Television manufacturers are now focusing on making smart TVs as methods of connecting to the web and delivering content directly. Smart TVs open up a whole new world of entertainment. It allows you to enjoy media content straight from the internet without the need for a set-top box. You can view movies or TV shows on services like Netflix, or update your Facebook status while watching your favorite program. But aside from enjoying shows, video clips from YouTube or movies, smart TVs are opening a new world for gamers. Before, you’d need game consoles such as an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3 or a Wii to play games but now, gamers can play video games without console all together.
Earlier this month, Samsung announced that they will be bringing the Angry Bird franchise to their Smart TVs, the 2012 LED 7500 and up and Plasma 8000, which support gesture controls and voice interaction. Though there’s no release date yet, it seems that the app will be available for download soon, as Samsung Brazil already announced it on their Twitter account, “Olá, TV. Adeus, porcos malvados,” using Google Translate, the tweet read, “Hello, TV. Farewell, evil pigs.”
TransGaming Inc., the company that caters to the multiplatform deployment of games, recently announced that they’re developing an exclusive World Poker Tour game for Smart TVs which they plan to launch by fall of this year. The WPT game will launch on GameTree TV, TransGaming’s premier on-demand Smart TV gaming platform. The game will fully leverage GameTree TV’s innovative capabilities including Multi-screen support and Multi-player gameplay to offer an experience that mirrors World Poker Tour TV programming. In short, you and your family, or Poker buddies, may soon enjoy playing with other Poker players from different parts of the world using nothing but the TV.
Smart TVs aren’t just about internet connected TVs, they also pertain to set-top boxes that connects to the internet. Vizio announced a new device that will turn any HDTV TV into a smart TV dubbed as Co-Star. The device will come with the latest version of Google TV and OnLive gaming.
“This allows viewers to enjoy live TV along with the web, apps, OnLive cloud gaming, and other streaming entertainment without interrupting what they’re already watching,” said Matt McRae, VIZIO’s Chief Technology Officer. “This integrated experience along with the universal touchpad remote with keyboard eliminates the need to switch TV inputs or remotes to access alternative content and provides viewers with a truly smart TV experience”.
Can smart TV gaming replace gaming consoles?
I’ve asked two hard core gamers I know, my brother and my boyfriend, if they would dump their gaming consoles for smart TV gaming.
Brother: “Yes, if smart TVs can do everything a game console can, like have the same awesome graphics or better, and all the games I love will be available on smart TVs. It would declutter my room big time.”
Boyfriend: “Maybe, if smart TVs can offer a better gaming experience. But I seriously doubt that that would happen. If it does, smart TVs would probably cost more than they do now. I don’t think I’d buy something expensive if I can get the same gaming experience for a cheaper price.”
So it’s still up in the air, but one thing’s for sure–if smart TVs can provide an equal or better gaming experience, who needs the console?
It will be a long-term battle for companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo that have spent the last few years turning consoles into content delivery mechanisms, only recently embracing whole-heartedly the possibilities of downloads instead of physical game drives. Mobile has played a big role in the movement of game distribution away from the console, and smart TVs could become another extension of this phenomenon.
We’ll see console makers finding more ways to focus on media distribution through the cloud, relying less on their proprietary devices and more on cross-platform delivery methods, which could very well bring on the demise of the game console, the middle man that may one day become obsolete.