Google TV’s get gaming service

The OnLive cloud gaming service has been beset by controversy.

Its founder Steve Perlman left the company soon after he sold the firm’s assets to a venture capital firm for £3m, meaning early investors were left with almost nothing and any return for employees from staff share deals was wiped out.

But, now things are back on an even keel, a deal has been thrashed out with LG, which means Google TV users will be able to play games through the OnLive service.

Those who are already using Google TV with an LG set will get an update so they can use OnLive and it will come as standard on future devices. It is the first time OnLive’s cloud-based console gaming will come automatically built-in to an Internet-connected television.

Games available to users through OnLive will include Sleeping Dogs, which focuses on being part of an undercover operation to infiltrate Triads in Hong Kong; Darksiders II, where you are one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse; and Civilisation V, where you lead prehistoric times into the future.

In total, the OnLive catalogue includes games from more than 80 publishers, with everything from new blockbuster releases to classic old-time franchises and family-friendly sports and adventure games.

You can also start a game in one place and continue playing on any compatible device – whether that’s PC, Mac, Android or TV. You can also share your experiences with friends through OnLive channels or Facebook.

The system works by streaming game data to users as they play, rather than using discs or downloads. It is currently available in the US and will be rolled out later in the UK.

You don’t need a console to play games, but they won’t work with a regular remote control. You will need to buy one of OnLive’s special controllers, which cost $50. You can either buy or rent a game just as you would with a console disc or you can subscribe to OnLive, in the same way you would for a movie service like LoveFilm. You can pay $10 per month for the PlayPack, which gives you unlimited access to more than 200 games.

Georg Rasinski, who is director of Home Entertainment Brand Management at LG Electronics USA, said: “We are proud to be working with OnLive to deliver an incredible home entertainment experience with a full range of interactive viewing and gaming possibilities on LG G2 Series TVs.

OnLive chairman Gary Lauder added: “Our partnership with LG has enabled us to take an important step forward in making high-end gaming accessible to everyone across a variety of consumer electronic devices.

“Gamers can now enjoy hundreds of amazing console-quality games with no new hardware necessary beyond an OnLive controller and LG’s fast and intuitive Google TV.”

So, perhaps OnLive will become better known for its reform, returning to business as usual, rather than for its unexpected meltdown.

Techcrunch said it fully expects OnLive will pursue partnerships with other TV manufacturers now it has LG onboard. “Changes are afoot in the living room,” said the site, “and OnLive would be silly not to strive for tighter integration with new hardware.”

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