the marketing promises,” he said.

” BigPond Games Shop offers hundreds of games for customers to download. In most cases, they can play for an hour, so they can decide if it is worth buying.   A much better option than opening game packaging only to be disappointed and unable to return it,” Mr Milne said.

“BigPond Games Shop offers a simple four step experience – find it, download it, trial it and buy it.

“Another great feature is the ability to purchase a new release game before it is available in the shops. Customers can download the full game and start playing as soon as it is officially launched.

“So while your friends are queuing up to buy, you can be already be enjoying the game. And BigPond members will receive a 20% discount on every game,” Mr Milne said.

Games Shop is launching with a number of imminent releases available for pre-order.  These include NeverWinter Nights 2, Titan Quest, Test Drive Unlimited, Company of Heroes, Reservoir Dogs, Bratz: Rock Angelz and more to be announced.

Games Shop is the third games service to be launched by BigPond, joining GameArena, Australia’s largest online gaming portal, and GameNow, a subscription-based online PC games service.

“When you buy a game from Games Shop you get the same full game you get in the shops.  They have the full features and levels, but you can simply download and buy from the comfort of your home or office,” Mr Milne said.

“The games come in a range of sizes, from small puzzle and word games, through to large multi level action games and simulators.
“There is something for everyone. We expect this service to appeal not only to keen gamers, but also to homes and families where music, movies and now games downloads are part of their entertainment mix.

“The world’s top PC games publishers have joined us in this launch, and include Atari, Codemasters, Dataworks, Eidos, Mindscape, Strategy First, UbiSoft, THQ and Vivendi Universal.

“To protect the games from piracy, their files contain Digital Rights Management to prevent the games being copied.  Should a customer have a legitimate reason for reinstalling a purchased game, such as upgrading their PC or having a file crash, the site will accommodate a limited number of reloads at no extra charge.

“If you burn the download to a disk, you can lend it to friends who can experience the 60 minute free trial and then purchase the game,” Mr Milne said.

Mr Milne said BigPond would be expanding the BigPond Games Shop’s library.

See the site at: http://shop.bigpondgames.com/

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