I read an interesting Reuters article on a new service being developed by Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) Turner Broadcasting System. It's called GameTap, it will be out sometime in 2005, and it sounds right up my alley. It's going to use the Internet to deliver video games to the end user via a broadband hookup. What kind of video games, you ask? The classics, games that were first played on legendary units like the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis, Reuters reports.

Like I said, this is definitely geared toward me. OK, let's see a show of hands. How many of you reading this have powered up one of those joystick controllers put out by Jakks Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK) in the past week -- the type that contains titles like Pac-Man, Galaga, and Xevious? Yeah, I thought so. I'm not the only one. In fact, I've been really at it lately on a collection put out by Midway Games (NYSE:MWY) for the Nintendo Gamecube. Anyone remember Satan's Hollow? That big devil-head with the flaming breath really unnerves me. And how about Smash TV? Mutoid Man is not for the faint of heart.

Since I'm into the whole nostalgia trip with these games, I can see why Time Warner wants to dedicate a business plan to consumers like me. I also like the quote found in the Reuters piece, attributed to Blake Lewin, who is GameTap's creator as well a vice president of product development at Turner Broadcasting: "We want to program games as if they are TV shows." I can see what he means. Think TV Land. Maybe you want a fix of Jack Tripper dressing in drag to win a cookie-baking contest. Or you want to see the episode where Gilligan is stalked by a maniacal hunter (that actually was a pretty dark episode, come to think of it). That's where you go. Those in need of a fix of an old Nintendo game will have a similar service in GameTap.

Users will pay a monthly fee to download and play the games; if they cancel, the games will cease functioning. Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Ubisoft were two of the companies mentioned as suppliers of titles. There are a total of 17 companies licensing their properties, and a service like this can certainly add value to their product portfolios.

I can't see any reason why this initiative shouldn't be tried, but I will point out that I am wondering in the back of my mind how long the fad of classic gaming can last. Also, how many people have already got copies of Pac-Man and its brethren on previous anthology releases?

The key here is that GameTap is shooting to have a huge selection of games (more than 1,000) at the subscriber's eventual disposal. An Associated Press article reports that a few hundred games will be on the menu when the service makes its debut. That should attract people, but will it attract a mainstream audience, or will all of the lesser-known classics only appeal to an insider niche of hardcore nostalgia freaks?

The video-game sector is not one to be underestimated, though. I believe Time Warner's experiment is justified.

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned. He also thinks that Eugene Jarvis is a genius. The Fool has a disclosure policy.