Can Gamers Force Cheaper Broadband?
By Grant Gross
IDG News Service
Gaming console vendors need broadband providers and television manufacturers to lower prices on their products to help gaming grow on the Internet, says Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Hirai is calling on broadband providers to drop prices as a way to drive more U.S. residents to broadband and promote interest in console gaming online. And affordable high-definition television sets (HDTV) are a good place to start, he said. Hirai spoke at a Congressional Internet Caucus event here Tuesday.
RELEVANCE Few people realise what a powerful position cable and satellite providers currently find themselves in. Fewer still have noted that the hottest consumer electronic product today is controlled by cable & satellite. This hot product is the personal video recorder or PVR and the industry currently controls about 75% of this market. Both the computer industry and the consumer electronics industries would like a (huge) chunk of it.
However, there's no way they can currently compete at the cable and satellite level but they are hoping that broadband (land and wireless systems) will provide them with a new distribution system that they can more readily control and for which they can sell their products. Sony Computer Entertainment would like systems like its PSX and future PlayStation 3 to be the hardware that attaches to the fat broadband pipe while the Wintel camp is betting that both the PC and forthcoming ePC's (entertainment PC's) will.