Telstra: We’re ‘Investigating’ Cloud Gaming

Telstra: We’re ‘Investigating’ Cloud Gaming
Image: Supplied

At The Esports Conference yesterday, representatives from Telstra revealed that the ISP has been trialling a cloud gaming project in Australia.

The revelation was initially made by Telstra’s Anna Lockwood, who heads up market development for the conglomerate’s Broadcast Services division. Lockwood initially said that the company was “working on the cloud gaming piece”. In a follow-up question, Lockwood mentioned that the company had been working with Microsoft, Ubisoft and a third partner on those trials, but didn’t specify what those trials entailed.

When contacted for clarification today, Telstra could not confirm any involvement with Microsoft, Ubisoft, or other gaming publishers. A spokesperson did provide a following statement, confirming the project’s existence:

Cloud gaming is gaining increasing attention, such as at last month’s E3 conference, and relates to the industry trend around “edge computing” where infrastructure is located closer to customers and achieves lower network latencies.

At Telstra Labs, we have been investigating what this industry trend means for Telstra, and are excited about the possibilities it may present for our customers. We look forward to providing more details in due course.

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It’s understood that Telstra’s Innovation and IoT lab in Melbourne has played a part in the trials. Given that they were mentioned on the day, I’ve also contacted Ubisoft and Microsoft for further comment. A Microsoft spokesperson replied that “we have nothing to share at this time”, while Ubisoft Australia had not replied at the time of writing.

The comments were made at the conference’s final keynote speech, which was headlined by Akamai’s media industry global director Nelson Rodriguez. As part of a question about optimising the internet for connecting gamers across continents, Rodriguez added that Akamai had been trialling particular tech that could have impacts on the architecture of video games.

“What it does is push some of the server load out to edge servers for micro-computing, for positional data and a bunch of ways this could be done, for tiny packets to be aggregated at these edge clusters that could potentially make it so you don’t have to connect to a European server,” Rodriguez said.

The technology was being tested with “a few major gaming companies”, which Rodriguez wasn’t able to name. He did stress that the tech wouldn’t change the laws of physics — or the “tyranny of distance”, as it was put by Telstra’s Channa Seneviratne, who also sat on the panel. That testing would be completed by the end of the year.

Disclosure: Kotaku Australia is the media partner of The Esports Conference.


  • I’ve heard rumours that the xbox will release with two different units, the standard style xbox and then a stripped down streaming version with very minimal hardware on board. While a lot of the world still suffers from poor internet I think this is a good idea.

    I have FTTP at home so am lucky in that regard, but I’m still hesitant to use this type of service. The only way I would use something like this is if the service provided would result in a significantly better game then what I could run on my own PC. But while there’s going to be both markets in play (streaming and standard) I doubt they’ll want to make the cloud version look better than the standard.

    • Next gen would be 4K at a minimum; imagine the amount of bandwidth that’d be needed for a solid 30fps 4K stream with not-shit bitrates. I can’t imagine the streaming quality would be anything on par with what the regular experience would provide.

      • I also think the undisclosed monster in the basement is the subscription fee they will be asking for. Sure, using a streaming service you’ll be able to forego the upfront cost of a PC/full powered console but I’m certain as the years go by you’ll end up paying more. After all, these businesses are in it for the money.

  • Might as well invest the time, energy, and money into designing a functional hoverboard. It’s about as feasible and at least people actually want it.

  • Cloud gaming… really. The reason most games didnt have local severs on Australian soil is due to ibflated server hosting and band width costs that Telstra is partly responsible for cause enterprise solutions are overpriced by design.

  • What a joke, with some current nbn speeds and ping for those using fttn, hfc or fixed wireless this is never going to work. The NBN will be the one thing stopping cloud gaming in Australia.

  • Not going to happen.

    Next gen will focus on higher res AND increases fps.

    A good analogy is Bluetooth headphones. Perfect for playing music off your phone, but utterly useless for video games.

    The only way these services work is when they’re like EA Access / Game Pass, and you can download the entire game.

    I could also see it working where you have a limit of 1 game installed at a time, with the ability to purchase extra slots (ie $4.99/mo for 1 game slot. $7.99/mo for 2 slots, $10 for 3, $15 for 10 etc).

    Either way, cloud streaming is a loooong way from reality.

  • Hahahaha !

    I am an IT professional working in NZ, and so can make one comment that will put this silly story into better focus – and forgive me for bold caps, but I cannot emphasise it more strongly :


    Ahem. Sorry, but its got to be made clear. This thing acts as if it were made of thin glass – squint at it, and it cracks. Its badly made, badly maintained, and genuinely awful. Applies equally to the cellular and landline networks – Telstra is a Global Joke in the IT world ! From England to the South Pole, its another disgusting Australian pile of dung pretending to be usable.

    And they want to play games on it ?

    Bwahahahahahaa !

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