Gaikai, a video game streaming platform akin to OnLive, has announced a partnership that will allow it to deliver games to high-end TV owners. LG has agreed to add Gaikai's offerings to its products, including Cinema 3D TVs expected to ship later this year. Smart TVs equipped with the service are being displayed on the CES show floor and Engadget has posted a hands-on video.
Like OnLive, Gaikai allows subscribers to play graphically intensive games on weak hardware, such as that inside a television. The service processes games on remote servers and pumps the visuals to you. Since launching in February 2011, Gaikai has largely been used to stream demos for companies like Best Buy, but its new arrangement will allow users to play full-fledged titles.
Although we haven't seen a list of launch titles, Gaikai is well acquainted with industry leaders, counting top names like EA, Ubisoft, GOG, Capcom and Paradox Interactive among its current partners. It's also unclear whether LG will sell/bundle the necessary accessories or if they'll be compatible with peripherals you already own, such as an Xbox 360 controller or a keyboard/mouse.
"Thanks to the Internet, you can watch the latest movies and listen to the latest music practically anywhere," Gaikai said, "but until today, to play the biggest blockbuster video games, every household has had to buy and set up expensive video game console hardware. That's all about to change and pioneers in the space can build direct digital relationships with their end consumers."
During last year's CES, Vizio announced a similar deal that would bring OnLive to its TVs, Blu-ray players and mobile devices. We don't think that ever materialized and we're not sure if it's still in progress. OnLive has been during CES 2012, unveiling a cloud-based Windows environment with Office applications for the iPad as well as game streaming integration with Google TV.