EA will reportedly stream games direct to Comcast cable boxes

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Two companies that have each at different times topped The Consumerist's popular list of the worst companies in America have reportedly been working together in secret for two years.

Luckily what they've been working on is awesome: streaming Electronics Arts video games directly to Comcast subscribers' cable boxes.

The deal is nearing completion, according to a report on Reuters, which cites "five sources briefed on the plans."

It will allow Comcast cable subscribers with the X1 cable box system to play games possibly including Madden football, FIFA soccer, Plants vs. Zombies, Battlefield, The Sims, and dozens of others owned and published by EA, without any game consoles in sight.

The tablet solution

Comcast's X1 cable box has many of the features that Smart TVs do, and like some Smart TVs - Sony's PlayStation Now-ready new 4K Bravia sets, for example - it may soon be able to play video games streamed from remote servers.

Like movies on demand, the EA games would be purchased and streamed to users without requiring separate dedicated gaming hardware.

But game streaming isn't exactly an original idea at this point, and one of the hurdles has always been getting game controllers into users' hands.

Comcast and EA's solution may be to let them use their tablets as controllers, the sources said, which may work well for some games but certainly not all of them.

If they focus on "casual and family games" first, as the report says, tablets will likely work fine as a controller. But they'll need to come up with a better solution if the service takes off and EA's more precise games, like shooters and sports titles, become available.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for Playboy.com, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.