The future of gaming. With the current gen consoles well into their life span we can’t help but think ‘What’s Next?’ downloadable games are currently selling like hot cakes, Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, PSN store, Wiiware and virtual console games have provided a new way for us to access games without even getting off the couch (and that’s ok in my books). What if I told you that all your games could be accessed online, without downloading them, Not having any bulky accident prone consoles in your lounge and the ability to play with PC, Mac and console gamers? You would probably call me Andrew Ryan and tell me to get off your internets but Steve Perlman’s OnLive concept just might be enough to sway a few.
The concept of OnLive is simple enough.
1. Power up your ‘Microconsole’
2. Connect to the internet
3. Gain access to extensive game libraries
4. Play with your controller connected to high end gaming servers
So playing from your couch will be like controlling a PC/Console in a server farm far away with the results being streamed to your TV. Obviously accessing these games would require either a subscription service or pay per play system similar to the arcades of old.
Actually getting the thing in people’s homes will be the locked door keeping OnLive out of the gaming party. Gamers will be required to have a broadband connection of 2mbits or higher. This may seem like a simple enough feat to many but recent findings prove that a large amount of game consoles are still not connected to the internet. OnLive won’t deliver the highest definition graphics such as 1080p or 1080i which would require speeds of 10mbit + which in many countries is a luxury which consumers are made to pay out big dollars for.
So what’s the good news?
Piracy. Gone. This is great news for indie games trying to get their name out there. Without being stomped on by AAA games and pirates alike, it’s a jungle out there.
No more EB, GameStop. Ever. Gone would be the days of pre order pressure or day one supply demands. The rental business would go down the drain, with it these gaming tyrants.
This sounds great! Sign me up!
Hold your horses there tiger. Although many big name publishers have jumped on board such as Electronic Arts, THQ, Take-Two Interactive, Code masters, Eidos, Atari, Warner Bros., Epic Games and Ubisoft OnLive seems to have forgotten that there still will be more consoles to come yet.
“breaks the console cycle where a gamer has to buy a new machine every few years.”
This generation of consoles has been said to be the longest ever. Picking up a new console every 7-9 years isn’t a big deal and quite frankly… it’s bloody exciting.
‘’Game publishers could also frequently update their games on OnLive by changing the code running on the servers. If one part of a game is too hard, the publishers can simply patch that part and then everyone will play the new version the next time they log in. ‘”
Patching games is already an annoying excuse for developers to excuse unfinished or rushed games but logging on and already having your game patched is a great idea if we know what exactly is being patched Before we actually begin to stream the game.
OnLive is an incredibly interesting concept. Physical media is on the way out ITunes, XBL, PSN, Steam are all cutting out the middle man and selling directly to gamers. The entry level into the console war at the moment has been set so high with the Nintendo Wii still topping the NPD’s every month and 360 and PS3 also introducing their own online downloads of games and TV, movie and music streaming OnLive has a mighty wall to scale if it’s going to make an impact at all. So keep hold of those collectors’ editions figurines, maps, making of DVD’s and metal cases because they won’t be around for much longer. We can expect to see more of OnLive being demoed at GDC 2009.
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