TEN and Concentric Forge Alliance to Provide
Fastest Possible National Gaming Network
LOS ANGELES May 16, 1996 Leading the industry in service for the fast-growing online multi-player gaming market, Concentric Network Corporation and Total Entertainment Network announced today a coordinated strategy to provide the best technology and telecommunications services for high-speed entertainment applications.
Concentric is a leading provider of online network services and Total Entertainment Network (TEN) is the leading interactive entertainment network for game playing consumers. The companies made the announcement on the opening day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, and will be jointly demonstrating the power of the relationship throughout the show.
"The synergy between our companies has allowed us to develop network and software solutions that will revolutionize the way people play multi-player PC," said Henry R Nothhaft, Concentrics president and chief executive officer. "Weve invested months into optimizing the Concentric Network for TENs high-speed servers and software."
"For the past year, we have been working with Concentric as they have built up the best possible infrastructure to support low-latency, coast-to-coast game play," added Dave King, TENs chief technology officer. "Concentric is the only network capable of providing a national solution for high-performance, fast-action gaming."
The arrangement will give TEN maximum performance from the Concentric Network. Concentric will program its network to give highest priority to TENs game traffic to avoid congestion, thus guaranteeing the best available fixed, low latencies.
By lowering and fixing latency - the nagging "lag" inherent in traditional network architectures - Concentric and TEN will enhance the game-playing experience by ensuring the action is fast-paced and realistic.
"This is a major step for the multi-player gaming world," King said. "Our partnership will provide the finest online gaming experience that technology can offer."
This technology breakthrough was accomplished by the work of Concentric Network engineers and TEN programmers, who have painstakingly analyzed all elements in providing a quality gaming experience and implemented creative solutions to lag problems traditionally thought insurmountable.
Concentric has optimized its current network architecture to meet TENs needs, and is in the process of building a "next-generation" network based on an ATM backbone that will provide even better service for latency-sensitive applications like online gaming.
Concentric will give TEN exclusive rights to co-locate regional game servers in network "super-POPs" throughout this next-generation network. The subsequent distributed data processing will decrease the distance gaming traffic must traverse and will improve performance even more, allowing for regional game play on TEN with round-trip latencies under 150 ms. TEN will deploy these servers once they have reached a critical mass of users nationwide. In return for this exclusive co-location, the companies will continue to work together to make sure that Concentric remains the best possible network for online gaming.
"TEN has always impressed us with its solid architecture, hit content, and cool service," Nothhaft concluded. "Our relationship is simple: the Concentric Network is the fastest race track on the Internet, and TEN get the pole position."
Total Entertainment Network is committed to creating the premier consumer network for game playing consumers on the Internet. TEN has online rights to more than twenty five different games, over half of which are TEN exclusives, by leading software publishers including 3D Realms/Apogee, Blizzard, Domark, Maxis, MicroProse, Spectrum HoloByte, and SSI. Based in San Francisco, TEN was formed in 1995 from the merger of Planet Optigon, Inc. and Outland, Inc. TEN received its initial funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, with subsequent investors including: Ameritech; Goldman Sachs; Robertson, Stephens & Company; and Vertex Management.
Members can reach TEN through their own Internet connection or one of TENs nationwide access numbers. The software will be available initially for Windows 95. To reach TEN, call 415-778-3500 or visit http://www.ten.net.
About Concentric Network Corporation
Concentric Network Corp., base in Cupertino, California, is a leading provider of custom communications solutions designed to connect people to information, entertainment and other people. Founded in 1991, the company is privately held. The company has designed and is building a "next-generation" network. Today the network provides low-latency and fast file transfers using high-performance frame relay technology. Delivering access at speeds of up to 28.8 kilobits per second, the Concentric Network offers fast, high-quality, individual dial-up service to consumers in the United States and Canada and network access on a custom basis to businesses across North America. Concentric Networks World Wide Web address is http://www.concentric.net.
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