CES: Panasonic's Smart Viera TVs play games too


We’ve all heard too much plenty about the 3D revolution taking place in our homes thanks to the new generation of HDTVs and Blu-ray players, but more needs to be said about how another TV technology is going to have a much more profound impact on our living rooms.

The technology is generically known as “Connected TV” and each manufacturer has its own brand name for the feature. “SmartHUB”, “SmartTV”, “VIERAConnect”  – the list goes on. But they all pretty much offer the same thing: in conjunction with your existing home network (either wired or wireless) these TVs connect you to a host of internet content ranging from weather forecasts to Facebook and from general web-surfing to full-fledged video games.

In some cases – the Panasonic Viera shown in this video is a perfect example – these games are just as good as anything you can find in Apple’s App Store or in the Android Marketplace. And just like those other app services, many of the Connected TV apps are free.

Now I’m not saying that playing Asphalt 5 as an app on your TV is the same as playing GT5 on a PlayStation 3 – they aren’t even in the same universe – but for a whole range of casual gamers who aren’t interested in dropping $350 on a console and another $60 on a game, these inexpensive TV-based games might be just the ticket.

And because these games can be played with a variety of Bluetooth accessories, you’re not limited to the TV’s factory remote. That would be awful.

Sync readers, are you ready to ditch your console for this new breed of TV games?