Cable Technology Feature Article
Dish Network Offers Expanded Gaming Lineup
By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer
The first thing people think of when they think of Dish Network likely focuses more on their television offerings than anything that has to do with gaming, but they're going to change the way users think about their television thanks to a new project with TransGaming Inc. and Visiware, Inc, who have launched Games Channel 96 on Dish Network systems.
Games Channel 96, available to Dish Network subscribers on channel 96, which is actually before the television listings even start, is available to most subscribers with a DISH ViP-series receiver. Once there, users will be able to enjoy a series of games, including Visiware's "Carrot Mania" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" adaptation, as well as TransGaming's GameTree titles, like "Scrabble" and "Monopoly".
The package will cost users an additional $10 a month to access (that price drops to $6 for those who only go with a limited number of games, separated by themes like adventure and kids edu-tainment), and when they do, they'll have access not only to the wide array of titles offered, but can even open up multi-player options allowing them to play at home with their families or friends, as well as with other users across the nation.
TransGaming Inc.'s president and CEO, Vikas Gupta, detailed the reasons behind selecting Dish Network, saying, “As a top pay-TV provider, DISH recognizes the significant long-term, sustainable value offered by video games on demand. TransGaming and Visiware deliver the socially engaging experiences customers are looking for, with the world''s most extensive catalog of branded games available through the television. The 14 million DISH subscribers will be able to tune in to channel 96 and play the GameTree TV titles they know and love, all on demand on their existing set-top box."
Considering that Dish Network not only has a wide array of television options, but also access to the Blockbuster Video line of streaming titles as well as DVD rentals online, it's not surprising to see them branch out still further into games to offer an increased value proposition, something that's weighing heavily on the minds of consumers, especially in the midst of a bad economy. There's also a lot to be said for the convenience factor, and putting games in the same platform as movies and television is certainly convenient.
But it's a move that may not be sufficient; there are a lot of gaming platforms out there, from the console titles from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft (News - Alert) to the online-only platforms run by iOS, Android, and for the Web itself. Dish Network demanding an extra $6 to $10 a month for access to some solid if unspectacular game titles may not be enough to draw a whole lot of interest from users who are watching their budgets closely these days.
The ultimate success or failure of the Dish Network Games Channel 96 remains to be seen, but it's an interesting idea if nothing else, and has every chance to do well in the market.
Edited by Brooke Neuman