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Cable TV companies getting into cloud gaming?

Cable companies may be moving en masse into cloud gaming by the end of next year. A Bloomberg report states that several major cable TV corporations are looking into streaming games to customers' set-top boxes as a service offering.

The sources claimed AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and Cox Communications all plan to stream games to cable subscribers, with some to begin beta testing as early as this year. They then plan to deploy the services on a wider scale as early as 2013. Only AT&T acknowledged it it is looking into providing cloud gaming to customers.

The companies are targeting AAA games from publishers like Electronic Arts, to be played with generic controllers or potentially even smartphones, the sources said. EA Labels president Frank Gibeau has said games on web-connected TVs will at some point be a “big opportunity."

Similar services have already emerged internationally, with Israel-based Playcast partnering with carriers in Europe and Asia to provide cloud gaming services to customers.

Breaking into streaming games is no small feat, as demonstrated by the recent plight of OnLive, and the companies will need to invest significant resources to produce a good experience for consumers. Mitch Lasky of Benchmark Capital told Bloomberg it makes sense for network providers to tackle the problem.

“Streaming games use a ton of bandwidth and really benefit from good networks," Lasky said. "But it’s a gnarly execution problem they’re trying to solve.”

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3 comments

  • briag45 - September 26, 2012 5:35 p.m.

    Cableone did this back in the day, they called it Sega Channel. You plugged a box into the cartridge slot, hooked up the coax cable, and every month you had 50 random sega games itemized by category. It changed monthly and you downloaded the game into the box and played, once it was turned off, you lost everything. It was supposed to have space for 3 save games but mine never worked.
  • Scuffles - September 25, 2012 1:41 p.m.

    Seeing as they are the same companies murdering "cloud" gaming with bandwidth tiers. The only way it ever would have made sense is if they bought it out. Tho I'd be much happier if they worked on their network Infrastructure instead.... broadband in the US is subpar at its best.
  • bilstar - September 25, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    Dude, he said gnarly. Party on.

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