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U.S. cable companies move in on the cloud gaming space - report
U.S. cable companies move in on the cloud gaming space - report
September 25, 2012 | By Mike Rose

September 25, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

It looks as though the traditional console manufacturers may have some new competition soon, as a Bloomberg report states that multiple cable companies are looking to move into the cloud-gaming space.

AT&T, Verizon Communications and Time Warner Cable are all reportedly pushing to provide game streaming services directly through televisions as early as next year, while other big name cable companies like Comcast Corp and Cox Communications are looking at a 2014 launch.

According to "people with knowledge of the matter," trials of these cloud-gaming services may commence later this year in preparation, so that the carriers can play about with the technology and tweak it before next year's full scale deployment.

With technology provided by Playcast Media Systems, CiiNOW and Agawi, all of which acknowledged talks with U.S. carriers, the aim is to bring games from publishers like Electronic Arts directly to your TV through cloud services.

Playcast in particular has previously provided French mobile/internet service provider Bouygues Telecom with the means to stream video games to cable TV set-top boxes in France without requiring additional hardware.

Jan Rasmussen, an AT&T spokeswoman, admitted that the company is "exploring unique ways to offer cloud gaming services to our TV and broadband customers."

U.S. carriers aren't the only companies preparing to move into the cloud gaming space. Sony recently put a significant foot forward into the streamed games space, signing an agreement to acquire game streaming service Gaikai.

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Benjamin Quintero
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So THIS is where they've been hiding all the bandwidth...

Alan Rimkeit
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So then there will be no bandwidth caps for their own game streaming services? If they did this then that makes it unfair for other game streaming services. If say Comcast does bandwidth caps with a service like On-Live or Sony's Gaikai but not for themselves while doing the same service this could be construed as being anti-competitive. The ISP's had better not limit the bandwidth for competing services. I could see them getting sued for that kind of behavior.

EDIT: I also detest the idea of having to purchase a cable TV package along with the internet connection on top of paying for some game service. You know that is how they are going to set it all up.

In theory is all sounds good. In reality the coporate suits at the cable/ISP providers will wreck it. Get Comcast package "X" and you get games straight to your TV for only $199.99 a month! Yeah, NO. I all ready do not pay for anything but my internet from Time Warner and I will not pay for anything else but that from them. Hence my love of Netflix. The same applied when I had Comcast. Cable TV is a waste ot money and time.

If they offer the gaming service a la carte then we are talking. But when has any cable company offered anything a la carte besides internet services? NEVER. I predict this will be an epic train wreck.

E Zachary Knight
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This is cool. I made a prediction last year that saw this coming. Not really a novel or far out there prediction, but still interesting.

As cable companies are beginning to struggle to retain subscribers, it is no surprise to see them expand into gaming in this way. I just wonder if the content will be compelling enough to retain current customers and bring in new ones.

Duong Nguyen
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If they can offer HD resolution on demand gaming with the same reliability as their cable service I'm sure they can grab a large part of the "next - gen" market. My biggest gripe with Onlive is its grainy look, even though its suppose to be 720p. If they were even more forward thinking they would offer virtual desktop and a complete virtual PC solution.

Johnathon Swift
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Considering OnLive has essentially failed, this is a terribly competitive market with no chance for a monopoly like they regularly enjoy, it's a business they've no experience with, and one in which they're entering in as an underdog, I'm not betting on any terrible success for them.

Dave Troyer
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Me thinks that the cable companies are a lot like big publishers. They both pay others for the content they create and jack up the price before turning it over to the consumer.

They both have experience benefiting off the backs of others hard work, but game publishers now have a little experience dealing with competition in the form of crowd funded games and digital distribution. And the cable companies have experience charging folks monthly fees and monopoly-esque business practices.

It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out, but I'm pretty sure it won't be pretty for us, the consumers.

One can only hope this craze ends up like the 3DO or Jaguar and flops before making enough impact to influence other companies to try the same.

Danny Bernal
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6/6 comments have a overall negative perspective towards these cable companies making any sort of move... this says quite a bit ( now 7/7 ).