Web giant to offer service through Google TV distrib partners

Video game streaming service OnLive has taken another big step towards mass-market penetration.

Google has partnered with the company and will begin offering the service through all of its Google TV distribution partners. Though the company will initially offer just social features, it plans to let subscribers play popular console and PC games in the months to come.

”Consumers have come to expect instant gratification with music, movies and video,” said Steve Perlman, founder and CEO of OnLive. ”Now players in the US and soon in the UK can just as easily stream the highest-quality games to their Google TV devices for play instantly on demand, without discs or downloads.”

Google TV might have gotten off to a rocky start in 2010, but has been a familiar name at this year’s CES. Vizio, LG and Samsung all announced plans to begin offering the service in their upcoming television sets. (Original partner Sony will continue to do so as well.)

The company spent much of last year reworking the system, moving it to the honeycomb android platform and adding an app market.

OnLive, which lets players rent or buy cloud-based versions of popular new games. Because the games are hosted remotely, players don’t have to have a powerful system to run the software at its highest settings.

The company recently announced plans to allow tablet owners to play traditional PC and console games on their tablet devices. OnLive doesn’t discuss the exact size of its user base, citing confidentiality clauses with its publisher partners, but Perlman says the subscriber count is ”in the millions”.

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