The imminent launch of OnLive games streaming service in America in the summer (June 17) will almost certainly be the beginning of the end of traditional gaming consoles. Gamers will now be able to play some of the most popular games such as Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Mass Effect 2 and Borderlands, on the Internet without the need for a console.
The aim of the OnLive games platform is to reduce and eventually transfer gamers’ dependence on hardware to software. Gamers can play anything from bingo online to the hottest new games. The service will make use of cloud network infrastructure on PC, Mac or Television and take advantage of the recent surge in number of gamers’ migrating online.
OnLive promises high quality gaming on low-end machines with video compression technology via a broadband Internet service. Games will be stored and accessed directly from servers, with little or no lag, up to between 1000 and 15000 miles away. Subscribers will use a PC or TV to access a catalogue of games that can be launched instantaneously instead of having to wait for the download process to complete. The quality of the service, however, will depend on the gamer’s Internet bandwidth.
Although OnLive’s success will be good for the games industry, it will also affect the way games are distributed and played as well as threaten the future of console vendors and retailers. No date has been given yet for when OnLive will be available in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
How successful do you think the OnLive service and what effect will it have on the future of gaming in general?