Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Cloud Gaming Service Gaikai Coming to LG Smart TVs

Gaikai and LG Electronics announced a key strategic partnership to launch an integrated Smart TV cloud gaming service across LG Cinema 3D TVs starting with the 2012 products. A prototype version of the service will be demoed live from the CES 2012 show floor in Las Vegas.

Up until now Gaikai was using their network of cloud streaming game servers to deliver time limited game demos of full PC games on their web page and to other sites like Best Buy, YouTube, EA Origin and Eurogamer. The game streaming company never hid the intention of streaming full PC games to various devices, but it was up to the wishes and money of their customers. With this announcement it seems that LG and Gaikai want to purvey full PC games to LGs customers starting with the Cinema 3D TV Smart TV lineup for 2012.

Again, Gaikai is going straight up against fellow rival OnLive which has a deal with the number one US TV seller Vizio to integrate its cloud gaming service into their TVs, Blu-ray players and tablets. In fact OnLive Founder and CEO Steve Perlman stated that their service is already built into many Smart TVs and only has to be turned on. OnLive just waits that they have a sufficient quantity of Universal OnLive Wireless Controllers produced, to sell them separately and bundle them with various Smart TV brands. More news about OnLive on TVs should be forthcoming this week during the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

In addition OnLive already has the OnLive Game System available for users who want full OnLive games on their TVs. The OnLive Viewer which lets users spectate games and socialize on the platform was just recently released for Google TV devices and Smart TVs. Some speculate this is a test before OnLive releases the full OnLive App for gaming on Google TV. The OnLive App for gaming is already available for many Android tablets and smartphones.

I don't know if LG and Gaikai intend to bundle some sort of controller with the TVs, but my guess is they will bundle some third-party controllers with the TVs similar to the Xbox 360 gamepad. From the video below one can take the info that you'll be able to hook up various controllers via a USB cable or wirelessly via a USB dongle.

“We care passionately about delivering the best content and most premium experiences possible for our valued customers”, said Taeg Il Cho, VP of TV Product Planning Group at LG Electronics, “the ability to have award winning games that run on much more powerful hardware in the cloud than today’s PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, made this a must-have feature for our televisions and future devices”.

“Thanks to the Internet, you can watch the latest movies and listen to the latest music practically anywhere,” said David Perry the CEO of Gaikai, “but until today, to play the biggest blockbuster video games, every household has had to buy and set up expensive video game console hardware. That’s all about to change and pioneers in the space can build direct digital relationships with their end consumers.”

LG will leverage Gaikai’s processing cloud platform for its game portal service operating within the LG Smart TV ecosystem. Consumers will be able to use Smart TV sign-in and seamlessly play a broad range of games, including some of the latest award-winning releases. Currently Gaikai houses demos for games like FIFA 12, Crysis 2, Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2 and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, but it's unclear if these games will make it to LG Smart TVs as full games. In the video below you can also see games like Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, NBA 2K12 and Darksiders demoed on the LG TV, all games already available on the OnLive service, but it's not yet confirmed that all these games will make it to LG TVs via Gaikai. Nonetheless this could indicate that Gaikai has in addition to EA and Capcom, also signed up with Take-Two Interactive and THQ, with the exception of EA all being strong partners of OnLive.


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  3. Actually the deal is not exclusive any longer. LG feels Gaikai is to small and limited. LG tv's will also feature GoogleTV which includes Onlive.

    All GoogleTV devices, because of the new deal, will Feature Onlive as well.