Cable providers to offer cloud-gaming - Report

AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner reportedly readying cloud-gaming options for launch as early as next year.

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.

Are cable companies plotting to overthrow consoles?

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.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

0 comments
l2humpie
l2humpie

This is just generic gaming at it's best. A cable box isn't going to be able to handle next-gen games like the new consoles will.

RapidFirE53211
RapidFirE53211

No thanks, I'd rather buy the game once and play it as I please. Subscription fees work for MMOs because the games are being constantly updated and expanded....I would never pay a subscription to play other genres.

sieg6529
sieg6529

Not liking the idea of subscription-based gaming at all.  I don't play any games like that now, and I won't going forward.  I buy it, it's mine, don't make me pay for a gaming service.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I used to be a skeptic, but OnLive made a cloud gaming believer out of me...hallelujah!

 

I'm not crazy about the idea of getting these services through my cable TV or phone provider, but I suppose it is a good value-add for them as they try to sell faster Internet services to the masses.  For those people who have as many channels as they want to watch, a phone, and Internet service fast enough for them to watch YouTube videos, this might be incentive to upgrade.  It could be offered more cheaply than a console without needing to be replaced every 5-7 years.

okassar
okassar

I would only get this if the game service is tied into the internet-phone-cable packages at a much lower rate than on its own. 

aryanbrar
aryanbrar

lol what a predictable scam. it'll have a year sub cost of 70 bucks, then you buy the game for whatever amount. then you get charged for going over your monthly usage.

Meta-Gnostic
Meta-Gnostic

Smartphone as controllers for core games, god somebody help us. I don't want cloud gaming on all these devices because each device holder is going to pay money for exclusives and you'll have to own them all to play all the best games. 

avatarIVN
avatarIVN

Cloud-gaming? I am not sure. From what I rememeber, the most similar case is when Ubisoft decided to use its online-only gamimg to prevent piracy. That really didn't work. I am not saying I opose, I just say it will have to be very well developed to convince

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

I think if microsoft make it so you can do cloud gameing on xbox live that would be a winner. on zune if you purchase a flim you a stream it or download it.  if they get it so you can do that with the games. stream em or download them to your system that would be awesome. games you don't play so much you could delete from your hard drive and just play em from the cloud.

leeko_link
leeko_link

Wow seems like Sega Channel is coming back except this time without Sega. Damn when ppl said Sega was ahead of their time, they're not kidding.

Danny_KickAzz
Danny_KickAzz

What I wish is instead of cable companies providing there own DVR boxes what if there DVR boxes were Xbox's!? like seriously think about it! they you would be able to watch TV and be able to play Xbox games!

Danny_KickAzz
Danny_KickAzz

I HATE cloud gaming its EVIL!! I seriously hope it fails!

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

I'm shocked someone from EA wasn't immediately available for comment, I mean they comment on like every other article posted here.  WTF EA?

toddx77
toddx77

I love steam but I will never get behind cloud gaming.  I hate the idea of always having to be online to play games.  What happens when the internet goes down? What happens if you have a bad connection?  What happens if the publisher pulls the plug on the game?  What happens if you don't even have internet.  I think it is pretty obvious that the publishers want this streaming content simply so they have more control over us.

tightwad34
tightwad34

Stop it already. Mabye if they try this and then lose money they will have to um, I don't know, not do it. I know the day is coming where I won't be able to buy a physical copy of a game, so I will not take these last years for granted.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Next-gen consoles are going to find stiff competition from these companies, especially in the media, streaming, and entertainment sectors. Smart tv's already have alot of these services built in. Why use a console to access You Tube, Netflix, Hulu, Facebook & Twitter when your tv can access them the same way? 

 

I doubt cable companies will get to deep into the games market. My cable boxes have had casual games on them for years already. But I can't see these companies getting that involved where they have to go out and make deals for games to be on their boxes. All these cable companies want is to be able to say that they offer this option and their competitor doesn't, that they're looking out for the customer more than the other guy. I wouldn't worry about cable boxes replacing game consoles anytime soon. It's just a bullet point on their advertisements. What they consider a real game is not what WE consider a real game be. This is probably where EA's investment into Pop-Cap will come into play.

nate1222
nate1222

I saw this type of s___ comin'. I'll keep my old PC games, thank you very much. I'll stick with GOG, Steam and Gamersgate. I prefer DRM-free, but am willing to tolerate OFFLINE DRM. Hense why Steam still gets my business.

 

But "cloud" gaming? Always gotta be connected? Guess I'll have to become a gaming dinosaur who still plays offline on a trusty ol' laptop.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

im predicting failure on this one. 

Takeno456
Takeno456

I will never fall for this always connected bull that companies try to drive home all the time. I like gaming more or less the way it is. I do not see how this will enhance the gaming experience. I really don't understand the appeal of smartphones being involved in every area of life. The future of gaming is looking mighty bland.

