September 27, 2012
Cable, Cloud-Based Gaming Out to Kill Consoles
By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer
Reports from earlier this week suggest that both AT&T (News - Alert) and Time Warner Cable have designs on the gaming market, and in the process, are out to threaten the market formerly held by consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox lines, as well as those from Nintendo. The exact time frame may be varying from company to company, but one thing is quite clear: cable wants to kill the console.
Later this year, according to reports, trials are set to begin for cloud-based gaming services, with an eye toward wider releases to start sometime in either 2013 or 2014, depending on the carrier. The testing is designed to tweak the technology and get it ready for play on a much wider stage, a stage that has become somewhat wider in light of reports that consumers are already leaving consoles behind in order to game on tablets and smartphones, and this has lead to a drop in video-game hardware sales of 39 percent last month from the same time last year.
Lazard Capital Markets' Atul Bagga, a video-games analyst with the firm, said that cable and phone companies were "looking for new ways to monetize their users and gaming can be pretty compelling", adding that "everybody has a TV." Carriers like the thought of offering more services to their digital TV subscribers, especially in light of the cable cutting movement that threatens to take quite a bit of business away in a down economy. Additionally, cable providers are also looking to augment their offerings beyond those of social games, like those offered by Zynga (News - Alert), and beyond the classics in casual gaming like "Tetris" or the various solitaire titles, and rather are looking to get into big-name action games like those offered by Electronic Arts Inc, or EA. Indeed, the president of Electronic Arts Labels, Frank Gibeau, referred to games via Web-based TV as "a big opportunity," though he wouldn't give a time frame along with that... Read More