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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 26, 2012

Cloud-Based Gaming Developers Plan to Eliminate Traditional Consoles

By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer

Three of the largest technology and communications companies are coming together for one purpose: to deliver the latest and greatest in television gaming. AT&T Inc, Verizon (News - Alert) Communications Inc., and Time Warner Cable Inc., have decided to bypass the traditional gaming consoles, such as the Wii and Xbox 360, and make gaming available through a brand-new cloud service.

“Everybody has a TV,” said Atul Bagga, a video-games analyst at Lazard Capital Markets in San Francisco. Cable and phone companies are “looking for new ways to monetize their users and gaming can be pretty compelling,” he said.

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The plan is to take advantage of technology from startup companies such as Playcast Media Systems, CiiNOW Inc., and Agawi Inc., all of which have specialized in offering gaming through an online cloud streaming service. The only technology currently on the market that could rival this new cloud-based service would be OnLive.

OnLive offers a cloud gaming platform, as well as a desktop solution. Both of the platforms are synchronized, rendered, and stored on remote servers and are delivered to the user via the Internet. The platform currently runs through an OnLive subscription via a computer or through a portable device such as a tablet.

However, if these three giant companies are successful, they might be able to overtake OnLive’s users and help to shift gaming into a new platform for the first time in years.

According to a recent statement, traditional consoles have brought in over $20 billion in revenue in 2011. By allowing users the ability to connect to a surplus of games via their television, companies like AT&T (News - Alert), Verizon, and Time Warner will be able to reach even more consumers with the potential to see substantial increases in revenue.

Although none of the companies involved would comment on the new platform, reports are circulating that beta testing will begin soon. “Trials of cloud-gaming services are likely to start later this year so carriers can test and tweak the technology before wider deployments that may begin as early as 2013.”

As the holiday season approaches, it will be interesting to see what announcements are made regarding the development of next-generation gaming platforms. If it takes off as quickly as smartphones, mobile devices, and tablets have, then you can expect hardcore gamers and game developers to be itching for its release.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Austin 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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