Free-play videogaming available for Oceanic clients


POSTED: Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Any Oceanic Time Warner Cable digital cable household can become a gaming household, starting today, without the expense of an XBox 360, PS3, Wii or other console, or spending $50-plus for games.

Kids whose siblings monopolize the computer for World of Warcraft will be able to game, using the cable remote.

Oceanic's new TAG TV on Channel 433 allows free play of more than 20 titles in different genres, such as Tetris, Bejeweled and Diner Dash, to nonbranded games including Texas Hold 'Em Poker, backgammon and solitaire.

It will be free through March 31, after which unlimited gaming will cost 25 cents a day to help offset licensing fees, said Alan Pollock, vice president of marketing.

The Tetris license belongs to Hawaii resident Henk Rogers, whose companies have developed variations of it for many platforms.

Oceanic once had a channel for classic games, “;and people were playing them, but these are so lively and fun and entertaining ... so cool and addicting,”; Pollock said.

Categories include card or board games; word or trivia games; action or puzzle games; and kids' games.

Since they are played with a remote, play is not as intricate as with a game console's controller, but games will track players' scores and some titles allow players to reload a stored game.

When Oceanic introduces the 2.0 version later this year, subscribers will be able to connect remotely for gaming without leaving the house.

“;You'll actually be able to play different households, a block away or on Maui,”; Pollock said.

To use gamer-speak, you'll be able to pwn that noob of a neighbor island cousin.

Games will be changed periodically as licenses expire or depending on popularity.

Oceanic has pioneered or been an early adopter of many new technologies and “;this is kind of fringe stuff, so we're kind of pushing the envelope ... we're like five laps ahead.”; Only one other cable system has TAG TV.

Yet more new technology, which will be expanded, allowed Oceanic to roll TAG out. It reduces the load time of special features.

With the prevalence of high-speed Internet, consumers' “;expectations are much higher and TV needs to catch up to the speed of the computer,”; Pollock said.


Early reiser gone

KRTR-FM 96.3 is looking for a new morning show co-host for Sistah Sherry, following Chris Reiser's Friday departure.

His contract was up but his leaving “;has nothing to do with the contract,”; said Mike Kelly, vice president and general manager of Cox Radio Hawaii.

After co-hosting the top-five, and in some demographics, second-ranked morning show for the past four years, Reiser is returning to Canada for personal reasons, Kelly said.

The station is talking to several candidates.