Angry Birds add Roku to their quiver

Posted by Mike Luttrell

The Angry Birds will not stop until they've taken over literally every media platform.

The latest conquest for the flock of ill-mannered animals is Roku, a set-top box that gives users access to streaming online content on their TV even if the TV itself is not Internet-connected.

To date, Roku has primarily been focused on getting partners like Hulu, Vudu, Pandora, and other passive forms of digital media. But now it's getting into games, and its flagship title in that new initiative is, of course, Angry Birds.

You won't have to struggle playing with your TV remote, though. Roku is now also selling a Wii-like motion controller, powered by Bluetooth, for $29. Right now Angry Birds is the only Roku channel compatible with the new controller.

After making a huge splash on smartphones and tablets, Angry Birds has made its way to traditional game consoles as a downloadable title, been introduced to stores with a whole line of retail merchandise, got a tie-in with the theatrical animated film Rio, and is accessible via download codes in the Blu-ray version of the 20th Century Fox flick.

So it's no surprise to see it jumping onto yet another platform. While it is a good, fun game, it is because of the marketing from developer Rovio and original publisher Chillingo that it has managed to skyrocket to blockbuster status.

This story isn't just about Angry Birds, though. The addition of gaming and a special controller makes Roku a more interesting player in the IPTV market, a market that has become increasingly troubling for dedicated external boxes like Roku.

Adding something new and interesting, like games, could be a way to remain relevant against TV sets with their own Internet connectivity.