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Consumer Electronics

OnLive streaming video game service may be headed for Canada Add to ...

OnLive, the U.S. -on-demand streaming video game service could be officially heading to Canada some time in 2011, a senior executive hinted at the International Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company earlier this week announced a partnership with the United States' most popular maker of flat panel televisions, Vizio Inc. of Irvine, Calif., that will see the video game service embedded in every TV, tablet computer, mobile phone and other screen-based devices.

"OnLive everywhere!" Joe Bentley, OnLive's vice-president of engineering exclaimed.

Asked when the service is coming to Canada, Mr. Bentley noted that Canadians don't seem to have any problem signing on to the gaming service despite the lack of any formal consumer presence in the country.

"We see a lot of traffic from Canada. We're not using Canadian money yet but we will probably switch over to a Canadian service," Mr. Bentley told The Globe and Mail, adding that game publisher UbiSoft, based in Montreal is a major OnLive partner. "They develop all of our games.

"Their quality assurance staff has to test our games. We keep a close eye on those connections," Mr. Bentley said. "We do for the big urban centres: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver."

Pressed again to explain whether a pending change in OnLive financial services for Canadians and the close attention the company pays to ensuring good connectivity to its Canadian clients means an official entry north of the 49th parallel, he pointed to the company's newest hire earlier this week.

"Our new COO is from Pandora: Etienne Handman," Mr. Bentley said, referring to the streaming music service. "How big was it when he joined? How big was it when he left? 75 million users? Maybe he'll do that here. It can take a little heat off by letting Canadians purchase direct."

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