Orange France to launch cloud gaming this October

French telco Orange has confirmed that it will be launching cloud gaming services next month within its IPTV service ‘Orange TV’, offering on-demand access to leading titles from around twenty leading publishers.

The service has been developed in partnership with Japanese cloud gaming specialist G-Cluster, and will be available for €5 or €10 per month (offering access to 540 or 1,000 games respectively), and on a pay-as-you-play basis.

Titles available on the service will include Ubisoft’s ‘Raving Rabbids’ and ‘H.A.W.X. 2′, and ‘Lego Pirates of the Caribbean’. The service will offer ten minutes of free play time on any game – a shrewd way to hook points-hungry gamers.

Rival French telco SFR launched a similar cloud gaming service on its own IPTV service in November 2010, after running trials for nine months, priced at very similar levels to Orange’s own offering.

Orange had reached 4.7mn pay-TV subscribers in France by the end of June, up 21% from one year earlier, and appears to be pushing full steam ahead with its newly-unified TV delivery platform, provided earlier this year by Viaccess-Orca and capable of serving both its IPTV and satellite TV subs with one common middleware and content protection platform .

Editor’s view: Despite many false starts and financial imperilment for some providers (such as OnLive most recently), cloud gaming is looking more and more like a promising avenue of opportunity for service providers.

Just yesterday came unconfirmed reports that a number of major US operators 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.

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