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 Friday, October 07, 2011

The latest report from the ITU-T Technology Watch series surveys some of the hottest developments in the world of video games, describes the most common gaming platforms and terminals, highlights new technologies enabling a better gaming experience, and identifies future standardization activities.

Over the past 30 years, video games have become an important part of contemporary global entertainment and media. Games and gaming have evolved from dedicated, single-game units to massively multiplayer online role-player games with millions of players. Today they are a huge media business worth billions of dollars, and its bestsellers continuously beat blockbuster movies in sales revenue.

The ever increasing expansion of the Internet has significantly contributed to the growth of gaming on dedicated video game consoles and PCs. The possibility to compete with other players around the world is taken for granted by most players. Mobile broadband and the growing penetration of smartphones brings further movement into the gaming ecosystem. Independent developers and small start-up companies are able to compete in the market and deliver their games to huge audiences. The latest step is the rise of social network games on platforms with hundreds of millions of users. These transformations have not only changed the way games look today, they have also influenced the audience and the business models of the gaming industry.

Consumers are beginning to struggle with the ever-increasing number of set top-boxes, satellite receivers and gaming consoles. It is a logical and certainly desirable goal to integrate these closely related technologies on to a multipurpose , standards-based multimedia platform. Incorporating a variety of audiovisual technologies into a single 3D TV device is understandably a task demanding a great degree of standardization work. ITU will bring together service and content providers, including games developers, to attempt to standardize communication protocols, toolboxes, middleware and security frameworks.

The report and additional sources of information are available at http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/techwatch/Pages/video-games-standards.aspx.

Experts from industry, research and academia are invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for future reports in the Technology Watch series. Please contact the team at tsbtechwatch@itu.int for details.

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