Thursday, March 26, 2009
OnLive Set To Take On Xbox, PS3, Wii
Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo may need to rethink their business platform when it comes to consoles, as there’s a new sheriff in town. OnLive is poised to turn how users game completely on its ear, as they are introducing a console-less system. This system will allow gamers to stream on-demand games directly to PC, Macs, and to TV’s without the need for a traditional console. This type of gaming has been talked about before, but never has it gained so much traction, as OnLive has big time developers in their pocket like Electronic Arts, Take-Two, Ubisoft, Atari, and others. According to OnLive, they have a patent technology that can stream games with high quality without the need for a user to have a console or downloading. Instead, OnLive will host the games on the highest-end servers, and will only require a 1MB plug-in to get the service up and running. OnLive says that they can do this with no lag in gaming, and all users would require for standard-def is 1.5 Mbps connection, and for high-def, 5 Mbps. Gamers can stream directly to their TV with a small plug-in device, and can use a custom wireless controller along with VoIP headsets. Developers are interested simply because the system is all digital, no cost of making physical media or distribution, along with the benefit of ending piracy of games.
OnLive hasn’t produced their business model as of yet, nor have they stated pricing, but I’m sure that it would be similar to a monthly subscription fee. Onlive doesn’t as of yet have a “Halo”, “God of War”, or any kind of corner stone game franchise to bank on like the other big players do. And of course any gaming system rises and falls with how good its game line-up is. But I wouldn’t bet against this model, as I think “cloud” gaming will be the future. I don’t think that this generation of consoles has anything to worry about right now, but if OnLive can deliver as promised, the next gen consoles might be obsolete.