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OnLive CEO: We Are The Next-Generation Console

By - Source: EDGE Magazine | B 65 comments
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OnLive CEO Steve Perlman says his cloud-based gaming service is the next console. Given that the company provides an actual "console" device for playing on HDTVs, he may be right.

With services like Gaikai and OnLive proving to gamers that high-quality gaming doesn't require an expensive PC or a dedicated console -- that these games don't even need to be installed locally on a hard disk -- it leads us to wonder if Nintendo's Wii U console should be the last dedicated platform. After all, it's not much of an improvement over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on a graphical front.

Steve Perlman, CEO of OnLive, believes that the console form-factor that we've come to know and love over the years will soon be a thing of the past. "In my view, there probably will not be another high-end console," he told EDGE. "We don't know of any in the works, the developers have not received any prototypes and the Wii U is not that, it's a different kind of thing. I think that this (OnLive) is the next console."

But let's play devil's advocate here for a second. OnLive is an awesome service, there's no discounting that, especially for those who have a decent broadband connection and can't go out and purchase a desktop or laptop dedicated to PC gaming. But as we're currently experiencing with many PC games that require an Internet connection to actually work, this model isn't ideal. In fact, it sucks. Consumers really don't want to dump $40 to $60 into software they can't use offline. Unless it's StarCraft 2 or Diablo 3, of course.

Nevertheless, that's where the industry is heading. While OnLive provides excellent graphics, it's not on par with what high-end gaming rigs can spit out. The hardware behind the server-based rendering for churning out top-of-the-line it-can-play-Crysis graphics is there -- the broadband speeds required to push that kind of data across the nation's Internet highways is not.

"We'll start doing 4k resolution games," he claims. "We can do it in the lab [now], 4096 x 2048 in full 3D - that's the type of resolution Avatar would be projected in a theater. We can make that work...developers can go and do what they've been wanting to and go crazy with the kind of realism that can be achieved."

Wednesday saw the official launch of OnLive in the UK. The company also released a list of games that will be coming soon to the service including Batman: Arkham City, Bulletstorm, Call of Juarez: The Cartel, Driver: San Francisco, the original Fallout RPG, Might & Magic: Heroes IV, Orcs Must Die, Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, Trine 2, and twenty other titles. New games already on the roster include Duke Nukem Forever, FEAR 3, Red Faction Armageddon, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and many others.

Technically speaking, OnLive could already be considered as the next-generation console, as the Nintendo DS-sized receiver connects to any HDMI-equipped HDTV. The device provides two USB ports on the front for connecting a mouse, keyboard or the included wireless gamepad (charges via USB), and the back merely plays host to the power, HDMI and Ethernet ports. According to the company, it plans to release a server-side web browser soon and eventually a full-blown video service. That said, the days of dedicated console hardware should end with the release of Nintendo's Wii U.

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    Goldengoose , September 23, 2011 9:01 AM
    el33tThis guy probably doesn't know the fact that more than half of the gaming world is without internet. And even among the ones who does have, a very handful of them have fast enough net connection to handle something like OnLive.

    Did you know, 70% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  • 10 Hide
    rylan , September 23, 2011 9:12 AM
    Quote:
    Did you know, 70% of all statistics are made up on the spot.


    I thought it was 50% of all statistics are made up on the spot. ;) 
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    sceen311 , September 23, 2011 8:39 AM
    put some mmo's on it and they might be on to something.
  • Display all 65 comments.
  • 8 Hide
    Zero_ , September 23, 2011 8:48 AM
    actually, just putting WoW on it will keep it running.
  • 4 Hide
    el33t , September 23, 2011 8:53 AM
    This guy probably doesn't know the fact that more than half of the gaming world is without internet. And even among the ones who does have, a very handful of them have fast enough net connection to handle something like OnLive.
  • 21 Hide
    Goldengoose , September 23, 2011 9:01 AM
    el33tThis guy probably doesn't know the fact that more than half of the gaming world is without internet. And even among the ones who does have, a very handful of them have fast enough net connection to handle something like OnLive.

    Did you know, 70% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  • 8 Hide
    joytech22 , September 23, 2011 9:02 AM
    I just don't see this replacing consoles. There are so many variables that could mess the experience up for buyers such as:

    * Internet downtime consistency in certain areas
    * Not all users will have unlimited data plans
    * Not all users will have fast enough connections
    * Latency issues from different ISP's

    Etc..

    The list can go on, right now OnLive sounds just like Microsoft when they released Windows Phone 7 and look how that turned out.
  • 6 Hide
    rylan , September 23, 2011 9:06 AM
    I participated in their beta, and I was not impressed by their service. The graphics looked terrible to me, and the game controls felt a bit unresponsive. It wasn't my connection either. I have a 20 Mbps connection.

    I'm sure part of my displeasure comes from me owning a high-end gaming rig, and I'm spoiled by maxed out graphics with high levels of AA. But to tell you the truth, I feel like my XBOX 360 had better graphics.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2011 9:09 AM
    funny that people still think Wii U is not much of a graphical leap over current gen. Watch and see when it launches all will be saying the next gen is here.
  • 10 Hide
    rylan , September 23, 2011 9:12 AM
    Quote:
    Did you know, 70% of all statistics are made up on the spot.


    I thought it was 50% of all statistics are made up on the spot. ;) 
  • 8 Hide
    billybobser , September 23, 2011 9:34 AM
    Could replace farmville consoles
  • 3 Hide
    sgtopmobile , September 23, 2011 9:35 AM
    GoldenGooseDid you know, 70% of all statistics are made up on the spot.


    74.51 to be exact.... according to 10,500+ cool facts for iphone :) 
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2011 9:43 AM
    Interesting!

