OnLive has announced a partnership with Google TV at CES 2012, in a deal that – if you believe in cloud gaming – symbolises the future of gaming in the home by completely ridding the need for a console.

The deal is still in the early stages. OnLive is testing the water by only bringing its ‘viewer’ app (which lets you watch other players as they game) to Google TV in the first place.

“But hang in there,” says the official statement. “OnLive is working closely with Google to enable full gameplay with OnLive gamers from around the world on Google TV. And more Google TV devices are coming, with OnLive built right in.”

The future for OnLive

Eventually, Google TV users will be able to play any of OnLive’s games over the cloud directly through their TV set and using the official wireless controller.

While opinion on OnLive is split within the industry, it almost doesn’t matter here: the point is that top end gaming is going to be available without the need for any additional boxes under your TV. If you look at OnLive and Google TV on a ‘proof of concept’ basis, it’s dead exciting.

PS4 and Xbox 720 coming this year

With Sony and Microsoft’s next consoles due to be announced in June, all eyes are upon the big hitters to see how they can innovate the industry. It’s unlikely that either will launch in the cloud to quite the same extent as OnLive, but we’d wager that the web will play a larger part in their operation than it does in the current generation of consoles, all the same.

Either way, the days of having to have a physical box whirring away and spinning discs under your TV look to be numbered.

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