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t5 labs launches PC to TV games platform

By Phil Elliott

Fri 09 Nov 2007 8:00am GMT / 3:00am EST / 12:00am PST

t5 labs has announced its plans to bring traditional PC games to a living room market via a household's existing terrestrial set-top box.

t5 labs has announced its plans to bring traditional PC games to a living room market via a household's existing terrestrial set-top box.

The company, which has partnered with IBM on the project, has a presence in the US and Europe, and has software which will enable seamless streaming of titles such as Need for Speed to people's living rooms on an on-demand basis.

The system will require a terrestrial service provider, such as Virgin Media or BT Vision, and would work in the same way as video on demand, with customers either paying a small amount, such as GBP 1 per play, or adding an "any game, any time" feature into an existing subscription package.

Speaking exclusively to t5 labs' founder and CEO, Graham Clemie, explained that the system could appeal to a new, non-gaming audience.

"‚¶for those gamers who are less hardcore, and maybe prefer the comfort of sitting in their living room to play games, who are fed up with having to buy all the different games consoles, and upgrade all the time, and go out and buy the games — and of course some games cost GBP 40 — this will be for them.

"It will also appeal to lapsed gamers, people who may have been gamers when they were younger, and now they've kind of lost contact with that world of buying consoles, and it doesn't quite fit in to their lifestyle any more."

The service could work for any content that's currently PC-based, including potential link-ups with MMO publishers, although Clemie believes there would have to be certain criteria met for those types of games to succeed.

"‚¶anything's fine as long as it's compatible with the input device — I think we'd have to have a standard game controller, I don't see people having a keyboard and mouse in their living room."

While details on dates or definite title line-up aren't available just yet, some sections of the games industry have already expressed an interest.

CEO of developer Blitz Games, Phillip Oliver, said: "When I heard what t5 labs was offering I was understandably sceptical, but on learning more I became incredibly excited by the potential of this technology to revolutionise and broaden the gaming market."

The full interview with Graham Clemie, in which he explains more about how the service works, and why Microsoft an Intel have faced difficulties with the Media Centre and Viiv, is available now.

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