    In other related news

    "ONLINE CEO baffles scientific world by demonstrating the new phenomena of talking through ones arse"
  • -4 Hide
    molo9000 , September 23, 2011 10:05 AM
    The concept is great and makes a lot of sense in theory, but I bet high input delay is going to be the biggest issue.

    Still waiting for OnLive in Germany....
  • 3 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 23, 2011 10:15 AM
    Not only you're the next gen console, but you're also the next gen primary object of hate of all the true PC gamers. To hell with the cloud, the games streaming and all this BS; I'll never give up the local setup and if all gaming will switch to streaming, I'll just stop getting new games.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2011 10:26 AM
    amk-aka-phantomNot only you're the next gen console, but you're also the next gen primary object of hate of all the true PC gamers. To hell with the cloud, the games streaming and all this BS; I'll never give up the local setup and if all gaming will switch to streaming, I'll just stop getting new games.


    With you there aka.

    Only console I have is Wii and thats for fun with family and kids (Which despite what everyone else says its format works in this scenario)

    The rest can go jump, including steam and all the other download only ways of getting a game!

    People do not realize that once the "BOX Product" has vanished, they are going to get shafted by the download only way of life!
  • -3 Hide
    rantoc , September 23, 2011 10:28 AM
    The onlive has one usage - when the equipment you want to play on cant handle any game at all. Other than that its low quality, high latency and prone to interuptions.

    So fun when peeps say they have say have great ping in game with onlive and other think its great, what they forget is that its only ingame (ie onlive server to game server and not the ping of client-onlineserver-gameserver that is the real latency the player have). Added on that is the latency from client-onlive server and the extra time it takes to compress/decompress the video stream.

    So what the onlive ceo sais is we should expect the next gen consoles to have poor gfx, super high input/video latency and the risk of getting kicked out of the game we play? Avoid what he is smooking!
  • 6 Hide
    drumsrule786 , September 23, 2011 10:47 AM
    So as I understand it, the video signal is streamed to you over the internet? Yeah good luck getting crystal clear 2560x1600 resolution doing that, or even 1080p for that matter. There's gotta be a lot of compression to the video signal going on.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 23, 2011 11:20 AM
    el33tThis guy probably doesn't know the fact that more than half of the gaming world is without internet. And even among the ones who does have, a very handful of them have fast enough net connection to handle something like OnLive.

    So boil down those stats, how many tens of millions would that leave?
    ...
    If the uptake is "only" 50 million that would equal all the Xbox 360's
  • -1 Hide
    JonnyDough , September 23, 2011 11:29 AM
    I don't think my one meg service is suited for cloud computing. I'm sorry. Fail?
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 23, 2011 12:05 PM
    Quote:
    With you there aka.

    Only console I have is Wii and thats for fun with family and kids (Which despite what everyone else says its format works in this scenario)

    The rest can go jump, including steam and all the other download only ways of getting a game!

    People do not realize that once the "BOX Product" has vanished, they are going to get shafted by the download only way of life!


    I still remember the times where I'd buy a game on a DVD (I still do, if I can) - I get: 1) the game 2) the backup media (first thing - make an image in case I sit on the CD or something, lol) 3) a great-looking (usually) box which I could put on the shelf among my games' collection and it's as enjoyable as a book collection... WC3/TFT, EE1/2 and many other games all had cool box-art and decorated my gaming space...

    ...well, not anymore, thanks to digital downloads. Still, I don't even mind those, as long as the stuff runs locally and I don't depend on my Internet connection. :non: 

    You have to understand - this isn't about having reliable connection or not. It's about wasting resources and money and about the game developers invading your life even more and dictating the conditions on which you play the game. This does NOT need to happen physically for the game to run - same reason why I oppose D3 online DRM BS. I'm against ALL things that don't need to be done in order for the software to run properly. This is one of them - consoles (yes, even consoles, as much as I loathe them) and PCs can manage gaming just fine, and they'll be much safer and more convenient for the PLAYER. Of course, the developers would LOVE to stream games, rip us off with full control over the game... do you really want this?

    Or how about the resources that will be pointlessly wasted in order to upgrade the Internet infrastructure? I mean, sure, it'd be great to see some speed boosts... but there're much more important problems to take care of around the world, and I don't see pointless Internet upgrade just so some weird gamers can stream their games as one of these important priority-taking problems.

    Right now, the Internet is overloaded enough with Facebook, streaming movies and other nonsense, half of which can be done locally. I really, really hope that the whole idea goes to $h!t - unfortunately, there're enough fools in this world to make this whole nonsense scenario successful and turn a proper PC gamer's life into a nightmare far worse than the current console port infestation (which actually saves us money on upgrading :lol:  but I think we've had enough).

    Cloud computing can be useful - for a BUSINESS (we use Google Docs to synchronise the documents at work, for instance), but not for a private user. You want your data to be next to you, accessible at all times and not reachable by anyone else. And same with software. Don't buy their BS; cloud computing will only hurt you. Anyone who says otherwise is a) a hopeless Apple fanboy 2) clueless 3) a massive troll.

    Oh yeah, and don't forget to thumb up this message... here: Bulldozer >>> i7, BF3 FTW, Skyrim rocks, Blizzard's Diablo 3 DRM sucks, etc., etc. :D  /irrelevant and partially ridiculous claims over
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2011 12:09 PM
    yeah, this is great ... except for the countries that cannot properly support the bandwidth. You think this will run smoothly with 1000ms latency @ 46Kbs?

    In the end if everyone could play on this it would obviously be great. Put WoW, Diablo 3, SC2, Guild Wars 2, EVE Online and a couple other major titles on it and it would be a great success.

    But I still figure that a lot of people would be sitting with an XBOX (spit), or PS3, just for the added benefits like bluray. Unless they get a contract setup whereby you can watch movies and series on it.
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