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.