GameStop's Online Store Becomes One with Impulse

GameStop's purchase of Steam rival Impulse comes to a head today, as the video game retail giant fully integrates the PC game digital download service into its online store. Now, instead of purchasing a downloadable PC game through GameStop.com, you can go to Steam instead, like you were doing already anyway.

Let's face it, the digital download platform formerly known as Stardock's Impulse is no Steam competitor. Steam has more games (more than 1,300 compared to Impulse's more than 1,200), more subscribers, and garners more respect among independent developers.

What does Impulse offer over Steam? We'll it's integrated with GameStop.com, though currently GameStop gift certificates and coupons can't be used via the service. Folks clicking the download link on PC games on GameStop.com now are directed to download the Impulse client, an extra step with the potential to annoy away customers that have yet to discover Steam.

Hmm. I'm stumped. Let's see what the official GameStop word is. Maybe it'll shed some light.

"A key highlight for GameStop Impulse customers will be ease of use that will allow them to purchase, download, install, update and manage their digital purchases," said GameStop general manager of digital distribution Steve Nix. "We intend to offer the best experience, content and value for PC gamers everywhere and this is only the beginning."

This had better be only the beginning. Intentions are lovely, but Impulse has a long way to go.