America Online sees online gaming -- and even gaming on your cell phone -- as a key to revenue growth in the future.
With gaming consistently among the top three channels on AOL, AOL President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Pittman said Thursday that the company is focused on providing users with access to games from almost any device.
Delivering a keynote speech at the E3 game convention, Pittman said the gaming console is poised to become the fifth box in the house that consumers turn to for receiving information, the other four being the PC, television, stereo and phone.
The next step will be linking the devices with services that users can access from any device.
"This will be a world of alliances, and no one company or one industry will make this all come together," Pittman said. "What wins is innovation, scale, customer service and convenience, and we need sharing in order to make this all work."
Expanding online gaming from PCs and game consoles into cell phones and handheld devices is one possibility. AOL is building to provide that and other services using its brand and content.
The company hopes such services will continue to keep users online longer, generating more revenue for the company. Two years ago, the average user was online 44 minutes, a figure that has climbed to 64 minutes.
"Online gaming is ready to take off, and we have to build alliances and develop ways that allow users to get to it and services like it," Pittman said.
He said the Internet is becoming central to everyday life, and playing games is developing into an everyday online activity. With the AOL games channel, Pittman wants to provide a platform for people to get games for all ages, interests and skill levels.
October the 26th. That's the day that Sony PlayStation 2 invades the UK and America. PlayStation 2 and competing programs will turn your TV into an email-delivering, DVD-playing, Internet-surfing home entertainment centre. Go with Jesse Berst to read the news comment at AnchorDesk UK.
Go to E3 Gamespot for detailed coverage