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LG has recently rolled-out an update to their Smart TV with Google TV (the G2 Series). The update brings a new premium app, the OnLive Game System which will allow you to play games from the cloud. Users will be able to demo games for free as well as subscribe or purchase/rent games a la carte.

OnLive

The cloud gaming service OnLive was in a pretty bad way in the lead up to its acquisition. There were mounting debts heading for the $20 million mark and disappointed investors like HTC were not about to pour more money in. In the end OnLive took a bankruptcy alternative that allowed it to liquidate its assets. In effect there were mass lay-offs and the assets were sold to venture capitalist Gary Lauder for $4.8 million.

CiiNow

Cloud gaming has been touted as the next big thing for a while now, but it’s yet to really take off. The two big players in this space were OnLive and Gaikai, but now a third company has entered the fray – CiiNow intends to bring the latest PC and console games to your tablet or smartphone and the platform will run on Android.

OnLive

OnLive was reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy when the majority of its employees were sacked and it got acquired by a group of investors, including investment firm, Lauder Partners. A new company will be formed using the same assets and service will continue uninterrupted.

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OUYA is approaching the end of the funding campaign, with 7 days left to donate if you want to help them succeed or “pre-order” an OUYA console for yourself. In the past few days the company has announced partnerships with OnLive and Square Enix for Final Fantasy 3, and now it’s announcing another major partnership, although this one doesn’t have much to do with gaming, but with music. Vevo has agreed to make its music videos available to OUYA users, which  make OUYA a media device rather than just a gaming device. To celebrate the passing of the $6 million…

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Cloud gaming services like OnLive and Gaikai are a way to bring modern PC games on much less powerful hardware than what you’d normally need if you installed the game on your own PC. They are also great for democratizing the console market and gaming hardware in general, because you can now use less powerful consoles to play games that look just as good. I think the OnLive support helped the Vizio Co-Star become this popular, although it’s definitely not the only factor, and probably not even the main one. But anything helps and I think it will help OUYA…

I think HTC made quite a few financial mistakes last year, and the outcomes of those mistakes are starting to appear this year. Besides other strategic mistakes that led to the sharp decrease of their market share and profits in US and Europe, like releasing too many “no-name” models with no long-term branding, they also made some very bad investments last year. That includes the $40 million they paid to OnLive, and I still haven’t seen anything coming out of that yet. They probably thought that their tablets will take off and their customers will want to play those games…

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The Vizio Co-Star Google TV set top box is now available for pre-order for the low price of $99, and it will start shipping on August 14th. The Vizio Co-Star includes two HDMI ports, one USB port, and one Ethernet jack. On the software side, you’ll of course get everything that Google TV has to offer, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Youtube, and, perhaps the most interesting feature for some users, OnLive gaming support. I think the Vizio Co-Star will achieve at least reasonable success in the market, and will probably be the most successful Google TV yet. Why? Because…