Vizio to include OnLive gaming & Google TV in new HDTVs

HDTV manufacturer Vizio will rely on several new partners in 2011 to help keep people in the living room and in front of the TV. Vizio has announced partnerships with the OnLive video game service and the Google TV software platform, with integrated support expected for the company’s HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and other products.

OnLive Video game rentals start at $2.99, but interested gamers can sign up for a $9.99 all-you-can-play gaming subscription plan.  Most consumers still aren’t familiar with the OnLive service, but company officials hope a deal with Vizio will help present future opportunities.

Vizio to include OnLive gaming & Google TV in new HDTVs

“… for the first time in the history of video games, consumers will be able to enjoy premium video games directly on a TV, no console or computer needed,” said Steve Perlman, OnLive CEO and founder, in a statement.

This is a major upgrade over the pricey console OnLive previously made customers purchase if they were looking to use the game service. OnLive handles audio and video streaming directly from their own servers, so the content can be played on HDTVs, set-top boxes, PCs, notebooks, and other consumer gadgets.

Vizio will be showing off several different products and technologies during CES this week in Las Vegas, with products expected to range from HDTVs to tablet PCs and smartphones.

I believe the Google TV partnership will be the deal with more positive impact later down the road, as I still don’t necessarily believe OnLive will have industry longevity. The public launch of Google TV was met with cautious optimism in late 2010, even though only a couple of partner companies initially jumped onboard. If Google waited a few more months, which would have allowed proper time to work on the Google TV platform and pick up new partners, it might have been beneficial.

HDTV and Blu-ray makers continue to embrace new technologies to help stand out from competition — and the addition of streaming, gaming, and similar services continues to occur. Consumers must now carefully look into the HDTV that they are considering purchasing, ensuring that the model they select can support all of the new features that they are interested in.