Orange gets its cloud game on with G-cluster investment

Orange on Thursday acquired a minority stake in Japanese cloud-based gaming specialist G-cluster for an undisclosed sum. The service provider said that cloud gaming represents an important opportunity and will expand upon an existing agreement whereby G-Cluster provides software services to Orange.

G-cluster already provides the software platform for Orange’s cloud gaming service that is currently available for almost three million customers of Orange TV in France. The new partnership will allow G-cluster to develop internationally and see Orange expand its cloud gaming offering across Europe.

Orange’s role as a network operator gives it a distinct advantage in the cloud gaming arena, as network quality and user experience are the key issues cloud gaming firms are struggling with. Network agnostic player OnLive has run into issues regarding latency for its games and earlier this week Sony announced a cloud gaming project but does not as yet appear to have operator support.

Orange said it aims to create value through its high speed broadband networks on fibre and 4G, by offering customers an innovative experience of gaming across all screens, TV, PC, tablets and smartphones.

The supposed benefits of cloud gaming is that it can offer an easily accessible platform that enables users to instantly play games on their TVs without any need to download large files. They can then continue their game, at home or on the move, using their PC, tablet or smartphone and experience multiplayer, multi-platform gaming. All of these elements are network dependent however.

Vivek Badrinath, deputy CEO in charge of innovation, marketing and technologies, said: “This partnership will undoubtedly play an important role in the further development of our gaming offers in addition to our other content offers in television, VOD and music. The performance of our fibre and 4G networks will enable our customers to benefit fully from a broad range of console-like games wherever they are and whatever screen they are using.”

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