There may soon be another big player in the videogames market in the form of Virgin Games and Game Domain International's just-announced 3D PC games platform.

Virgin Group's CEO, Richard Branson, is thinking big, comparing it to a videogames version of the music downloading industry's biggest player: "This is a really exciting development for us, as it gives us the opportunity to do for PC Games what iTunes has done for music".

Called A World of My Own, the platform will incorporate streaming technology, rather than game downloads so that games will start almost instantly; developers hope it will cut down on the risk of piracy.

"The GDI technology will revolutionise how the mass market will play games, and will give them more choice for less money", promises Branson.

The platform will be able to host tournaments with cash prizes and even a trip to the moon.

AWOMO is expected to launch a second phase with an interactive environment like Second Life, but no details are available on that as the initial phase is not expected to launch until March.