Rovio and Roku Partner to Bring ‘Angry Birds’ to Your TV Set

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Interesting. See that thing up there? That’s Roku. It’s a nice, inexpensive, internet-connected box that you hook up to your TV. Once it’s set up, you can use it to stream movies and TV shows from the likes of Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Amazon, plus music and photos from Pandora and Flickr, respectively.

But the company has just announced a partnership with Rovio to bring the wildly popular series of Angry Birds games to Roku boxes.

“Angry Birds is the most popular and fastest growing casual game yet it has been trapped on mobile devices. We believe there’s a huge market for games like these on the TV,” said Roku founder Anthony Wood.

I won’t argue with you, Mr. Wood.

Now it’s not exactly rocket science to get a game like Angry Birds working on a box that’s powerful enough to stream high-definition video from the internet, but it’ll be interesting to see how the control scheme gets worked out.

rokuremoteFor the mobile versions of the game, you’ve got a touchscreen—pretty straightforward—and for the desktop versions, you click and hold your mouse button, drag your bird back in the slingshot doodad, and then release. How will that be translated to work with Roku’s remote control?

One possible option is that Roku could work out a feature that’d allow you to control the box with your smartphone. Those remote-over-Wi-Fi apps are commonplace with TV boxes nowadays, but not everyone has a smartphone.

The other option might be to use the remote’s 4-way control pad to shimmy your bird into position and, once it’s there, hit the OK button to let it fly. Then maybe you’d hit the OK button again once the bird’s in the air to perform those special tricks.

There we go. Problem solved.

Additional details of the partnership will be made available in the next few weeks, but Roku has said it “will offer Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio video games; launch an Angry Birds video channel featuring Angry Birds animated shorts; and sell Angry Birds merchandise—all via the Roku Channel Store.” That’s a whole lot of Angry Birds, eh?

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