Is Google TV gunning for games consoles?

Is Google TV gunning for games consoles?
Google TV will give you AIR-style standalone apps

Google TV already includes Flash Player 10.1 as part of the platform - it needs that to play everything on YouTube as well as many of the other video sites it turns into TV channels (and for the full experience when you're browsing web pages)

That means if there's a Flash game on a web page, you'll be able to play it on the first version of Google TV.

But an update to Google TV will let you download and run apps that don't run inside the built-in Chrome browser, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch told TechRadar.

"Google TV is taking an approach initially that's very browser centric; you're viewing web pages. You go to URLs and you can see apps that have been put on the website.

"Those apps can be built with HTML and Flash together because we worked with the Google TV team to really create an excellent experience for Flash and HTML on these boxes.

"It's really well integrated with the TV experience, so you can browse not only web sites but you can go to TV channels - it's all interleaved really well. Over time we're also looking at applications that you could put on your box and the installation will be different for those. There will be applications as well as browsing; right now it's browsing and the Flash player."

Google TV performance

Part of the issue is making sure the performance is good enough, Danny Winokur of Adobe's Flash Client Platform told TechRadar.

"The architecture of Google TV is a very interesting combination of things. You've got the new Intel hardware plus an Android Éclair derivative – it's not pure Éclair– and then you've got Chrome instead of the Android browser.

"The way that stack lines up means there are some particular challenges in getting [the] performance [you want]. It turns out there's a lot of buffering going on… As we get to subsequent updates that will help to give us a lift in performance. Video is doing really well right now, rendering is a bit of a problem, as you'd expect on a TV."

We asked Rishi Chandra, lead product manager for Google TV, what kinds of apps to expect.

"TV is an entertainment device and there are plenty of web apps out there, web content - whatever might be [relevant]. Games obviously make sense on the big screen in the living room. But I think there's going to be plenty of opportunities for a whole bunch of different applications that can make sense on the platform."

He still couldn't give a Google TV UK release date, apart from to say that "next year you should expect us to roll out in multiple countries."


Mary (Twitter, Google+, website) started her career at Future Publishing, saw the AOL meltdown first hand the first time around when she ran the AOL UK computing channel, and she's been a freelance tech writer for over a decade. She's used every version of Windows and Office released, and every smartphone too, but she's still looking for the perfect tablet. Yes, she really does have USB earrings.