A number of major US service providers including AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable are getting ready to launch cloud video gaming services, with trials likely to start later this year ready for commercial deployment as early as 2013, say unconfirmed reports by Bloomberg.
The reports, which cite unnamed people “with knowledge of the matter”, add that the nation’s largest cable and telecoms companies are looking for new ways to monetize their customers, and have set their sights on the market of video gaming, worth US$ 24bn each year in the US alone.
While the lion’s share of gaming revenues traditionally come from consoles like the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii, consumers are believed to be waking up to the increased capabilities of other devices such as smartphones and tablets, leading to a 39% drop in console sales last month on an annual basis, according to the NPD Group.
In addition to AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner, cablecos Comcast and Cox Communications are also believed to be in talks to offer cloud gaming services, and are targeting premium titles from top publishers like Electronic Arts.
Potential suppliers of the software required to deliver cloud gaming services for these carriers are speculated to include Israeli firm Playcast Media and US companies CiiNow and Agawi.
Editor’s note: While cloud gaming clearly holds significant promise for network operators, the technology suppliers involved still find themselves at the beginning of the curve when it comes to mass user adoption.
One only has to look at Californian firm OnLive, which counts the world’s biggest games publishers as partners, but which only just survived a bankruptcy scare last month and was forced to initiate a major round of redundancies.