Spawn Labs Reduces Price of Spawn HD-720 from $199.95 to $129.95; Software Upgrade Doubles Video Quality, Cuts Latency to 45 Milliseconds

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Spawn Labs, the developer of the world's first and only console cloud gaming product line, today announced that it has significantly reduced the price of its Spawn HD-720 remote gaming appliance from $199.95 to $129.95. The company has also released the version 1.2 update to its software product line, doubling video quality and reducing latency to just 45 milliseconds.

Spawn Labs, the developer of the world's first and only console cloud gaming product line, today announced that it has significantly reduced the price of its Spawn HD-720 remote gaming appliance from $199.95 to $129.95. The company has also released the version 1.2 update to its software product line, doubling video quality and reducing latency to just 45 milliseconds.

"We are excited to use volume manufacturing cost gains to drive down the price of our products, making them accessible to more gamers," said David Wilson, president & CEO of Spawn Labs. "With console prices in the $200 to $300 range, our product is half the cost of a second console, and it enables a terrific set of user experiences that consoles simply cannot deliver."

Highlights of the new product release include:

  • Reduces pricing from $199.95 to $129.95.

Spawn Labs has reduced the price of the Spawn HD-720 from $199.95 to $129.95 and has reduced the price of Spawn Gamepad Adapters from $39.95 to $29.95.

  • Reduces latency to 45 milliseconds for default play settings.

This release reduces latency for LAN-based play from 60ms to 45ms. Latency is now imperceptible for play around the home using a local network, and latency when playing across the Internet within a major metro area is very low - typically 60-65 milliseconds - allowing for effective, enjoyable game play of any game genre around town - e.g. from work or a friend's house.

  • Doubles video quality for lower bandwidth network connections.

Previous versions of the software required a 6Mbps connection or better to deliver a high-definition video session, and 3Mbps or better deliver a standard definition video session. This software release requires just a 3-4Mbps connection to deliver an HD session, and 1-1.5Mbps to deliver an SD session.

  • Significantly improves the stability and reliability of Internet play sessions.

In previous software versions, video could freeze and re-sync during the first couple minutes of play as adaptive algorithms found the right balance of settings for the video stream. After this initial settling period, re-syncs could occur once every 5 to 20 minutes, disturbing the user's play session, even if only for a moment or two. The new software release virtually eliminates video freezes and re-syncs for all but the worst network connections and conditions.

  • Enables users to play from many more locations.

Earlier versions of the software streamed audio and video using the UDP protocol. Early user community feedback indicated that many office/corporate networks (and some other networks) block UDP streaming so that users could not play from these locations. The product now streams using either UDP or TCP, and it will automatically scan the network to which the Spawn Player is attached to choose the best option. As a result, users can now play from almost all locations and networks.

  • Adds support for multiple remote players per computer.

Now more than one player can remote play from a single computer at the same time. For example, if you are traveling and your two kids both want to play Little Big Planet at the same time from a single laptop, you can plug two game controllers into the laptop, and both kids can play together.

  • Improves interoperability with 1080p.

Previous versions of the product required that users set their consoles to output 720p video. While streaming 1080p doesn't make much sense today, many users don't want to set their console to 720p because they give up 1080p resolution when playing natively at home on their console and TV. Now users can have their consoles set to 1080p when playing at home. When a user starts a remote play session, the Spawn Labs products will turn on the console, automatically detect that the console is set to 1080p resolution, and ask the user if it's OK to reset the console to 720p. If the user says yes, the Spawn HD-720 runs a macro that sets the console to 720p and video starts streaming through the Spawn Player. When the user is finished playing, he can run another macro remotely from the Spawn Player to set the console back to 1080p so it's ready for use when he returns home. The Spawn HD-720 does not support HDMI due to HDCP constraints, but it does support 1080p video using component video cables.

  • Provides an easier and more reliable initial setup process for the HD-720.

The new software adds enhanced discovery technology so that the Spawn Setup Wizard reliably finds the HD-720 in almost all network environments. The new software makes automated software updates of the HD-720 more reliable. There are now videos that show how to set up an Xbox 360 and PS3 from start to finish, other tutorial videos that show how to open and forward firewall ports to the HD-720 for the most popular routers to enable Internet play.

  • Eliminates support for legacy consoles.

With this software release, the company has eliminated support for the Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube legacy game consoles. The Spawn HD-720 now supports only the Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles.

  • Plus other miscellaneous enhancements.

"We continue to drive greater quality and performance into the product line through software updates," said Peter Walker, founder & CTO of Spawn Labs. "All of our customers benefit from these improvements because our products update themselves automatically in the field."

For more information on the company and its products, visit the Spawn Labs website at http://www.spawnlabs.com.

About Spawn Labs
Spawn Labs develops the world's first and only console cloud gaming product line. The company's first product - the Spawn HD-720 - gives gamers the freedom to play their console video games, alone or with friends, at home or on the road from any network-connected computer. The company also sells a private enterprise version of this solution to the world's leading game developers for remote, real-time game play access to console development kits. Spawn Labs is a private company headquartered in Austin, Texas.

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