Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gaming Stocks Slump On Potential Threat From Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), and Time Warner (TWC) - Electronic Arts, THQI, ATVI, TTWO

Verizon Communications Inc.(NYSE:VZ), AT&T Inc.(NYSE:T), and Time Warner Cable Inc(NYSE:TWC) are pulling out all stops to ensure that video games can be delivered directly to TV screens. According to sources, trials are due to begin later this year, so that the test phase passes smoothly and all glitches can be sorted out.

If this venture succeeds, then traditional consoles such as the PlayStation, Wii and Xbox, will face immense competition and most likely cut into their profits as well. Users will be able to play with the aid of generic controllers connected to their set-top box or TV.

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Recent statistics have revealed that video-game hardware sales have come down by 39% last month as compared to what it was a year back Atul Bagga, a video-games analyst at Lazard Capital, states that carriers are now viewing TV gaming as a lucrative method to monetize their users because every other person owns a TV nowadays.

The nature of gaming will also change by moving away from “Tetris” and “Solitaire” and giving users more action-packed games that uses the most advanced technology. Playcast Media Systems, CiiNOW, and Agawi have been approached to provide software for increase delivery speed of real-time gaming. Apart from that, carriers also need to include compatible graphics processors into their data centers, in place of chips used in consoles.

The real challenge comes in executing the cloud gaming concept. Nvidia, a company that manufactures graphics processors has been working hard to provide suitable technology for such games, which the carriers can use. Tony Tamasi, a senior vice president, states that a compatible combination of software and hardware is what they are aiming for.

Game publishers are eager to invest in cloud gaming as they will be able to cut costs by developing for a single platform rather than manufacturing one for each console. Playcast has reportedly struck a deal with CJ Hellovision to provide this service to 3.51 million subscribers. CiiNOW has followed suit and will collaborate with carriers for its 4th run in Europe.

Shares of Electronic Arts Inc.(NASDAQ:EA) slumped 4.70% to $12.68 followed by THQ Inc.(NASDAQ:THQI) -0.10 (-2.44%), Activision Blizzard, Inc.(NASDAQ:ATVI) -0.41 (-3.44%) and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.(NASDAQ:TTWO) -0.29 (-2.70%).


  1. Great, but no reason for publishing companies to take a hit. Cable companIes are not going to produce the games.

  2. I don't see your point...you are telling us the companys who make the games will make less money - because there is a new way to make even more money out of video games? They don't make consoles - they are making the games...

  3. dammit. this is pretty much smashing my stock portfolio.

  4. Or hardware sales are down, because the newest console is six years old.

    1. Because my internet and cable provider isnt already bending me over on download amounts....im going to start cloud gaming on my connection.... ya right

  5. Wait, so game developers who don't make consoles are taking a hit because consoles may take a hit? WTF? Yes, I would love to play generic games with generic controllers on my less than reliable, incredibly expensive cable service... um, no. Then there's what someone else already pointed out... current systems are 6 years+ old... no wonder sales are slowing.

  6. I agree with the gamers that posted before me. If you're talking about casual facebook games, then fine. If you're talking about core games then you're going to have to hit a pretty high bar. Think about it, they're going to have some super computer out there somewhere. Lets say Texas. Then you're going to have people from all over the US connecting to it through their cable boxes which will be dumb terminals. This super computer is going to have to stream out the visual data with NO LAG to dozens of gamers playing in the same competitive multiplayer match.

    This sounds very pie in the sky right now. I don't believe that the cable companies will want to allow that kind of bandwidth to people nor do I believe they are willing to invest in massive numbers of HUGE mainframes. Please, tell me how many computers are capable of rendering a virtual environment from the perspective of so many people at once, sending them to the right cable boxes at 60 frames per second, and keeping up at a minimum of 720p graphics. Next gen will almost certainly be 60fps at 1080p and we already know that the cable companies can't push out 1080p TV, how the hell are they going to push out 1080p graphics to multiple users at once?

    With the state of our infrastructure and company's willingness to upgrade, this may happen in another 25-30 years.

    Even once they implement this, the cost of all that extra fiber optic cable is going to cause them to charge such high prices for this service that no one is going to bother with it. Why pay a hundred bucks a month to play games when you can buy a console?


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