HTC, fresh from their purchase of Saffron Digital and its mobile multimedia platform, have invested in an online gaming service. DigiTimes reported that the South Korea-based electronics firm will invest in 5.33 million shares of Palo Alto, California-based OnLive. HTC's total investment would be $40 million. That's quite a bang to start the New Year, as most South Korean businesses celebrated public holidays until Monday.
Maggie Chen of HTC said the investment would "strengthen its gaming capabilities and help HTC tap into increasing demand for games on smartphones."
HTC joins many other firms in making an investment in OnLive, including Warner Brothers, AutoDesk, British Telecomm, and Belgacom (Belgium). The cloud-based games can be accessed using their set-top box with a television, or through a Windows or Mac computer (with no high-end graphics cards required).
OnLive has already partnered with VIZIO in producing OnLive-capable Blu-Ray players, and Android tablets and smartphones. There is an iPad game viewer, and an iPhone app is also in development (not surprising, given that the founder, Steve Perlman, came from Apple where he laid the groundwork for QuickTime). OnLive's move toward mobile platforms was announced at CES last month.
Obviously HTC wants the cloud-based games to play nice with its future smartphones. More games and more content is good news for the Android ecosystem, so this is a fascinating development. I'm sure HTC will let us know when they work out a pricing model for the service on Android devices, given that they are hiring staff for their own app store. Currently, OnLive's PlayPack service is $9.99 a month to access its current library of 38 legacy games.
OnLive's games are stored on their own servers, so there's no waiting for anything to download. Instant gratification for gamers would go very well with their smartphones and tablets, so we're definitely going to keep an eye, and our thumbs, on this story.
So, are you hoping HTC will make this available to their current lineup? Or are you going to buy a new HTC device so you can always have your games on the go? Let us know in comments, below. We especially want to hear from you gamers.