Wednesday, March 25, 2009

OnLive predictions

It's way too early to comment specifically on OnLive. But what it represents is of great interest and concern to everyone. I hear "cloud" gaming is a popular topic of discussions at the GDC. Here are a few predictions of my own.

First, I doubt this heralds the end of consoles. It's possible, but I'd be surprised if consoles ever disappeared. It doesn't matter if nearly all the games are the same. It doesn't matter if they share essential hardware and software features. Competition can flourish on things such as brand loyalty, familiarity, aesthetics, and ease of use. Look at automobile competition. Look at the PC-vs-Mac.

Second, OnLive sounds good for PC gamers. The greatest barrier to consumers interested in PC games has always been compatibility issues. And the costliest issues for PC game developers are compatibility and (arguably) piracy. If OnLive works as they say it will, those problems are eliminated.

Third, this isn't the end of traditional PC gaming. Modding has become increasingly popular over the years, and a person can't modify a game unless he has access to the code. Also, many consumers will want hard copies of games so that they don't have to worry about a service changing, provider-publisher contracts, internet access interruptions, etc.

What do you think? Where is cloud gaming leading us?


  1. good points and, its hard to say for sure

  2. firstly sony, microsoft, nintendo can make their own cloud gaming service that would rival onlive.

    Secondly, onlive can up the quality for customers with higher internet connections giving them 1080p and beyond.

    HDMI can do resolutions up to 2560x1200 resolution

    We know that the onlive servers are powered by nvidia gpu's

    Nvidia have that new geforce 3d vision drivers and shutter glasses. Which if came to onlive would be simply mind blowing but probably at the moment not possible as there will be more lag when playing in stereoscopic 3d.

    If onlive could offer clud based pc services, such as word processing with printing by plugging in a printer into the micro console's usb port, emails, and browsing the net, webcam conferencing then say goodbye to the PC altogether.

    If the micrconsole could be built directly into tv's even better

    If the micrconsole could be made into a telephone and portable gaming device rendering games from the cloud then onlive will be huge.

    If onlive's microconsole could get a mini laser projector built in say using microvision's mint sized picop then you could have gaming on the move on any surface.

    If onlive could work with head mounted displays for portable gaming on the go. Like playing in the back seat of a car or on a train. Just amazing!

    If onlive could have support for gaming devices that require patches to the game code such as the trackir 4 pro head tracking device then even more amazing.

    Finally if the mod community could continue making mods to popular PC games it is highly likely they could get their game on to onlive, they wouldn't be able to do it themselves but could send their game data to onlive where the onlive team would get the mod onto their cloud render farms.

    Lastly, it is very possible with some changes to the cloud they could do a deal with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to get their games on to onlive. Look at it this way, the microconsole can be bundled free of charge as long as you pay the subscription, this is suddenly a massive fraction of the price of the latest consoles. Now to the big three console makers suddenly they have this massive market where they don't have to sell so many consoles which they don't make much profit on but instead open up their games to a new market of hundreds of millions of players who now can afford to play because their getting a microconsole for such a cheap price once they have weighed in the subscription cost minus the cost of the microconsole

    This will change gaming, now onlive really need to make their wireless controller have motion sensitivity and twin vibration motors like the dualshock 3 controller and then they are onto a definite winner.

    In time with broadband speeds getting faster and faster we are in for something completely amazing.


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