Massive PC ubercorporation Dell hasn’t got the best reputation with gamers, despite owning the expensive Alienware gaming PC brand. That hasn’t deterred them, however, from launching a download service where you’ll be able to get PC games and software, as well as music.
Codemasters, Sega, Electronic Arts, Eidos and Atari have signed up on the gaming front to offer titles including Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Spore, Tomb Raider: Underworld, F.E.A.R. 2, Alone in the Dark and Football Manager Live. You’ll notice that none of those, with the possible exception of F.E.A.R. 2, could be called “gamer’s” games.
That might be because gamers are generally already invested in one download store -Valve’s Steam. I think Dell realizes that they’re going to find that audience very tricky to crack, so they’re aiming at a more mainstream target demographic instead.
As well as games, the service also offers software from Kaspersky, Nero and Lavasoft, presumably Kaspersky Antivirus, Nero Burning Rom and Lavasoft Ad-Aware respectively. It’s a bit of a shame for PC owners, because programs duplicating the functionality of all those bits of software are widely, and legally, available on the internet for free (for home use).
Lastly, there’s also music. Albums from “major artists” are available, there’s no DRM, and there’ll be new titles on a weekly basis. The catalogue doesn’t look incredible, and the prices aren’t any better than other download sites, but I suppose it could be handy for people who haven’t checked out Spotify yet.
The Dell download store will roll out across Europe in the next few months, starting with the UK, France and Germany. It’s been up and running in the USA for a while, and the UK site is here.