While OnLive hasn’t done so great, that doesn’t mean direct, streamable and downloadable video games aren’t going to be a thing. Verizon and Time Warner cable both plan on offering a video game download and rental service through your cable box. Get ready for Angry Birds: Super Fun Special TWC Edition.
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, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Other carriers are aiming for 2014, the people said.
If successful, Web-based games could accelerate a shift away from consoles, the industry’s main money maker for the past three decades. Sony Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Nintendo Co. have helped to build a market worth $24.1 billion in the U.S. in 2011, according to NPD Group Inc. Consumers are already dumping consoles in favor of games on smartphones and tablets, leading to a 39 percent decline in video-game hardware sales last month from a year earlier.
“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.
By adding popular games to their TV, Internet and phone packages, carriers can offer another service to their almost 50 million digital TV subscribers.
In addition to AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable, Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. are also in talks to offer video-gaming services, the people said. They’re all looking to go beyond social games from Zynga Inc. and casual games such as “Tetris” and “Solitaire,” with technology that can deliver the most advanced action games from top publishers such as Electronic Arts Inc.
Submitted by Delsyd