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Celebrating the official launch of its desktop client, GameFly is allowing users to download a free copy of BioShock. The software was in beta for nearly a year and its release represents a milestone for the company, which previously focused on mail-order game rentals but plunged into the digital PC gaming space in May 2011 when it acquired Direct2Drive, one of Steam's primary competitors at the time.
Things were slow going on GameFly's digital front, but the company has finally built up a decent catalog of games -- supposedly more than 1,500 -- and it semi-recently begun offering regular discounts on major titles, which one might argue has been vital to Steam's success.
Granted, GameFly probably isn't much of a threat to Valve's relative monopoly on PC game downloads, but you have to start somewhere and free admission to BioShock is bound to draw some potentially loyal users, especially with BioShock Infinite expected to ship in February 2013.
At least that's what GameFly hopes, anyway. Freebie or not, many gamers won't budge from whatever service they're invested in. If that's not you, head over to GameFly's BioShock page, add it to your cart and roll through the checkout process (this includes creating an account and supplying a credit card, which shouldn't be charged). It's worth noting that while both GameFly's client and BioShock are available on Mac, OS X users report that the game isn't free.
Considering its age, you should be able to play BioShock if you have anything even remotely resembling a gaming machine. The official minimum specs call for a 2.5GHz Pentium 4 processor, 1GB of RAM, an Nvidia 6600/ATI X1300 128MB or better, 7GB of free hard drive space, and Windows XP or Vista, while the recommended hardware includes a 3GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a GeForce 7900 GT or better for DX9/GeForce 8600 or better for DX10.
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