By Jared Newman | 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.