Telecom announces new gaming initiative

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 17:10 08/05/2014

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Telecom says its new cloud-based gaming service, Aircade, will be open to all broadband users if a trial announced today proves successful.

Spokesman Richard Llewellyn said that like Telecom's forthcoming internet television service, the gaming service would be subscription-based and offered to Telecom broadband customers and customers of other internet providers.

Aircade would "add another dimension to Telecom's digital entertainment universe" by letting gamers play "quality video games anywhere, anytime", the company said.

Telecom has invited gamers to register for the trial, which it said would help it shape the offering.

If the trial was successful, Aircade would obviate the need for gamers to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on high-end consoles or gaming rigs as all they would need would be a computer and good-quality broadband connection with plenty of data, it said.

However, one gamer cautioned that not all cloud-based gaming platforms had proved commercial hits, pointing to the difficulties United States venture OnLive.com, originally backed by Warner Bros, experienced in attracting customers.

Telecom has not said what games will be available on Aircade, promising only that players could expect "a range of award-winning AAA blockbusters and pick-up-and-play hits from leading games studios across different genres".

Llewellyn said Aircade was expected to be a lesser investment than its forthcoming internet television service – originally dubbed ShowmeTV and yet to be renamed – that has an expected annual budget of about $20 million.

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