Telstra has big plans for gamers in 2020
On the back of announcing the Telstra Xbox All Access deal, the telecommunications giant targets gamers for 2020.
Gaming is a huge, billion-dollar industry that's only on the rise. A whopping 91% of Australian households lay claim to a video game playing device. And Telstra wants in. If you hadn't caught the news, Telstra has just revealed its first foray into the gaming space with an exclusive Xbox All Access deal.
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The deal allows existing or new Telstra broadband or mobile customers a chance to own a console without paying for one upfront. Similar to what we see with new handsets, customers can add an Xbox One S ($27/month) or Xbox One X ($38/month) to their plan on a 24-month contract. It comes with benefits such as near endless games to play, but the timing is odd to say the least. The link above has more details.
While no doubt big news, the Xbox All Access Telstra partnership is hardly a game changer. However, it is an opportunity to experiment in the market. Telstra intends to go a lot harder with gaming through 2020 and beyond.
Telstra to level up Australia's esports and video gaming community
It was clear in the media briefing for the Xbox All Access announcement that Telstra is dipping its toes in the water before bigger reveals in 2020. As well as the new Xbox (and PlayStation) consoles in 2020, there are two big Netflix-style streaming gaming services launching. There is Microsoft's xCloud and Google Stadia.
Both are heavily reliant on fast broadband or 5G speeds, given that the games are running on remote machines and streaming to your TV or device. Speaking to the Telstra representatives, it was clear the company is circling these innovations and intends to play some role in or around their launches into the Australian market.
There was also plenty of talk about rallying around the crippled Australian esports scene. While esports is booming in international territories like Europe and North America, Australia's geographical isolation puts local competitors behind the eight ball.
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Working closely with Microsoft, which over recent years has invested millions in building out its Azure server centres across the country, Telstra has set a goal of bridging that gap. We can expect to see a range of gamer-centric mobile and broadband plans, presumably 5G and NBN, emerge through 2020. These plans will offer priority bandwidth and cleaner pipelines for gamers competing in high-demand online gaming.
Such plans would also have benefits for the highly respected video game development industry in Australia, which employs tens of thousands. More news to come as it is unveiled in 2020.