AWOMO hits public beta

FAQ on the PC streaming service inside

A World Of My Own (or AWOMO if you like) is described as being "capable of delivering even the largest 'AAA' PC games directly from a web browser in minutes rather than hours compared with conventional download services."

Here's a mighty long FAQ:

What is AWOMO?
AWOMO is a digital distribution platform featuring new technology that delivers even the largest 'AAA' PC games in minutes rather than hours compared with conventional download services, directly from a web browser. It enables consumers to start playing the game while it is downloading without any interruption to the game play. It's all about:-

AWOMO is designed to deliver the largest PC games up to 20 times faster than other download services. Our unique technology lets you start playing before the game has finished downloading, meaning you can be up and running, jumping and fragging in minutes rather than hours.

Games, Games, Games
AWOMO will be your digital library for games. Choose from a large catalogue of games, from the latest releases to those hard to find classics.

Friend and group lists, mail, competitions, leagues and tournaments, live chat, guild and clan management software will provide more than just a game download service. You'll be free to play with your friends and meet others with the same taste in games as you.

When does it launch?
The Public Beta of AWOMO launches on 19th December 2008.

What does the Public Beta consist of?
During the course of the technology trial, visitors to will be invited to test the service by playing a series of games completely free of charge, courtesy of the publishing community.

How does it work?
Conventional digital delivery services require the player to download the entire game, run an installer, often search for patches and possibly reboot ... a process that can take hours. AWOMO instead delivers a smaller download compiled specifically for the gamer's PC and broadband connection with all the data needed to start playing the game, the rest of the data delivered in the background without interruption as the gamer plays.

I have a high speed broadband connection and a top end PC already. Why would I use the final AWOMO platform?

Cut your 'time to play'
Many 'casual' games are just a few MBs in size, and take no time to download on any system. But top games now range anywhere from 1 to 10 Gigabytes in size. Even on a 16 Megabit broadband connection, these can still take several hours to download. With AWOMO, you can start playing with only a fraction of the game on your system, cutting your 'time to play' dramatically, whatever your broadband speed.

Free up your hard drive
If you love playing games, it doesn't take long for any hard drive to fill up. With AWOMO, the game stays on our servers until you need it, meaning you can manage your hard drive space much more effectively.

Avoid broadband limits
If you have a cap on the amount of data you can download from your ISP, you can afford to download, try or demo so many more games inside your limit than any other system using AWOMO as you don't need to download the entire game's data up front.

Digital games library
AWOMO also manages your games as a Digital Library. Instead of letting your old disks gather dust in a box, they will always be available on your account at the touch of a button.

Play on any PC
Playing games on AWOMO requires an account. It is registered to YOU and your credit card, not to the PC, so you can play the games you have bought on AWOMO on any PC.

What about Patches?
AWOMO will always deliver you games fully patched to the most up to date version, saving you time and giving you the best possible gaming experience.

Are the games changed or recompiled in any way from their original format?
The games are identical in content to the disk-based version sold through conventional retail.

Is it simple to use?
The user selects and manages downloads either directly from their internet browser or in some circumstances using a simple desktop client application. AWOMO will also feature rich social networking tools, including messaging, live chat, friend lists, interest groups and so on.

Do I have to download the game every time I want to play it?
No. Once the initial 'preload' is downloaded, you can launch and play the game. AWOMO will download the rest of the data in the background without you even being aware it's happening as you play through the game.

How much does it cost to buy a game?
AWOMO is like any other store so expect similar prices... just digitally delivered to your computer. Like other systems you will be able to 'Buy and Download' a game (like buying a box from a shop), or 'Subscribe' to a range of games available to you monthly. But unlike other systems, the download speed enables new ways to pay for and play games such as 'Rent to Own'

Tell me more about 'Rent To Own'
This is a unique way to pay for any game made possible by AWOMO's unique method of delivery. 'Rent to Own' allows users to play a game at an hourly rate, which is simply the 'Buy and Download' price divided by five hours. The gamer can drop out at any time and pay only for the time they have played. Once the game has been played for five hours, the customer owns it for life at no extra charge.

Sounds good, but what about renting games like at my local rental store?
Some games will also be available on a 'short rental' basis allowing you to try it for an evening or weekend, before you can't use it any more.

I like my games FREE! Will you be doing free games?
Typically our games will be similar or the same price as the boxes in the shops. But there will also be plenty of demos available and look out for special offers of games available free of charge from time to time.

So many payment options. Which do I choose?
Users are able to mix and match these models as they choose; for example a subscriber is able to 'Buy and Download' or 'Rent to Own' a title excluded from the Subscription package.

If I haven't got the whole game on my hard drive, won't the game crash or freeze?
That's the clever bit about AWOMO. You never need the whole game on your PC for you to play it. AWOMO analyses your internet connection and provides you with enough of a buffer to prevent stoppages in game play. The delivery system accurately predicts the data you require next and ensures it's already there waiting before you need it. You just need to make sure you're connected to the internet and the system handles the rest.

What are the minimum specs AWOMO needs to run?
AWOMO requires a broadband internet connection and a PC running 32-bit Windows XP or Vista (64-bit support is planned for the future) and is not highly taxing on your computer. However, you will need to meet the minimum requirements for any games purchased through AWOMO which will be clearly displayed.

What is AWOMO 3D?
Our plan for the future: We are building a massive online virtual world for gamers complete with top of the range social networking and group management tools. You will be able to live and play inside this world, launching your games straight from it. We hope to build the ultimate hub for gamers complete with personal housing, leagues, tournaments, shops everything that you might need, whoever you are, whatever type of games you like and however you play. More on this soon.

Why would I want to download games?
Because of the small filesizes, downloading is already an easy and convenient way to access music, but because game files are so BIG, the option to download them sucks! Until now, that is. AWOMO eliminates this problem, so now you can choose to download or buy the box from the shop if you prefer. But remember boxes take up space, discs get scratched, saved games get lost. AWOMO can start you playing quicker than you would if you tried to install it from the disc.

Is it legal?
AWOMO only sells games that are licensed directly from the publishers or developers of the games, so it is perfectly legal, and is completely secure.

Will you only sell games that are available in the shops?
No. We plan to resurrect many classic games that have long been discontinued. It's unprofitable for shops to stock them but it makes perfect sense for us as we don't have to worry about shelf space. So long as the gold master discs exist and someone owns the rights to sell it legally, we can bring it to AWOMO.