Traditional console makers like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo may soon face new competition, and not from a nascent startup, but rather deep-pocketed and established companies. Bloomberg reports that cable service providers AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast are planning to enter the cloud-gaming space, debuting their services as early as next year.
According to "people with knowledge of the matter," trials of some of these services are expected to begin later this year, allowing the cable companies to "test and tweak" the technology before a wider launch for some offerings in 2013 and others in 2014.
Games provided through these carriers will be deeper than social and casual games, these people said, extending to "advanced" action games, including titles from publishers like Electronic Arts. The Mass Effect maker was not immediately available for comment.
As for the technology carriers will use to power their efforts, the sources said startups including Playcast Media Systems, CiiNOW Inc., and Agawi Inc. are all involved. Players will use generic controllers instead of inputs from Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, and some of these carriers are reportedly exploring software that turns smartphones into controllers.