All it’ll take to play some of EA’s biggest titles is Comcast’s X1 cable box. According to Reuters, EA and Comcast are finalizing a deal that would allow users to stream some of the developer’s games through the X1, which is one of the most powerful cable boxes available. The rumored partnership essentially sounds like Sony’s PlayStation Now service, giving more users access to high-profile games without the need of a console. Among the titles expected to be available include a number of casual games, later expanding to such games as FIFA and Plants vs. Zombies.
The logistics of the service are unclear, though one possibility could see EA pay Comcast a pre-determined fee for smooth streaming, not too dissimilar to Netflix’s Comcast deal. The cost would then be handed down to customers, and resemble a kind of pay-per-view purchasing method. However, no pricing details have been announced just yet. Comcast is currently entangled in a possible merge with Time Warner Cable.
The supposed deal has been in testing for two years now, and both sides apparently feel the service is ready to go. If true, customers won’t even need a console to play games, while a big publisher such as EA will have the opportunity to reach a wider consumer base. I would assume households that have Comcast’s beefy X1 cable box also has a console, but perhaps not. Customers will supposedly use their tablets as a controller, which we all know to be much worse than an actual DualShock 4 et al. No word on if other accessories will be compatible.
With today’s next-generation consoles being marketed as living room hubs, it seem Comcast is ready to fight back. No word on when a possible service will launch, but it would certainly be a big move of intention from Comcast. Sony’s PlayStation Now streaming service, meanwhile, is expected to hit later this summer.