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Video Games On Demand Via Cable

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the dino-crisis-on-demand dept.

Television 27

Gamespot reports that this past week, a portion of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association was set aside to show off a system called gameNET. The group intends to promote video games on demand via current cable setups. From the article: "With the convention proper focusing heavily on the emergence of HDTV and on-demand video services, gameNET followed suit by addressing both issues. Pixel Play, a New York-based on-demand game company, showed off its cable-based games built around the Tetris, Monopoly, Scrabble, Centipede, and Asteroids brands. The market for such games, said a spokesperson, is the emerging casual gamer--typically a female over the age of 40 who is married and has two children."

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Article? (1)

dshaw858 (828072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12159679)

Well, without an article it's a little hard to comment a lot. However, I think that this means that people can download games via their cable... quite a lot like downloading a game via cable internet. Sounds like an interesting idea, though... let's see if it flies.

- dshaw

Re:Article? (5, Funny)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12159701)

Well, without an article it's a little hard to comment a lot.

You're new here, aren't you?

Re:Article? (1)

kinadian (136810) | more than 9 years ago | (#12160283)

There's a service in my area (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) offered by my cable company (Cogeco) called Video-On-Demand [] . My digital cable receiver basically functions has a vcr. The movie is available for purchase for a 24 hour time period (much like pay per view movies). You can pause it, rewind it, fast forward, etc.

TMN (a movie network) uses the same technology for TMN OnDemand to provide the movies their shows are currently airing. This service is free to any TMN subscriber with digital cable.

I would assume it would work similar to this.


Wow! (3, Funny)

Stolethis (873779) | more than 9 years ago | (#12159715)

Board games and tetris! I can't wait to have these things available in my house.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12162230)

your sig file is wrong. goldilocks was the little slut who slept in3 beds that didn't belong to her. little miss muffet was the one who ate that garbage.

In other news... (1)

mikiN (75494) | more than 9 years ago | (#12163146)

Sony has just confirmed that it will release the immensely popular game of Pong for the PSP.

After working strenuously for many months trying to match the demands of Pong to the capabilities of the PSP hardware, engineers at Sony are eager to show off the ability of the platform to run even the most demanding games.

The porting of Pong to the PSP was by no means an easy task, as was confirmed by one of the developers. "The communication of game data between two devices in Two-Player Pong puts an immense strain on the available bandwidth and processing power. We had to use the most advanced data compression methods combined with new patent-pending move prediction algorithms to reduce the amount of data that needs to be transfered between the devices," he admitted.

That brings back memories. (3, Interesting)

badfrog (45310) | more than 9 years ago | (#12159731)

Sounds like The Sega Channel []

Re:That brings back memories. (2, Informative)

Stolethis (873779) | more than 9 years ago | (#12159771)

Sounds like everyone's favorite vaporware [] too.

Re:That brings back memories. (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 9 years ago | (#12159814)

Sounds like what Dish Network is doing with their interactive games. PlayTV and the like. Although, for those games, you need to wait to play a specific game. I think they should just cache all the games to the hard drive.

Re:That brings back memories. (2, Informative)

BTWR (540147) | more than 9 years ago | (#12159866)

SEGA Channel was AMAZING. My friend in high school had it, and it was a fantastic product. Sorta like today's Gamefly/Netflix services (but in a way, much better).

You had access to about 30 games a month for like $12 or something in about 8 categories: Sports, Action, Puzzles, Family, etc, and every month, they switched about 60-70% of the games (i.e. ~30% stayed over). PLUS, they were usually a bunch of AAA games with it.

Re:That brings back memories. (1)

screwballicus (313964) | more than 9 years ago | (#12161255)

And its Nintendo equivalent, the Satellaview [] .

Re:That brings back memories. (1)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12165135)

Sounds like The Sega Channel ...and even that wasn't a particularly new idea:

Playcable [] dates back to '81. News for nerds, stuff that was a neat idea 20+ years ago. :)


already have it (4, Interesting)

alatesystems (51331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12160113)

As usual, my company [] already has this. We can play some stupid card games via the remote on a special digital "channel".

I find it incredibly boring, and have no desire to play these crappy games, since I have consoles. It's totally a gimmick, and I don't see it appealing to anyone.

