Online gaming clearly is the next big thing, especially for cable broadband providers. Knowing that gamers will be willing to spend extra dollars on faster pipes most cable providers – Comcast down to the ones whom I don’t know – are all hopped up. It gives them a chance to nudge their revenues higher, especially as they slowly ratchet up the speed dial on their networks.
Their ardor hasn’t been lost on Juniper Networks, which today announced that it is going to build a network platform finely tuned for gaming. It is going to work with online gaming infrastructure provider — Exent. Exent has software that does all sorts of boring but important like secure digital delivery of gaming software and manage the billing. Exent is used by Comcast, Yahoo!, Bell Canada, RCN, Atari-On-Demand, Deutsche Telekom, Wanadoo, Telefonica, KPN, Telenet, Telenor, Fujitsu, and Swisscom.
Juniper Networks will make its SDX Service Deployment System work better with Exent’s system. SDX allows service providers to manage networks and at the same time boost speeds, manage quality and allocate bandwidth for on-demand services like online gaming. As the games get more complex and require more bandwidth for a seamless jitter free experience, cable operators will have to make sure that the networks can handle the strain put by shoot-them-ups.
DFC Intelligence forecasts that the worldwide market for online games will reach $9.8 billion in 2009. This represents a 410% increase over 2003 revenue of $1.9 billion. In 2009, the largest market for online games is expected to be the Asia-Pacific region with $4.2 billion in revenue. Most of the new gaming consoles, including the current gadget diva, Sony PSP have network connectivity to make multiplayers and online gaming an essential part of the whole experience.