Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Samsung to Roll Out Cloud-Based Game Service on Smart TVs This Fall

At the E3 video game conference this year, some gamers and attendees were hoping for more hardware updates.

Others have said: Consoles are on their way out and the cloud is where it’s at.

Samsung, for one, is planning on rolling out a cloud-based gaming service on its LED 7000 series TVs through a partnership with Gaikai, an interactive network that delivers PC-based games through the Web, and chip maker Nvidia.

The app, called Samsung Cloud Gaming, will be accessible through Samsung’s Smart Hub, its media center on Smart TVs. Samsung expects the service to stream “console-quality hit games” — sans consoles — to 40 million TVs in the next 12 months.

The service is entering beta testing this summer and will launch this fall.

The games offered will be a mix of family-friendly and hardcore games, including Bulletstorm and World of Warcraft. In terms of hardware, Samsung Cloud Gaming will work with a variety of both wired and wireless controllers.

“Consoles are a six-year cycle, while our processors double their speed every two years,” says Keita Iida, director of global content management at Nvidia, which makes the chip powering Samsung’s cloud-based service. “Will some hardcore gamers still go to consoles? Sure, but we think you’ll be able to get the same thing on connected screens and mobile devices.”

But, to that point, as more hardcore games migrate to the cloud, gamers used to the processing power of a console may find themselves waiting for technology to catch up to content.

Cloud-based gaming services won’t work on just any device to start. Only new high-end 7000 Series TVs will support Samsung’s service because of the dual-core processors needed to stream the games.

When asked about whether the future holds a console-free gaming world, Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Microsoft Xbox Live, said in an interview with AllThingsD that the functions the Kinect performs require too much processing power to see it happening in the cloud. “I don’t think we’re going to be sending a frame-by-frame map of our living rooms out of the house and into the cloud.”


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