AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) are gearing up for a push to deliver video games directly to televisions, said people with knowledge of the matter, a strategy shift that poses a threat to traditional consoles such as the PlayStation, Wii and Xbox.
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. (6758), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) 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.
I dunno. OnLive didn’t have much success in the streaming game category. How are cable companies going to offer the same kind of graphics-intensive games without latency when the games aren’t being delivered from a local, dedication game station? I just don’t think we’re there yet. This is a solution in search of a problem. Are gamers clamoring for streaming games?