Here comes GFace: a social gaming network

Newly announced social network / game portal mashup Gface is taking applications for closed beta testing before preparing for a full launch “soon”.

The idea behind Gface is that it will enable “live sharing” of pretty much anything. Gaming, videos, whatever. It’s all in one place, in realtime.

Games are to be streamed to the client, YouTube style, which theoretically means no loading times. For the “console quality” games Gface claims to be offering, this will require installation of a browser plugin, but if the technology works it could be a major step forward for browser based gaming.

Gface hasn’t announced any launch titles so far, but their website says there’ll be both 2D and 3D casual and core games available. The 2D games seem to include board games like chess and checkers,  while the 3D titles showed in their promotional material look to be in-house offerings rather than existing titles added to the service. They’re powered by CryEngine, so there’s definitely potential there.

The quality of games available is what will decide how well GFace does. The social networking features look great, but those alone won’t draw people away from FaceBook. Users on lower end computers are unlikely to be able to take advantage of most of what GFace has to offer, so their target audience needs to be core PC gamers, and to reach that demographic they’re going to need games worth playing.

If you’re interested, you can check out the GFace site here, or sign up for the beta here.

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