HTC buys $40m OnLive stake for streaming smartphone gaming

HTC has confirmed it will buy a $40m stake in OnLive, the streaming gaming company, the latest in the smartphone manufacturers investments and what looks to be the next step in repositioning as a content provider rather than merely offering hardware. According to HTC reps talking to the WSJ, the deal will "strengthen its gaming capabilities and help HTC tap into increasing demand for games on smartphones."

The OnLive news comes hot on the heels of HTC's investment in digital media delivery specialists Saffron Digital yesterday, a company which provides various DRM-protected video streaming technologies to carriers, manufacturers and content owners. Saffron Digital has also expressed an intention to move into game and music streaming.

HTC has previously expressed its intention to move Sense away from just the phone and into the living room and other areas of the home. The company already offers ebook access on its smartphones, along with a subscription-based navigation package, and with these latest deals it looks like that focus on value-added services – which will also help to lock-in HTC users – is only going to increase.