LG Adds GameFly To Smart TVs

LG Smart TV With GameFly
Image provided by LG Electronics

Remember the good ole' days when TVs were used to watch programs there were only available via those rabbit ears from three TV networks, one or two local independents stations, and PBS? Well, those days are certainly gone.

Just as stereo receivers evolved into home theater receivers that not only provide that surround sound experience but also serve as the major connection and control hub for home entertainment, the TV has also evolved as the primary hub for accessing video content from a variety of sources, making it the gateway for the visual part of the home theater experience.

TVs now not only receive those TV networks and local stations, but most also provide access to video content from the internet, and many also allow you to share content stored on your home network, and even from your smartphone or tablet.

The TV As A Direct Gateway To Video Game Play

Now, LG has decided to expand the capabilities of its Smart TVs, joining Samsung (international TV models) and Amazon Fire TV, by adding another element to its content offerings, Internet-based streaming video game play.

Partnering with Gamefly, LG smart TVs provides access to a host of games that consumers would normally find on an Xbox, Sony Playstation, or PC, and provides them directly through your TV.

Internet Access Requirements

To stream the games from GameFly to your TV, you need a broadband speed of at least 5.0mbps, but for HD-quality (720p - which the TV will upscale to either 1080p or 4K by the TV), you need to have a 10mbps broadband speed.

Either the Ethernet or Wifi connection options will work, but Ethernet may provide a more stable experience that is very important for smooth gameplay.

Controllers

In order to play the games, you also need to purchase a game controller (that TV remote won't cut it). LG suggests the Logitech F310 (wired), F710 (wireless). or the Xbox wired controller.

The Games Aren't Free

Although there may be some promotional samples offered for free, the service, or specific games, will require a fee to be determined by GameFly.

Some of the games being offered include Tomb Raider: Game of the Year Edition, Batman: Arkham Origins, F.E.A.R. 3, Darksiders and Red Faction Armageddon. GameFly’s library also includes Lego Batman 3, Pacman Championship Edition and WRC4 for families - Of course, there are a lot more titles in GameFly's current library, and, undoubtedly, there will be more to follow.

More Info

Whether services, such as GameFly, will eventually result in diminishing the need for a separate game console and purchasing physical copies of video games (just as Smart TVs have resulted in some consumers "cutting" the cable cord), remains to be seen, but, for now, LG seems to be providing an option that makes online video gaming more accessible.

Also, although GameFly may provide more accessibility to video games, the question is will die-hard gamers warm to the concept and part their physical game copies, consoles, or fully-equipped dedicated gaming PCs is another story. It may be that GameFly might attract a more casual consumer, especially when you consider that the streamed games are being offered in 720p, rather than native 1080p or 4K (will the TV's upscaling process add any latency?), and the available broadband speed is also a factor.

For more details, refer to the Official LG/GameFly Announcement and The GameFly Website.

It is also important to point out that Sony offers a similar video game play streaming service that provides access to PS3 platform games for some of its (and Samsung) Smart TVs and Blu-ray Disc players, called Playstation Now