Roku's new line of internet-video-streaming set-top boxes will launch later this month with a motion-sensing remote that can be used to control casual games, including a built-in copy of Rovio's Angry Birds
As announced today on Roku's blog
, the Roku 2 line uses a remote equipped with an accelerometer to play "casual 3D games" in HD on a TV connected to a palm-sized box.
The Bluetooth-powered remote features a directional pad and two colored buttons, much like the Wii Remote, which can presumably be used for non-motion controlled games.
Roku CEO Anthony Wood writes that game titles -- which are downloaded to an SD card memory -- will sell "in the $5 range rather than $30 range," and said he hoped the rise of gaming on Roku would be comparable to the explosion of gaming apps on smartphones and tablets.
Wood said the company is "spending a lot of time with the major casual game publishers" to attract gaming content to the box. VentureBeat reports
the company is planning to release Pac-Man: Championship Edition
and other Namco titles, as well as further versions of Angry Birds
The Roku 2 will come in three configurations: A $59.99 HD model that only supports 720p video; a $79.99 XD model that supports 1080p video; and an XS model that adds Ethernet and USB support along with an included game-playing remote, which is sold separately for $29.99.
Started in 2002, Roku launched its first set-top box in 2008 as the first hardware boasting the ability to stream Netflix movies directly to a TV. The Roku platform now supports over 300 "channels" of free and paid internet video content, and claimed one million viewers as of May.