Cable television providers are scrambling to stay relevant during changing times, times in which streaming is king.
The number of people embracing streaming boxes like those offered by Roku, Apple, and Amazon is increasing. So is the number of people who are opting to forgo cable, relying solely on streaming media. These cord cutters have an ever-expanding range of content available to them, from on-demand movies and television shows to streaming music and video games. In an effort to stay competitive, cable provider Comcast is reportedly close to offering its own video game streaming service to customers.
According to Reuters, Comcast and video game giant Electronic Arts (EA) have been testing a service for two years that would stream video games to customers for a fee. The goal of the companies is to “make buying games as easy as ordering a pay-per-view movie,” creating a new method of distribution, bypassing console and streaming device manufacturers. Comcast would reportedly make streaming video games available on its X1 Entertainment Operating System. This souped up cable box features apps, a DVR, and voice control, and is reportedly considered the most sophisticated box in the cable industry.
Most streaming boxes already offer video games, including Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon’s recently released FireTV. Even Sony is getting into the video game streaming business with their upcoming PlayStation Now service. It will be interesting to see how Comcast fares against its competition.
In speculating about Comcast’s streaming video game service, Geek.com opines, “It seems likely there will be day, week, and maybe even month-long payment options made available. Another cost you’d either have to, or want to incur in order to enjoy the games more is the purchase of a wireless controller.”
Comcast and EA are reportedly close to reaching an agreement. If the deal goes through, time will tell if this ends up being a beneficial and worthwhile endeavor for both companies. As anyone who has watched on-demand movies via cable provider knows, it’s not always the best experience. Gamers are unlikely to have the patience to endure an experience plagued by freezes and other glitches that unfortunately haunt other cable services.