OnLive Now Building Itself Into Electronics, Starting With Vizio TVs

By  |  Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 8:06 am

OnLive really is becoming the gaming equivalent of Netflix, not only with its upcoming subscription plan for streaming video games, but with plans to become embedded in TVs and Blu-ray players.

First up are Vizio’s web-connected TVs. Consumers won’t need any additional hardware — I assume, or at least hope, that a controller is included — and Vizio can use the existing Marvell chips in its TVs to power the OnLive service, VentureBeat reports. Vizio will also offer OnLive through its connected Blu-ray players, tablets and smartphones.¬†Naturally, OnLive is trying to strike deals with other companies as well.

OnLive, you’ll recall, is an online video game service that uses its own servers to handle the graphics and processing of modern video games, delivering highly-compressed audio and video to the user. This allows users to run new games on low-powered PCs, set-top boxes or, in this case, televisions. I’m optimistic about the service but so far unsatisfied with the controller hardware, game lineup and occasional streaming glitches.

Regardless of what I or other critics think, OnLive still needs to reach ordinary consumers to be a hit, and embedding in TVs and Blu-ray players could go a long way towards removing OnLive’s visibility hurdles.

Unlike Netflix, which established itself as a mail-order DVD service and slowly exposed its customers to streaming video, OnLive is going in cold, against the firmly-entrenched home console market. I can guarantee you that non of my non-gamer friends or family members have heard of OnLive, but if the service starts popping up as an app on other companies’ electronics, it has a good shot at making itself well-known.

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  1. Wiredtechy Says:

    We can say this path has been explored many times before, we all remember the Sega channel. The concept has always been good; provide a great online gaming experience, have a huge selection of popular titles to choose from and charge a subscription fee. Couple of things though, Onlive is going to have to have a top library of today's most popular games and i am sure they will not be able to reach licensing agreements with everybody. Second what is their pricing structure going to be? These two concerns can make or break a gaming company.