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When G4 got its start about a decade ago, the cable channel focused on video games, becoming a channel meant for video gamers who wanted to take some time away from their consoles to watch actual TV. Shows like X-Play and Attack of the Show have helped shape the channel's identity. But it sounds like that identity will be changing, come next year.

Variety has reported that the NBCUniversal-owned channel is set to be rebranded, which could mean a name change and "a direction reminiscent of GQ." Given the focus on gaming and fanboy culture, a shift to targeting the sophisticated modern male seems drastic, but Variety says the new look would attempt to remain true to its roots. The rebranding is being aimed for early 2013, so come that time, fans of G4 may need to be prepared for what could be some drastic alterations.

G4 has already had to compete with other guy-centric networks, like Spike, and to an extent, Discovery and History. TBS might also fall into that category. It's hard to imagine how G4 will give itself a GQ makeover and still manage to stay true to his roots. What kind of shows does the modern male like to watch these days and how will G4 incorporate that into its line-up?

Regardless of what's done to the title or the "branding" in terms of promotions, I think it will come down to the programming, as is probably always the case. Cable networks make a big deal about changing their names and advertising themselves in a certain way (Scifi's shift to Syfy comes to mind here), but in the end, people don't tune in for the name of the network, they tune in for the shows. But with so much competition on cable (and also streaming video subscription services, these days), networks need to try to find a way to distinguish themselves. We'll have to wait and see what happens to G4, come next year.

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