Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Vizio Launched the Vizio Co-Star with Google TV and OnLive Cloud Gaming
VIZIO, America’s number one LCD HDTV company, launched the highly anticipated VIZIO Co-Star Stream Player. Using the latest version of Google TV, the VIZIO Co-Star makes it easy to transform any HDTV into the ultimate Smart TV, merging live and streaming entertainment into one intuitive and easy experience. With VIZIO’s new stream player, users get instant access to thousands of apps, full-screen web browsing capabilities—via Google Chrome with Adobe Flash Player and HTML5 support—and the best in streaming entertainment.
In addition to favorite apps such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and iHeartRadio, the VIZIO Co-Star is the first stream player to offer video games on demand through the OnLive Cloud Gaming Service, that comes pre-installed on the Co-Star. OnLive allows users to demo, watch and play hundreds of top-tier video games directly from the cloud via their VIZIO Co-Star, eliminating the need for users to own an independent game console. With easy access to thousands of apps through Google Play, Co-Star offers the most comprehensive stream player available today.
“OnLive allows users to demo, watch and play hundreds of top-tier video games directly from the cloud via their VIZIO Co-Star, eliminating the need for users to own an independent game console,” said OnLive’s Director of Corporate Communications Brian Jaquet. “The VIZIO Co-Star is compatible with the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller, but will also work with a number of OnLive-compatible third-party controllers as well.”
Complementing the overall experience, the VIZIO Co-Star includes a universal Bluetooth remote with an innovative touchpad that lets you touch, tap, scroll and drag. A full QWERTY keyboard helps users search for their favorite entertainment. Plus, its universal feature makes it easy to control home entertainment devices with one remote.
The VIZIO Co-Star will be available for pre-orders in July 2012 on VIZIO.com for $99.99, with an introductory free shipping offer, while supplies last.
The VIZIO Co-Star has the same price as the OnLive Game System, but lacks the wireless OnLive gamepad that comes with it. The included VIZIO remote will enable basic gameplay action, but for the best gaming experience, you can purchase the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller for $49.99 or hook up a standard USB XInput controller.
Unique to the stream player market, the VIZIO Co-Star offers the distinct advantage of connecting to a cable or satellite box. This allows viewers to enjoy live TV along with the web, apps, OnLive cloud gaming, and other streaming entertainment without interrupting what they’re already watching. This integrated experience along with the universal touchpad remote with keyboard eliminates the need to switch TV inputs or remotes to access alternative content and provides viewers with a truly Smart TV experience.
“Our focus to deliver the best consumer experience continues with today’s announcement of the Co-Star, which delivers a superior Smart TV interface that anyone can add to their existing HDTV” said Matt McRae, VIZIO’s Chief Technology Officer. “We combined the powerful features of Google TV with an intuitive and easy to use interface, giving users the power to enjoy an entire world of entertainment.”
The added benefit of Google TV's powerful search feature lets viewers easily browse websites, hunt for streaming movies or locate their favorite TV shows; and with picture-in-picture technology, it can all be done while simultaneously watching live TV action.
The VIZIO Co-Star incorporates a number of power user features intended to satisfy the variety of user demands, starting with support for 1080p Full HD and 3D entertainment. The device supports playback of H.264, MP4 and MKV videos. Built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi provides easy wireless internet access without unsightly wires. An integrated USB port connects to hard drives, keyboards and other peripherals. The VIZIO Co-Star even enables viewers to enjoy photos, music, and movies from any DLNA-enabled phone, tablet, or computer on the TV screen.
The VIZIO Co-Star combines a definitive user experience with a powerful Smart TV platform, resulting in an all-in-one solution that brings the ultimate Smart TV experience to any HDTV.
It is interesting that VIZIO is only selling the Co-Star on their web page. Does this mean that they have problems with retail because of OnLive integration? Recently I've multiple times heard that retail doesn't want to stock products that don't need retail game copies because they make most of their money with boxed games and have low margins on gaming hardware. This was mostly said by the console guys.
Could it be that VIZIO is having trouble getting the Co-Star on store shelves because of OnLive? I mean VIZIO is pretty strong in US retail and the Co-Star is a big product launch for them. Could OnLive be caught in a power struggle between VIZIO and retail? Even the console guys are afraid of retail and don't even dare to think of going fully digital.
If VIZIO can only sell the Co-Star on their web page this is not much of a product launch and OnLive won't get that much of a penetration into the market for people that only buy at retail, which is still huge. It doesn't look like OnLive will soon get a large market exposure through VIZIO that way.
Let's see what will happen with OnLive's integration into Smart TVs.
Posted by John Anderson at 06:16