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Playcast Media rolls out Xbox 360 and PS3 on-demand-gaming service
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Current generation on-demand-gaming has made its debut in Israel with Playcast. Playcast Media is an on-demand-gaming service solution for Cable and IPTV, launching through Israel's HOT cable network. It has launched a pilot program to deliver Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games through cable telephone lines.

From the announcement:
"For the first time in pay-tv history viewers will be able to play their favorite video games directly from their existing cable television set-top box without a gaming console. The launch of the Playcast Games-on-Demand service concludes 4 years of development and positions Playcast Media as the only live and deployed service of its kind on cable television.

The Playcast Media Games-on-Demand pilot allows Hot Cable TV viewers to play modern, high-end video games on their existing set-top box, using a game pad or controller, without lags or latency. Playcast's system uses a proprietary new technology to deliver PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 quality games, on demand, to ordinary cable or telco set-top boxes via standard cable telephone lines. This field proven technology uses ultra high-speed processing to handle off-the-shelf games and distribute the game's audio/ visual output as digital video."

This is a similar service to another on demand gaming service you may have heard of earlier this year, OnLive. The Playcast rollout puts the service to the test on a live cable network and is a beta test on what users think about the gaming experience. Playcast Media is evaluating and planning distribution through other markets in the US, Europe and Asia for a 2009 to 2010 rollout.

Deals are currently in the works with "major US game publishers," a representative told us, with more with details to be announced in the upcoming weeks. Game publishers interested in distributing games through the service should look here for more information. The system uses a universal controller, allowing players to interface with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 Playcast distributed games.

On-demand-gaming seems like it's fast approaching reality in the US and game publishers may have a very convenient digital distribution option. With the NPD Group reporting game sales down at retail for a fourth consecutive month and tough economic times for some gamers, hopefully on-demand-gaming services can provide a boost to the business of gaming. 2010 may just be the year of the subscription-based gaming.

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