Google TV is being pitched as a new experience that “combines the TV you know and love with the freedom and power of the Internet”, but the gaming opportunities have been downplayed so far.
When I look at Google TV, I see a viable game system that can actually compete with the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.
Logitech has an exclusive deal to provide the first Google TV companion box and they are also excited about the gaming possibilities, or more importantly the peripherals they can sell.
In their Q2 earnings call, Logitech CEO Jerry Quindlen explained his excitement for the platform going forward. “I think the real opportunity for gaming for us going forward is going to be continuing to be around PC for sure and frankly I think the emerging gaming opportunity with Google TV. We think there will be a lot of interest to Flash-based games. There will be a lot of opportunity for us with peripherals around that.”
Quindlen made it clear that peripherals were the main reason Logitech was investing in Google TV and admitted the company might not even make companion boxes in the future. The company plans to invest the gross profit they generate from the sales of their Google TV box this year in marketing activities so they can create awareness which should lead to future sales.
One marketing campaign called Logitech Lofts is already underway. Logitech will hire three social media bloggers to live in swanky lofts and host parties that will introduce people to Google TV.
So who will supply the games for Google TV? Android developers are out of the picture at this point since the Android Market will not be available on Google TV this year, but the support of Adobe’s Flash player opens the door to a wave of social browser-based games.
Some sites like TechCrunch are reporting that Google is secretly creating a new platform called Google Games and that Zynga will be the cornerstone of the service. Zynga, makers of FarmVille and other social games, has seen their profits climb to new heights thanks to Facebook, but their relationship with the site has seen better days and Zynga is looking to distance themselves. Google has already made an investment of $150 million in Zynga and a larger strategic partnership is still in process.
It might sound like a stretch at this point, but it appears that Google Games is real and Google TV will be the platform used to launch the service later this year. Logitech certainly seems to think so based on their comments, so look for their full lineup of keyboards, gamepads, HD cameras, wheels, and more to make their way to Google TV.