Tetris - Coming to a Smart TV Near You

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Oberon Media announced it has signed a deal with The Tetris Company to bring the eponymous block-stacking title to internet-connected TVs and other STBs starting in the next few months. Last January, EA's mobile version of Tetris reached a milestone of 100 million downloads, proving that the universally known block-stacking title, first designed by Russian programmer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, is still a sales force.

"Tetris is one of the best-selling games of all time, and has positively impacted every platform on which it has been released," Oberon Media Senior Director of iTV services Jonathan Boltax said in a statement. While Oberon's specific hardware partners for the Tetris deal have not been announced, the company said the game would first be available on "Smart TV platforms" in the first quarter of the calendar year.

The Smart TV version of the game will also include a new "Space Mode," Oberon said, complete with space-themed mini-games and challenges.

"We believe the addition of the Tetris brand to our already impressive catalogue will not only ignite endless possibilities for the iTV platform, but also bring the Tetris game to millions of living rooms worldwide through partnerships with numerous leading TV brands," he continued.

TV makers such as Samsung, Vizio, and LG already manufacture and market so-called Smart TVs that sport internet connectivity and the ability to run simple interactive apps alongside TV programs. Those apps have so far focused mainly on social networking and online video content rather than gaming, however. The same Smart TV chipset is also integrated into many set top boxes, including Blu-ray players.

Over 20 percent of TV sets sold in 2010 had such Smart TV features, according to a Wall Street Journal report. That proportion is expected to expand to 50 percent by 2014, according to research firm DisplaySearch.

Oberon already licenses a version of Tetris designed to run on DirectTV receivers.


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