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What Do You Think: Is OnLive the Future of Gaming?

Tim Spaeth's picture

OnLive Screenshot

Formally announced at this years Game Developers Conference, OnLive purports to be the first legitimate gaming-on-demand service. Games will be stored and run entirely on mega-powerful servers, and will deliver low latency, high definition video back to your television or PC. Major publishers including Electronic Arts, THQ, Take-Two Interactive, Atari, Epic Games and Ubisoft have agreed to deliver their games through the OnLive network.

We want to know what you think. Is this the future of games distribution, or does it sound too good to be true? Assuming the technology proves viable (and that's a BIG assumption) this could conceivably change the face of the industry, affecting brick-and-mortar stores, game prices, the used games and rental markets—everything.

Leave your thoughts and predictions here, and we'll discuss your comments on the next episode of the GameCritics.com Podcast.

Category Tags
Platform(s): PC  
Articles: Podcasts  
Topic(s): Business   Piracy & DRM  

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I can easily see this as becoming the standard for gaming in the future. Maybe not OnLive in particular, but streaming games directly to your computer (or console) will probably become normal for gamers at some point in the world of tomorrow. Aren't PC gamers halfway their already? With Steam you don't get a physical product, you just download the game to your hdd. Isn't this the next step on that ladder?

But what about the question

But what about the question of 'purchase' or 'ownership'? with this cloud model, players won't really own what they're paying for... they'll just sort of extended-rent no mater what the purveyors say. if the service goes down or if you sever your relationship (based on the subscription model) then you've spent a bunch of money with nothing to show. Really, this is my biggest hurdle with the concept.

Quote: But what about the


But what about the question of 'purchase' or 'ownership'?

What about it? If you paid $30 for a game on the service, and got about 20 hours or so out of it, does it really matter that you can't put it on your shelf? Do you play your old games all that often? With an online service such as this (assuming best case scenario) you'd have access to any game released for it at any point you want. So reliving past glories shouldn't be a problem. Of course our attitudes and perceptions about gaming will have to change/adapt to the new enviroment.

Personally, i'm a total dinosaur in this as well. I still want to have a physical copy of my games on my shelf, and I won't pay anything over $20 for a downloaded game. The transition to this future will be hard as hell for me, and i'm sure i'll kick and scream as loudly as everyone else who feels like this. But i'm not gonna say "no way" to the possibility of services like OnLive being the direction that gaming is headed in.

heh, just wrote a big-ass

heh, just wrote a big-ass blog post about this. we must've been typing at the same time. ; )

Come on

What is there to discuss? Obviously this is the (pretty near) future. The fact that this is the future has been crystal for, oh, at least 10 years?

Online distribution

I think services such as Steam will become the standard before something like OnLive will. I wouldn't want my ability to play my game to be dependent on my Internet connection, assuming it wasn't an online game of some sort.

Future of gaming

I suspect that just as the days of the CD as a delivery medium for music is quickly coming to an end, the end is soon at hand for the same medium as a delivery service for gaming. Internet delivery makes it easier for companies to have more control over the distribution of their product, pretty much cutting out the middle man, therefore increasing profits to the companies themselves. If for no other reason but increased profitability, this scenario will play out sooner rather than later.

When this occurs however, I think I will become a retro-gamer. I have no desire to be at the mercy of my internet company as to when and how I can play my games. What happens when there is a server crash? Right now all that would happen is that I would have to play offline. What happens to my investment once my machine crashes? To me, there are too many what ifs for my liking for me to want that. I much prefer a game disk in my house than dependent on a hard drive and an internet connection for my gaming pleasure.

I think Onlive will be one

I think Onlive will be one of the ways to play videogames and won't substitute the concoles. It's just a service for those who don't wanna bother updating their pc or buying a console, but that still want to play some videogames. But I think this service is perfect if u wanna try out demos or even rent the games. Virtually owning them..I don't know, it sounds a bit limiting for various reasons:
- you can only play, provided that both your connection and Onlive's server work.
- ppl like to physically own the stuff they buy.
- I can bring the console with me wherever I go and play. For instance, I have a house in southern italy, I only go there in summer for the holidays, so I have no reason to have an internet subscription there. Still, I can just hook the console to the TV and enjoy my videogames AND/OR also movies.

The way i see it, Onlive will be just an additional service that ppl can usufruct.

It seems obvious that in a

It seems obvious that in a few years from now, every device will be connected and there won't be any downtime for servers. in the beginning, you will still have the choice to buy the hard copy but companies will make the online version more attractive. Moreover, it will be the ultimate answer to pirates as all content will be streamed ...

And in 10 years, the gamers will be people who are between 5 and 10 now - not dinosaurs like you ... These kids are already DIGITAL!

hmm oh god do they even kno

hmm oh god do they even kno what they are doing! the complications and consequences from this that will arrise....gamestop and others like it will go bankrupt unless they go online....priacy is going to end its not if but now when. the new powers for laws both national and international are getting recognizition to deal with priacy regulation of the internet is no so far fetched anymore if the un does a resolution to monitor and look into computers for it...that is when its finally over. Now through all that battle guess who won the big guys corporations now with an ingenuis idea of onlive...my shitty ass computer can play crysis!!!!?? are you fucking serious my shitty penteium 4 2.5 gigs with 1.5 gig of ram and its beautiful ati 9800 radeon pro can run that game!!!? if thats the case ibm will go bankrupt all the asian countries that make all our hardware will b fucked from the gaming industry they will convert to other sectors....us dinosaurs will b seeing more kid and family friendly games to attract more customers like a damn cable company commercial....we will be smuggling in games like drugs or immigrants here....this is just the beginning of course i hope im over 50 when this end of violent games are here....anyone agree or think im just a crazy ass pestimistic about all this? people did flip out about napkins....

Idea stealed

I am sorry if I'm gonna offended someone with my comment but this idea of Onlive is exactly like Steam.

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