Android gaming is already coming to your television sets thanks to the EVO 2 console from Envizions, but that’s not going to be your only option for flinging Angry Birds across a larger screen. The line of streaming content players from Roku will soon be offering casual gaming to the TV-watching masses as well.
Angry Birds is actually it for now, as today’s press release announcement from Roku details a partnership with the game’s developer, Rovio. A feed dedicated to the game will be added to the player’s list of web-streaming content portals, which are defined as Channels. Roku users will be able to play Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio, as well as watch animated shorts based on the popular mobile game franchise. Rovio will also sell branded merchandise through the channel.
“Angry Birds is the most popular and fastest growing casual game yet it has been trapped on mobile devices. We believe there’s a huge market for games like these on the TV,” Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood said in a statement. “Just as we were the first to enable Netflix to stream instantly to the TV, we intend to be the catalyst for transforming the way people play casual games-starting with Angry Birds-on the biggest screen in the home.”
While it is noteworthy that Rovio is taking this step toward embracing a broader delivery for its product, the real story here is Roku. Gaming is already on your TV, and Nintendo’s Wii even caters to the more casual audiences of players. The mobile revolution came after the Wii launch, however, and it has arguably become a much bigger deal in a far shorter span of time.
The EVO 2 is a bold experiment to Roku’s testing of the waters here — the company is pursuing other opportunities in the gaming space as well — but both cases stand as test environments that all observers of the interactive entertainment space should be watching very closely. Angry Birds and games like it are wildly popular… but will they be as readily embraced when they’re positioned as more than just a way to kill time when you’re on the go?
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