PC gamers have a new place to shop for games this month, thanks to the launch of The Happy Cloud. The new digital distribution platform promises to eliminate long wait times for downloads and installations, which is great news for fans of point-and-click adventures and other large file games.
“Gamers don’t want to wait overnight for a download that might get interrupted,” said Eric Gastfriend, VP and GM of Happy Cloud, in a press release. “Happy Cloud offers instant accessibility for top quality PC games. Our technology enables a seamless trial-purchase flow that gives publishers a hassle-free way to expose their games to new audiences.”
Happy Cloud works the same way as on-demand movie services like Netflix. Once you select a game, the service buffers the first few minutes of gameplay on your computer so that you can start playing immediately, then streams the rest of the game’s files as you play, using intelligent algorithms to download exactly what you need next.
The patent-pending technology uses a virtualized file system pre-installed and pre-packaged on the network, eliminating the need for the download and installation process typically associated with high-end PC games.
Once initiated, the game behaves in the same way as if it were installed on a disk, so there’s no lag. Once the download is complete, players can play the game offline.
So far there are 10 games in the Happy Cloud catalog, all of which have free try-before-you-buy demos. Titles include the action-adventures LEGO Batman and LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, the simulation Cities in Motion, and the Mount & Blade strategy game series. Several of the games are currently on sale from 35% to 75% off, too.
The Happy Cloud is currently only available to U.S. customers, but will be expanding to other countries within the next few weeks.