Xbox popularity threatened by cable TV?

1821 TV service providers Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T Inc and Time Warner Cable Inc, are gearing up for a push to deliver video games directly to the televisions. But the new strategy shift will pose a threat to traditional gaming consoles like the PlayStation Wii and Xbox.

The trials of the cloud gaming services are expected to begin later this year. The carriers will test and tweak the technology before wider deployments which is expected to begin as early as 2013, while the other carriers will aim for a launch in the year 2014.

If the trials are successful, then web-based games could accelerate a shift away from consoles, which are the industry’s main money maker for the past decades. Meanwhile, customers are already dumping the consoles in favor of the games on the smartphones and tablets which has led to the 39 percent decline in video game hardware sales last month from a year earlier.

Atul Bagga, a video game analyst said “Everybody has a TV.” Bagga added, “Cable and phone companies are looking for new ways to monetize their users and gaming can be pretty compelling”. So by adding popular games to the TV, internet and phone the packages and carriers can offer more services.