Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, the PlayStation Network, they're all great. But not perfect. For example, waiting for files to download that can be anywhere from 2-20GB in size before you can play? Sucks.
But British firm Awomo reckon they've found a way around it. By downloading only the core files necessary to begin playing a game, you can hit the "play now" button in a fraction of the time it would take were you downloading the entire game.
As an example, Awomo are using Tomb Raider Legend, a game that were you to download the whole thing would clock in at 7.2GB. But using Awomo tech, you'd only need to download 652MB before getting into it, with the remainder downloading in the background while playing.
Where, then, can you expect to see this new method of downloading games? Why, on Awomo's own site, of course, the company pitching themselves as a small-scale competitor to services like Steam and Direct2Drive. In addition to buying complete games, they also plan to offer rentals as well as a monthly subscription-based service, where you can "pay a monthly flat rate for access to a broad range of games from top publishers".
All sounds lovely, of course, but at the moment, you can only play Tomb Raider Legend. So might be worth a quick look-in now, then a return visit when there's more/better games on offer.