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Verizon opens new video game portal

Communication giant's new VGN video game service aims to offer entertainment for every taste.

Verizon on Tuesday unveiled Verizon Game Services, a video game portal that it hopes will appeal to a wide range of users.

The company said that the site, which it will promote to its broadband customers across the United States, offers a suite of game services aimed at different demographics.

The Verizon Game Network, which is powered by CNET Networks' GameSpot (CNET is also the publisher of News.com), provides PC gamers with what the company called a "game-console-like experience." VGN, which costs $7.95 a month, enables users to track statistics on each game they play, as well as chat with others online, both in and out of games.

Verizon's Games on Demand: Unlimited package, which costs $14.95 a month, allows players access to more than 200 streaming PC games, including titles like "Disciples II" and many classic games. The service is modeled on DVD rental services like Netflix, Verizon said.

The last piece of Verizon Game Services is Verizon's Games on Demand: Family Place, which offers casual and card games aimed at families. The service, which costs $7.95 a month, includes games like "Diner Dash" and "Hoyle Blackjack 2005."

In a statement, Bob Ingalls, president of Verizon's retail markets group, said, "Games and broadband are a natural combination. Whether they're into 'Battlefield 2,' 'Diner Dash' or 'Crayola Creation Corner,' gamers are looking for the online experience that fits their needs. Verizon Game Services subscribers can play at whatever level they choose, whenever they choose."