Cable companies to take on Xbox by entering gaming market

AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon are set to take on gaming consoles such as the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, by delivering video games directly to televisions. The cable companies are said to be working on cloud-based gaming services, much like OnLive, and will have trials that are likely to start later this year so that carriers can ready the technology before wider release, which is said could begin in early 2013. Other carriers are apparently aiming for a 2014 release. 

The three companies are also said to be in talks to offer video-gaming services, according to Bloomberg. They will go beyond just social and casual games, with technology that can bring games from publishers like Electronic Arts. That technology is said to coming from startups such as Agawi, CiiNow and Playcast Media Systems. Executives from each have said they're in talks with U.S. carriers, but would not say which ones specifically.

Nobody knows if this will be a success or will be a challenge to traditional consoles due to the cost of running such services. OnLive, which is one of the first companies to dip into cloud based gaming, works very well from my experience, however the company had layoffs and a buyout in August due to financial loses. Of course cable companies have much more money to push into such products, and with a huge audience already using other services they offer, it could be a very big win.

Source: Bloomberg

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Let's see...

-Cable company lock in - CHECK
-Cloud only, so no internet, no games - CHECK
-It fails, so do your game library and your gamesaves - CHECK
-Most people already have a console or a halfway decent PC - CHECK

Oh yeah, this will totally work... *cough*

GS:mac

I'm not sure if I'm ready to outsource my console.

Desktop PCs are getting replaced by tablet PCs and consoles are becomming living room PCs, that's enough (change) for me.

I'm pretty sure this isn't meant to compete with normal full powered console games. I'd say this is more for the casual gamer that plays android/iphone tablet apps.

Enron said,
Will there be a 20 hour gaming cap?

It's unlimited, until you hit the "soft cap" which will give you a multiplier in your games of 0.1X

You can still play, just really slowly getting there.......

GS:mac

Comcast can't even guarantee that I get a consistent wifi connection and they wanna take on consoles. What a joke.

They are becoming irrelevant as people consume media over the internet. Only problem is they own the infrastructure to access the internet. They are trying to get a grip on media services that side step their TV, Internet, Phone packages. From PC to consoles to TV themselves, cable companies see the writing on the wall with their traditional set up. Not sure what they are worried about when they own the infrastructure though. If the day every comes when I can subscribe to a few choice channels rather than a package, what a great day it will be.

Exactly. They are going to do everything within their power to obstruct the changes that are making them irrelevant. Look at how the studios reacted to Netflix (granted Netflix's own doing have helped lead them to their current situation). When the day comes that other providers begin to produce original content (Netflix, Xbox Live, etc), and are successful with that content, then the Cable companies are really in trouble.

Their fear stems from the disruption of current revenue models. Advertising, content deals such as with the NBA, NFL, Olympics, etc. IMO though, they have themselves to blame because many of those elements themselves are not adapting to newer models as well as they could.

I think Comcast once outright said they didn't want to be reduced to being a utility company. Which I found rather humorous since that is how they probably regard the Internet backbone companies.

Lord Method Man said,
I guess they saw the explosive success of OnLive and decided they wanted a piece of the pie.

No I think the reason is because XBox and other consoles are taking away from people watching TV so they want to offer games to give them a reason to still use their service for something other than internet.
It won't work.

So they want a "device" in some form, or "smart tv" that can be used to deliver game related content vs working with exiting console's to deliver Tv related content.

This sounds more like Media industry vs Console industry fighting over he get's more of the money.

Part of onlive's failure is US infrastructure is not (in terms of price, accessibility, and/or minimum speeds) where it needs to be for content services to thrive.

Jason Stillion said,

This sounds more like Media industry vs Console industry fighting over he get's more of the money.

I agree with this 100%.

Don't think have

A) given much thought
B) will only focus on certain game genre (don't think there will be any RPGs)

Jason Stillion said,
So they want a "device" in some form, or "smart tv" that can be used to deliver game related content vs working with exiting console's to deliver Tv related content.

This sounds more like Media industry vs Console industry fighting over he get's more of the money.

Part of onlive's failure is US infrastructure is not (in terms of price, accessibility, and/or minimum speeds) where it needs to be for content services to thrive.

Well if Google fiber goes as well as most of us hope it does then that will surely change the network infrastructure and pricing issue. Though it will take a while I'm sure.

I'm wondering about things like controller compatibility. Those things are getting more and more expensive with each new generation of console that's released. Will they provide them? If so, how many? Will there be a method in place to transfer the game/user data if you switch to a new provider that has 'cloud' games?

Also something tells me there will be another monthly charge added to play the games and/or you'll be charged monthly for each game instead of a one-time purchase.

We tried something similar before with cable companies, *cough* sega channel *cough* just not to the extent onlive was... i duno streaming games to me just doesn't feel right.. i always like the fact you can play a local game anytime you want even during an internet outage... and even games like the old atari games still work, under this model, when the companies say lock the game up, you cant play it anymore and its gone from access...