In the media: Video providers mulling cloud-based gaming services

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 2:24pm
Mike Robuck

AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cox Communications are in various stages of planning for cloud-based gaming services, according to a story by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reported that trials for the cloud-based gaming services are slated to start later this year ahead of possible deployments next year. The cloud-based services pose a direct threat to traditional, expensive consoles from the likes of PlayStation, Xbox and Wii, and they also allow game designers to develop on just one platform instead of many.

Cable operators have long dabbled with interactive applications, and while EBIF looks like it will bring some interactivity to the table, cloud-based content delivery networks and big broadband pipes, via DOCSIS 3.0, are two advantages that cable operators enjoy.

Interactive gaming could provide subscriber stickiness for cable operators, but the cable industry will also need to figure out how gamers figure into their bandwidth caps where applicable.

The challenge for carriers is making sure their cloud-based gaming services mimic what’s been available via the consoles, which means video operators will need to add powerful video processors in their data centers while licensing virtualization technology.

The Bloomberg story said the carriers are working with start-up companies such as Playcast Media Streams, CiiNow and Agawi. Executives at those companies did confirm they were in discussions with video operators in the United States, but they declined to say which ones.

Cablevision started offering its subscribers ActiveVideo’s Tag Games two years ago, but those games are only available to customers in its footprint.


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