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

So the biggest scam artists in the world will offer an even scammier service? Go to hell, I'd take my consoles, handhelds, and PC over cable TV "gaming".

 

Besides, internet TV services might eventually kill cable anyway, sooo....

SlowMotionKarma
SlowMotionKarma

Anyone else remember Sega Channel? 50 revolving games a month and it only took 5 minutes to download a game to play. Now THAT'S something I'd be interested in. An OnLive clone I am not.

You just keep giving me my fast internet, Comcast. Leave game acquisition to me.

Ice-Cube
Ice-Cube

This will be such a huge hit, people will be jamming their phone lines to order this on Day 1...

Zloth2
Zloth2

Already got it - it's called OnLive.  It works pretty well for the games that aren't too twitch based.  Multi-player shooters aren't so good with it but there are plenty of games that are.  They are having some real problems getting the resolution up past 720p but Google Fiber should be able to take care of that - and then some.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

this is why the PC will always be king

radcrab123
radcrab123

Oh no i can see it now 45$ A Month and I HATE SMARTPHONE CONTROLLERS(sorry for caps rage) first of all virtual controls sometimes dont respond and also when you you a virtual control it will send you the wrong way and you have to press your finger down on it hard to actually control it but this hurts your fingers. Also this is going to fail Because Onlive And GaiKai has Great games, when you play Onlive if you buy a game you dont have to wait for it to install it only takes 1-3 seconds to go into the game and i hear GaiKai does the same(Thats if you have an awesome internet) And also you wont have to Pay 45$ A month Fees

Getbacktogaming
Getbacktogaming

Gaming is evolving and everyone wants to take a chance and grab their share... I would rather look back and purchase a super nintendo than get a membership with my cable provider to play games though... : ( who said the future was friendly?

tommynj
tommynj

Lost interest when I saw casual and social games involved.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

Funny, my smartphone can already be used as a controller for the Xbox 360.  Once SmartGlass comes out, I believe more devices will have that capability and a more robust version of it.

nurnberg
nurnberg

Those same cable companies that like to rat their customers to the feds because they download movies or music?  Can't wait to see the people crying once their data gets "seized" then facing fines after using these services.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

The worst part of the story > "Players will use generic controllers instead of inputs from Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo..." I'd rather the companies pay licensing fees to use an established controller design from Sony or Microsoft.

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

Ahhh a sign of the second collapse in gaming.

lazycomplife
lazycomplife

So much negativity in these comments.  I think cloud gaming is a great idea.  It means you won't have to keep buying new consoles, and you'll receive graphics on par with the best gaming computers.  I would love if Sprint/AT&T/Verizon picked up on this and supported cloud gaming through 4G.

S0ulReav3r
S0ulReav3r

 @theKSMM  actually it would probably cost more long term assuming that companies would charge for the service and for game rental and possibly DLC's.if this is successful it will kill console gaming or at least cripple it. also if you don't have internet  access (if there'sa power outage due a storm for example)  then you're screwed.Personally I prefer a console that takes alot of space with a bunch of Game discs  scattered everywhere then a bunch of pixels streamed on my TV. also cloud gaming is supported by EA which means 900% profit (for them) and alot of money being drained from you into the new cash cow gaming platform.

tightwad34
tightwad34

 @nate1222

 I feel like a dinosaur with all this digital crap coming out and me not caring about it one bit. Hell, I don't even know a quarter of the internet/texting lingo.

derceto
derceto

 @Takeno456   Don't think I could have said it any better myself.   I'm really skeptical on the future of the gaming industry.   This is just aweful news.  Especially if it happens to catch on.  :/

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

 @UnwantedSpam

 Now I'm all down with that one. For real.  I think it's already happening because of iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, and the like.

Albaficas
Albaficas

 @bongsyas_23 this is why u need to keep it shut and go back to your craps dota games kkthxbb

derceto
derceto

 @lazycomplife Sounds good doesn't it.  Sadly.  That's not the case.  There's no connection out there that will beat the visual detail of my current PC.  720p  1080p just aren't good enough.   Then there's that god awful blur you get with things like OnLive.   It "works" okay, but doesn't look nearly as good as locally on PC.   I dabbled with OnLive a little, and for me anyways, I could really see the blur and grainy visuals in the video I was getting.

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @lazycomplife yeah but the service probably wont be on computer so the grapics will not be on par. and you will pay more in the long run for these games seeing as the service is most likely billed monthly. also bet if you go passed due saves are gone, hello to starting over. one last thing last time my cable went out i hop on my xbox and played till it came back on hard to do that when your service is what you use to game. so guess what i'm over it moving on to some thing usefull.

lazycomplife
lazycomplife

 @derceto I'm fine with it since I have my PC hooked up to my 1080p TV.  I see your point though.

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @lazycomplife sure i do and do you think time warner is going to keep your info with out a paying account?? i know at&t wont. i am not talking about current models just the cable service stuff.