Another contender is entering the console-less gaming arena. New company Playcast Media has launched a pilot program with Israeli cable network Hot to stream games directly to users' television sets.
It says its tech has been in development for four years, and promises "PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 quality games on demand" distributed as digital video via standard cable lines, and asserts it avoids lags and latency.
The company says its pilot program is rolling out to test its system at full capacity on a live network, while gathering feedback on its user interface. The company doesn't say how long the trial is scheduled to last, but says that at its conclusion it'll implement a full rollout of the service in Israel.
It's aiming to reach markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia, where it's "engaged in advanced evaluation phases" with the hope of rolling out a service offering "during 2009 and 2010."
The company's offering is similar to OnLive, a cloud-based game-streaming service for PC titles unveiled at the Game Developers Conference earlier this year, and Dave Perry's more recently announced Gaikai service.
Cloud-based gaming services aim to revolutionize the industry by removing the need for in-home hardware or physical software, and bypassing platform compatibility issues.
Playcast CEO Guy De Beer said: "The Playcast Media services pilot proves the viability of this type of on-demand service and brings to fruition the vision of TV Games-on-Demand, enabling new growth opportunities for game publishers and TV operators with minimum investment, as well as an affordable gaming experience to hundreds of millions of cable and IPTV subscribers around the world."