Wednesday, March 25, 2009

OnLive, well, is live :P

In the news today, a new streaming game service will come on line later this year. You will be able to play games running on other pc's in a "cloud computing environment". Yay! Well, at least somebody has finally showed up to put some competition into the Blue Ocean downloading games market. This might have some unusual effects and might make reinvigorate the overpriced and over complex PC market for the mainstream consumer. We shall see.

In case you are a layman and very confused about what I'm talking about here, the proposed service would let you boot up your laptop and use it more like a television and less like a computer, I.e. just for display rather than processing the whole game. A Server would process all the math and stuff for you and then send you the pretty pictures in response to your strokes. The servers would be run by a pay service (i.e.OnLive) If this REALLY takes off, then it will put away the need for UBER™ gaming rigs and instead people will use something with a nice monitor and OK video card (to support HD) instead of the dual or triple video card and crazy powerful processors that cost a fortune from Alienware.


Pete said...

I don't believe this will work well "in the wild" but *if* it does, it'll be an incredibly disruptive technology.

Imagine a world with no nVidia or even gaming PCs. How much innovation in chip design is driven by the need for more speed from gamers? Who else really needs a faster computer than an average system today?

Imagine a world where 1 company handles ALL game publishing (if this really takes off). Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo become software developers.

Gamestop goes away (yay!) and games vanish from Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart.

I really hope this service fails, or at best, is able to service only a small fraction of gamers.

Thallian said...

I agree with everything you said except one thing, There wont be just one company. Nothing is stopping a competitor from doing the same thing better, and yet another competitor from beating them both out, other than capital investment and time to develop it.

I'd love for the gamestop monopoly to go away. Its annoying me too that I sell my used games for a fraction and buy them back at a huge markup :P Amazon is prolly the best way to go to sell games.

Anyways yeah I'm excited too if this even gets a large enough following to be profitable. I don't imagine though that it will fully disrupt the industry to cataclysmic levels because as you said, things are different "in the wilds" of the real world versus their perfect controlled environment, just like the Internet 2.0 works but not on a large scale yet.

Anton said...

It sounds like this is just for game players. I would still need a computer for creating Neverwinter Nights Modules, for example. And what about saving screenshots? And all that other stuff you do with computers like word processing and video editing.

I guess everybody would still have a computer, it just wouldn't have to be beefed up just to play those high-end games...

The good thing about this wuold be allowing PC game developers more freedom, and not have to make games that work on every system so that they can appeal to every market.

Thallian said...

U know that is one of the big appeal to developers of developing on a console is you only have to test one hardware configuration. I think you may be on to a reason why this might do well.

Crimson Starfire said...

I actually can't see this technology really taking off for at least another 10 years. In order for it to work effectively, you need incredibly fast infrastructure. That's not going to happen anytime soon (at least not in Australia). It's incredibly frustrating dealing with lag issues with online gaming, imagine having to deal with them when playing something like Tetris or Super Mario Bros.