Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Silicon Valley Races to Make TV the Next Frontier for Apps

Technological advances, including faster processors, are fueling hopes that TVs and set-top boxes can do much more. For starters, Nvidia's Mr. Huang and others say, they can help bring gaming to a broader audience by eliminating the need for dedicated gaming consoles.

Google's Android TV app store lists big-screen versions of games found on mobile devices, including Electronic Arts Inc.'s "NBA Jams" and Telltale Inc.'s "Game of Thrones."

Nvidia, known for chips used to render graphics in high-end PC games, expects its Shield device to run more sophisticated software than the usual set-top box. The company in March demonstrated Shield, whose starting price will be $199, running games such as Id Software's "Doom 3" and Crytek's "Crysis." It expects more than 50 games to be available for the device when it hits the market. Nvidia is expected to provide more details Thursday.

Many hurdles remain for Silicon Valley's vision of TV, such as devising a big-screen user interface that consumers find attractive and easy to use, said Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates, which tracks TV-related products.

Not everyone is a fan of Android TV. Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., two of the largest TV makers, don't currently use Google's operating system for their app-capable sets.

From the article "Silicon Valley Races to Make TV the Next Frontier for Apps" by Don Clark.

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