Android Gaming's Next Big Device: Your TV?

Exent, which runs the GameTanium games-on-demand service, and Vestel, a consumer electronics company, have announced their newest device: the Vestel Smart Box, a a set-top-box that allows you to play Android games on your television using the aforementioned GameTanium.

As set-top-boxes migrate from the Linux platform to Android (which is technically also Linux), Vestel is capitalizing by throwing the wealth of casual games available for Android into the mix. While their press release states that “all the benefits of smartphone gaming interfaces – including touch, drag and accelerometer functionality,” it’s not stated how these features are going to be available to users. Combined with GameTanium’s Android catalog, the Vestel Smart Box is promised to “deliver TV gaming like never before.” The content programming and platform that Exent is providing will ensure its catalog of Android games will be optimized for play on a TV.

“Consumers today want more entertainment options at home and we’ve found that gaming alongside video and music services are among the most popular requests,” said Hakan Kutlu, Deputy General Manager responsible for marketing, Vestel.  “With the flexibility of the GameTanium platform and Exent’s years of experience with content programming and distribution, Exent was the clear choice to power our Games on Demand offering for operators.  By integrating GameTanium within our entertainment offerings, we are thrilled to be the first to bring the best of Android gaming to TVs worldwide.”

“Exent’s vision is to provide consumers with the greatest gaming experience, anywhere they wish to be entertained.  Expanding our Built with GameTanium offering from PCs, smartphones and tablets to the next generation of TV set-top boxes is an important milestone in fulfilling our play anywhere vision,” said Zvi Levgoren, CEO, Exent.  “Vestel is a great partner and we look forward to working with them to bring the greatest Android mobile hits to the living room while assuring the best user entertainment experience.”

GameTanium is “coming soon” to multiple platforms, connecting devices with an all-you-can-play subscription model. There’s no word on when the service will launch, when the Vestel Smart Box will release, or how the box will give players all the interaction features available to Android phones and tablets.

I’d like to see more information about the hardware before making a personal judgement. My initial reaction is disbelief and a little reluctance to bringing mobile gaming to the TV, but I could be wrong. Who knows? I’ll keep an eye out in the future, though.

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