With that said, my coworkers wife loves it. (She's around 28, 2 kids[twins] just born, not the over 40 demographic).

Airplane (0)

Moderator (189749) | more than 9 years ago | (#12160215)

I saw something like this on a Scandanavian Airlines flight. There were touch screens on the seat in front of you, and a remote control which, when turned sideways, resembled an old SNES controller. It was sort of slow, but great to play card games on.

Hey... (2, Funny)

softspokenrevolution (644206) | more than 9 years ago | (#12160371)

Remember that Infium or whatever console, that sort of reminds me of that.

Well (1)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 9 years ago | (#12160640)

The over-40 demographic seems rather high, since technological inclination tends to increase as date of birth decreases, but aside from that I can see it working if it's done right. Which I doubt. Old or bad games licensed to a company that does not know much about games...? It would take considerable ease of use, no cost, and/or some very good original content to make it worth the time. If nothing else, these guys must be certain that it will run quickly.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12161050)

Oh, I think they've got the demo nailed perfectly; my 52 year old mother is probably one of PopCap's best customers.

Re:Well (1)

scabb (670114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12161200)

Actually, 40-50 year old women seems about right to me. My mother, who is in fact perfectly normal, has been very much known to sit in front of the television with the sky remote and play the puzzle games offered by the interactive service. The free ones, mind, generally clones of puzzle bobble and the likes. This practice is also carried out by a few of her friends from work. It's also not uncommon for technophobes who don't touch video games at all to become addicted to Tetris, as I discovered years ago on holiday with my extended family and a game boy. They went through a lot of batteries, and I barely even got to play Super Mario Land.

didn't they do this already.. (1)

Festering Leper (456849) | more than 9 years ago | (#12161028)

...and call it the NABU Network [] ?

Re:didn't they do this already.. (1)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 9 years ago | (#12162030)

From that site:

"Above: Promotional material published for the NABU computer network in 1984 targeted the whole family. (NABU Network Corporation)"

Wow! They even targeted dogs!

Intellivision PlayCable (2, Informative)

HuskerDu (40188) | more than 9 years ago | (#12161430)

I can't believe no one has mentioned that the Intellivision did this in 1981.

Recognize []

Re:Intellivision PlayCable (1)

CDarklock (869868) | more than 9 years ago | (#12164591)

I was actually just *about* to mention that, because it seems to be targeting the same audience: they targeted the mid-teen market 25 years ago, and now they're targeting the over-40 market. So if you were 16 in 1981, you'd be 40 today... and exactly the kind of person they're targeting.

I miss my IntelliVision. Particularly the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game where arrows bounced off walls like some weird form of billiards, which is unfortunately one of the few games NOT recently re-released on the PS2 collection.

Strategy games? (1)

Sefert (723060) | more than 9 years ago | (#12161533)

I wonder if you can do stuff like play games that you save. I'd love to be able to hop on and play Axis and Allies with some people, not just the lame-ass games like tic-tac-toe. You ever try to get people together after the age of 25 to play a game that takes 15 hours?? Brutal! Great venue for it though.

Two points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12161815)

First, digital cable boxes are quite powerful beasts. They use PowerPC processors (typically) and can have a nice low power GPU at little extra cost (PowerVR comes to mind). With DVR functionality it even has a nice size hard drive to store said on demand games.

Second, a couple of proprietary contoller ports and you've got a gaming platform. Or... if you want to go that way, you can get radio wireless controllers a la wavebird. These are provided with the digital cable box when you get it. Cable providers would have incentive to just give controllers away to encourage people to buy on-demand games.

Now, I don't know about you. But I'd develop games for the Motorola DVR model XXXX if it meant instant exposure to 10 million Time Warner cable subscribers. And it would beat the hell out of programming for a cell phone.

Hotel game systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12162131)

In addition to systems like Satellaview, Sega Channel, etc., this has been done before on a smaller scale in hotels that have gaming systems in the rooms.

I've stayed at places that had N64 and PS games available for download from the front desk. Expensive as hell, though, so I just stick to the DS or GBA, which go with me any time I'm out of the house for more than a few days.
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