Thursday, 22 March 2012

Telstra is Bringing Cloud Gaming to Australia


Looks like Down Under is about to get into the cloud gaming fray, but not courtesy of the usual suspects like OnLive, Gaikai or OTOY. Surprisingly, it is Australian Telecom Telstra that is doing the dirty work, though they haven't mentioned if they are doing it with the help of the aforementioned cloud gaming providers or even with the help of some other cloud gaming companies, or if they go the solo route which is unlikely as they don't have any experience with providing cloud gaming. There are also two other lesser known cloud gaming providers who have experience with providing cloud gaming services to telecoms, them being Playcast which will start providing cloud gaming to French Bouygues Telecom and G-cluster which has connections to French SFR.

On second glance, this isn't such a big surprise, as Australia is quite remote and isolated from the rest of the world, at least geographically. The great distances and low population number and density don't help either. Though, the urban areas in the south-east of Australia form the majority of the population and are denser populated. Surely cloud gaming providers are doing their number crunching and setting up shop Down Under aint come cheap or easy. So, doing it together with Telstra is kinda inevitable.

Telstra is claiming that the cloud gaming service will be commercially ready before the end of the year. JB Hi-Fi is believed to be one of their partners who will offer access to the service.

The new service will allow Telstra customers to stream the latest video games direct to a T-Box digital set-top box.

Recently Telstra executives were also in the USA and Europe negotiating with major game studios, including game giant Electronic Arts.

The big upcoming threat to the console makers are Smart TVs that will be able to connect to cloud gaming services and won't need dedicated high-end PCs and consoles to run high-end games. For instance, OnLive has entered into a partnership with Google to provide cloud gaming to Google TV devices. Additionally, the lack of piracy and used games sales makes the proposition of cloud gaming for game publishers even more exciting. No wonder that Telstra sees the opportunity and wants to sidestep the console makers to get a slice of the gaming pie.

SOURCE: Smarthouse.

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