Comcast and EA Working on Deal to Stream Games
It looks like PlayStation Now might have some competition before it ever hits the market. Two two-time Consumerist Worst Company in America winners, Electronic Arts and current champion Comcast, are reportedly working on a deal to stream EA games to Comcast customers.
The reported plan is for EA’s games to be purchased and streamed through the Comcast Xfinity X1 cable box. The system sounds a little reminiscent of other streaming boxes like Chromecast and Apple TV but without the heavy app infrastructure of the Apple and Google devices. The addition of EA games seems to be targeted at battling the non-TV/movie offerings of those devices.
For EA, a deal with Comcast gets them out to new customers who don’t have a game console or, once PS Now has its full rollout, a Sony device in their home. One would assume that this deal will also come with some favourable revenue terms compared to streaming through PlayStation Now if EA is willing to poke the bear.
Reuters’ sources liken the new system as equivalent to pay-per-view. Whether this means that this will be like on-demand movies which are $5.00 for 48 hours of rental or there is an outright purchase option likely won’t be known until an official announcement is made.
The plan is for sports and casual games to be the first wave of games on the streaming service. Madden NFL and FIFA games are expected to be the flagship games for the service with Reuters also reporting that Plants vs. Zombies will also be a part of the first wave of games released on the yet-unnamed Comcast/EA service.
Controlling the games will apparently be done using tablets married up to the X1 box through Xfinity X1 Remote app on iOS and Android. How well that will actually work out for some of EA’s titles remains to be seen but I’d image that’s why Battlefield 4 isn’t on the rumoured games list. Whether controller support will be added for X1 box or app hasn’t been disclosed but I’d imagine that EA should push for that.
This isn’t the only deal that Comcast is working on right now. They’re still waiting on FCC approval for its proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable.