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US cable companies preparing to offer TV streamed triple-a games

Tuesday, 25th September 2012 09:01 GMT By Dave Cook

American cable companies AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner are preparing to enter the gaming race by offering streamed triple-a titles via television. It’s a move that – if executed correctly – could pose a real challenge to physical consoles moving forward.

MCV reports – via Bloomberg – that all three cable providers are looking to roll out streamed game services at some point in 2013, with the option to use smartphones as a controller currently being considered, as well as bespoke control pads.

MCV also notes that where streaming service OnLive saw difficulty, cable providers will not. All three cable providers have vast resources and due to the nature of cable set-top boxes, offer high speed streaming that would provide a suitable platform for streaming hefty titles.

Trials of all services are reported to begin at some point this year, and once launched they will collectively target around 50 million current subscribers. That’s a lot of people.

What do you think? Could streamed TV gaming really challenge consoles as we know them, or is this all a while off yet? Let us know below.

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15 Comments

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  1. marijn1979

    “Tripe-a titles”? That’s the most hilariously accurate spelling mistake I’ve seen in a long time.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 oh damn haha. Yeah I guess it is kind of fitting isn’t it ;)

    Thanks for the spot.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Gekidami

    Already exists in France, i’m not too familliar with it but the ad shows stuff like Tekken and Sonic Karting game.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. NocturnalB

    Hi, i live in the US, and i will tell you this. Our network infrastructure and net speeds are a laughing stock compared to the whole rest of the world. So good luck with this. We are ranked 29th in the world.

    Want an example? The average American triple play package (TV/Internet/Phone) costs $150/mo (about £116/mo), that’s for about 24megabits download speed, typically American only TV programming, and all international calling beyond Canada will cost you a metric fuckload.

    Where as say, the French, pay the equivalent of $38/mo ( £29/mo) for the same basic services, but they get over 10x faster download 20x faster upload speed than the absolute fastest any American service provides for internet service, unlimited international calling to over 70 countries, and TV from around the world.

    For the TL;DR crowd, American internet sucks, hard, and we pay sky high prices compared to everyone else for it.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    How is this only hit on 4 times? This is huge news. It also goes along with what I am thinking MS is going to offer.

    I think MS will link up and offer cable TV and work in streaming in a fashion close to what is being described here from the cable guys. I think your xbl Gold fees will include teirs for TV and streaming games. And yeah I believe that is why they push Sony out of the market. I think Nintendo, being Nintendo, can stand on their own because of their games. But the other two come down to services beyond games. And I think MS is going to suprise a lot of folks in the coming years.

    If the cable companies do end up offering affordable versions of said services, they could change the landscape forever.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OrbitMonkey

    @OG, Nice theory & it would help MS dominate the US… Well dominate it even more.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. NocturnalB

    That would definitely be nice. I know they’ve kind of tried this generation with teaming with Xfinity, FIOS, etc. But it’s still not full service. Another problem with how they operate on the console right now is you usually need an account set up with the provider as well as your XBL gold, it just becomes too much of a hassle.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Kabby

    How many people play those terrible games that are already available on cable/satellite boxes? I’d say not many.

    Do you really think making ‘proper’ games available to this audience will really make a difference? I can’t see current gamers ditching their consoles to play via the ‘TV’ box at this time.

    Also, I’m pretty sure they won’t be streaming anything that isn’t already on PC. ie There does not yet exist a backbone that can support Xbox/PS3 titles to be streamed in this way.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. OlderGamer

    If they offer a bundled all in one Gold fee that includes these things, then they could score. Like was said, our cable TV and ISPs here are stupidly over priced, there is lot of wiggle room for someone to muscle in to the market.

    As for XBNXTs, I expect them to be able to operate as set top cable boxes. Your current cable company will likly offer you a XBXNXT enabled cable box, again perhaps working the price of the system into your Gold/Cable fees.

    Trust me, something like this is being worked on. But right now it could go in a million different directions or fall flat on its face. But I am pretty sure it is the near future.

    As far as what kinds of games we will be able to play, it won’t be flash browser stuff. Good chance we will be able to download more then outright cloud stream. But the games should be big name titles.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. OrbitMonkey

    @OG, Do you mean something like AT&T doing a deal with MS, so that you get their channels using a nextbox as the set-top box, which obviously plays all the MS titles?

    That would be a game changer.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. NocturnalB

    @OG I dunno man, i honestly think the streamed live TV through your consoles is way more feasible, i see the streaming games through the TV being a d.o.a.

    Like i said the companies here have cartel like territory lines, and charge extortionate fees already. Look at things like Comcast’s On Demand, 5 bucks a movie, 6 if it’s HD (which isn’t even truly HD because of their stream quality), i don’t see anyone wanting to pay 5 bucks to stream a triple A game on their TV for 24 hours and in no way own it.

    @10 Exactly what I’m saying, that’d be perfect.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. ManuOtaku

    I dont like this at all, the sings and the precedents this is indicating are worrying ones, we will see the prostitution of the industry, you know iam open for more companies, manufacturers,etc., in this industry, but i wanted them to be dedicated to gaming, or that gaming is their primary focus,just for the sake of competition, and the good things that brings, but this i dont like it at all.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. OlderGamer

    Yeah OM. But I don’t know what end results will look like right now. But something like that. As for the games aspect of it, it isn’t likly to be cloud based streaming. Just games that can be downloaded. No different then currently able to download from LIVE.

    But I think the long term push is to offer “channels” like the old Sega Channel that cable used to offer. That was a cable that pluged into your gen/MD and it offered 50 games each month. you could play those games as much as you liked and they fired up almost instantly. At the end of each month the selection of 50 games changed. The service cost like 15usd at the time.

    I can see something close to that in the future. It might be down to the publisher or maybe the platform holders. I am not sure how it would be structured. But yeah I think that is a possibilty.

    Also, we are going to have to get used to the fact that we will not own anything gamewise in the future. It is just going to be the way it is. Kind of like old school TV, before the DVD collection sets, before the on demand, before the digital stores, you had a very small selection of stations and once something aired, unless you watched a rerun, it was gone. That is where gaming is going, I believe.

    All in one set top boxes are just another step along that path.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OrbitMonkey

    @OG, I don’t agree with the not owning your games anymore part mate, that’s a step back.

    I reckon we’ll all have our online accounts, with everything we *own* listed and ready to download at a whim.

    Unless you disagree with a change in the user agreement… But that’s another topic ;-)

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Len

    @4 So true, i was shocked when I moved here (NY) from London (50Mb fibre line) to appalling 15Mb crappy cable line for the same price.

    Same with mobiles, there are 4 or 5 main companies have the market sewn up so just monopolise it and the prices. V poor… :(

    #15 2 years ago