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E3 2012: Samsung to launch cloud-based gaming service for select 2012 TVs

Samsung has added another platform to its Smart TV arsenal: cloud-based gaming. Though Samsung isn’t the first to tender such an idea –we saw Vizio showing off OnLive cloud-gaming services on its TVs at CES 2012 earlier this year and LG was, at the time anyway, working with Gaikai — it appears Samsung could end up earning bragging rights as the first TV manufacturer to get a desirable cloud gaming service deployed for consumer use. Samsung and its cloud gaming partner, Gaikai, are showing off the console-free gaming technology at the E3 conference in Los Angeles this week. 

According to Samsung, the service will ultimately be available to owners of both its premium LED and Plasma TVs from the 7000 series on up, though plasma owners will have to wait a bit longer. The cloud gaming option requires an internet connection, of course, but provides the advantage of nearly-instant gaming without the need for a console. According to Samsung, gamers will have the option of playing trial versions of the games before committing to a purchase. Once purchased, the game can be played on-demand. 

Gaikai’s website currently features 31 game demos but if its recent partnership developments are any kind of indicator (Ubisoft, 2k games, EA, EA sports Capcom and NVIDEA are just a few of the notable names on the list), that number is due to go up —  and likely very soon. Until now, Gaikai’s service has been limited to game demos only, but Samsung’s recent announcement confirms that full titles will be available for purchase and playable through the Samsung Smart TV interface as soon as the project comes out of beta. Samsung indicated that it will soon be accepting sign-ups from would-be beta testers in the US.  

No word is available from LG yet on whether it will be following through with the plans it announced at CES 2012 regarding a similar partnership. It certainly wasn’t a topic that got brought up at LG’s epic unveiling in Monaco a few weeks ago. 

Digital Trends has a team on the floor at E3 where we’ll be getting some hands-on time with Samsung’s new gaming interface. Be sure to check back often for that story as well as the latest from the E3 show floor, right here.  

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