Spawn: It’s SlingBox for Your Console Games

By  |  Monday, September 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm

SpawnThe most potentially interesting thing I’ve seen so far at the TechCrunch50 conference is Spawn Labs’ Spawn HD720 box. It’s also one of the easier things to explain: Just as a SlingBox lets you redirect your TV signal to another PC on your home network or anywhere on the Internet, Spawn lets you broadcast console games–it supports PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, and GameCube, but not Wii–to distant computers. You can use it to play a game in another room when your TV is otherwise occupied, or to play a game remotely when you’re traveling–and you can even play against someone who’s in the living room using the console directly, or who’s in a third location.

It all works via a $199.95 box (which goes on sale today) and adapters you plug into your computer to let you connect gamepads, and Spawn says it’ll work with any game for the consoles it supports. It worked well in the demo–which isn’t a given, since several TechCrunch50 debutantes haven’t–and if it does what it’s supposed to, it’s going to be cool. Spawn says that games look good and there’s virtually no latency on home networks and only a tiny bit over the Internet, but even the impressively-engineered SlingBox sometimes has trouble dealing with chokey real-world Internet connections. I’ll believe it when I play it.

Even if it performs as advertised, it is, of course, another box to buy and install. Wouldn’t it be nifty if this feature was built into consoles–or if Spawn and Sling teamed up to sell one box that did both games and TV?

 
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2 Comments For This Post

  1. DaveZatz Says:

    If Slingbox is a niche product, this is a niche within in a niche. I fully expect EchoStar, Sling’s parent company, to pull the plug on dedicated hardware. (As opposed to a DVR with builtin Sling capabilities.) I imagine the latency over the Internet, no matter how small, would kill online gaming with something like Call of Duty. Very few people will pay $200 for this.

  2. Backlin Says:

    I’m agreeing with Dave on this one.

    Also, if they are going to market this product toward gamers, there had better be no latency at all. Nothing irritates a gamer more than moving the right stick then the character looks a different way a second later. He could be dead in that second. I couldn’t begin to express my aggravation using A/V inputs on my computer to play my old game consoles (emulation was shaky at the time). The movements would always appear a second or two after I press a button.

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