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OnLive and kicking

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Is OnLive the future of gaming? The new gaming system announced at the recent Game Developers Conference, in case you missed the news, streams games over the internet directly to your TV without the need for a console.

Its pros and cons are detailed in next month’s Play (on sale 14 May), but it’s got me thinking: does this mean the end of gaming as we know it?

Boxes under the TV have dominated home gaming for decades now but with internet connections getting faster all the time, and leaps in video compression in recent times, OnLive, or something like it, was always going to happen.

Streaming movies and music are already commonplace in today’s living rooms, so why not games?

The potential is massive. Manufacturing costs (both of consoles and game discs) would be slashed and could potentially bring gaming to a much wider audience. The cost of games themselves would potentially be cut too, with the system adopting a ‘pay as you play’ policy.

My personal feelings are that if the technology works like OnLive say it will (and there are some pretty big doubts here) then the idea will probably catch on. But first to market isn’t always the system that catches on. Sony has already responded by trademarking something called ‘PS Cloud’, which would suggest that it’s looking at creating a similar service. I wouldn’t be surprised if the system, or a similar one, is adopted and made successful by one of the world’s big content providers – possibly Sony, integrated into its internet TVs, or by someone like Sky or Apple.

OnLive may not be the end of console gaming as we know it, but it’s certainly an idea that will be around for a long time and may well be integral to home gaming by the time we get to PlayStation 4.
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  • Just for your information, Sony also registered the domain name “Playstationcloud.com”. Should make for an interesting future of video games 🙂