OnLive Befriends Intel, Joins Facebook

By  |  Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 10:22 pm

OnLive made a couple announcements today that might help people discover and use the streaming video game service.

The biggest news is a partnership with Intel that will enable OnLive on all connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes that use Intel’s CE4100 embedded processor. OnLive expects to land on 25 million TVs by the end of this year, according to GigaOM. A new universal controller will work on any OnLive-enabled device.

This fits nicely with the idea of video games coming directly to televisions without the help of game consoles. OnLive processes and streams high-end video games from its own servers, so it doesn’t need fancy hardware on the user’s end to play modern games like Borderlands and Bioshock.

The other bit of news is Facebook integration, which will help publicize the service and connect users outside of OnLive’s own friend lists. Facebook users will be able to launch games and demos and watch other people play directly from the browser. Players can post gameplay clips or their current gaming activity to their Facebook walls as well.

OnLive still strikes me as dream tech that isn’t quite ready for the mainstream. You need a flawless Internet connection — preferably wired — to cut down on lag and service interruptions. But OnLive’s most nagging issue is its breadth of available games. OnLive’s library is expanding, and the company announced a new partnership with Disney today, but several major publishers still aren’t participating, including Activision and Electronic Arts. I hope the expansion of OnLive onto more devices turns more publishers onto the concept — although I doubt Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo will ever contribute their own games.

Speaking of more devices, OnLive’s been showing off its service on HTC’s Flyer tablet, even though it’s not currently available for consumers. I hope to check it out and get the full story at E3 next week.



3 Comments For This Post

  1. Dave Says:

    What versions are they running on their servers? I assume they are streaming the PC versions of games?

  2. Jared Newman Says:

    Yep, that's correct. I've found the gamepad controls to be less-than-stellar in some games for that reason.

  3. Vikas Gupta Says:

    Smart TV is the next frontier for gaming, and with the myriad of announcements and new players entering the market, all of this activity strongly validates the promise of the sector. The question becomes: How does the consumer want to receive this content? The hardcore gamer may be willing to buy a new box, or upgrade their existing devices. We’re providing a way for everyone else to easily get content from a safe and familiar place – their own cable company. Through our partnership with Intel, many families can play our games with the technology already in their homes. And with major developers on board, we are seeing tremendous interest from the cable community in diving into the gaming space.

    Through our relationships with both Free and Intel, we have already made ‘Netflix for gamers’ a possibility for more than 4 million Europeans through our GameTree TV platform. We share the vision that the on-demand gaming model will change the way we think about TV entertainment and bring fun interactive gaming to the masses.

    Vikas Gupta, CEO, TransGaming