With overpriced hardware and unfriendly UI, Google TV didn't exactly set the world on fire when it launched last year. But a much-heralded 2.0 revision brought Android apps and better navigation to the service last year. Now, thanks to a partnership with OnLive, users of the streaming/search hybrid will be able to play AAA video games on their televisions without investing new hardware.
In an announcement today, OnLive's said that their Viewer app will be available through Google TV, letting users chat while viewing clips of big-release games like Assassin's Creed: Revelations. The cloud-gaming company's also saying that this is just a pre-cursor to delivering a full gaming experience to Google TV users, just like they've done with tablets and smartphones with their updated OnLive app.
Google's touting partnerships with big manufacturers like LG who'll have the search giant's Google TV 2.0 built into upcoming TVs. What this means is that with an OnLive membership and a Google TV-compatible display, you'll be able to access the all the games in OnLive's catalogue. That means Batman: Arkham City, NBA 2K12 and other big-budget games on your TV without an Xbox 360 or PS3.
OnLive's making it harder and harder to write them off. They've done the tough work of building technology, proving it works and securing content partnerships. All they need to do now is piggyback onto other hardware and distribution services. Well, that and assemble a substantial subscriber base. Nevertheless, if I were shopping for a new TV, it'd be hard to pass up one that has the internet functionality that Google TV's promising and OnLive's AAA video-game streaming.