A few days ago I had my first try of OnLive. For those of you who don’t know OnLive allows you to stream games directly onto your TV, PC, Laptop or Tablet and play them just about anywhere you can get a good enough internet connection. Since then I’ve done some digging around and the general consensus seems to be that it won’t replace consoles as a whole and will only survive in the mobile market. I disagree with this and firmly believe that it will play a key role in the future of gaming.
At the moment consoles sell well, disc based gaming is more popular than download and stream based gaming and people are looking forward to the next generation of consoles. I feel that the next generation of consoles will be the last, or at least the second to last, and that, along with their death, disc based gaming will also die. Although sceptics say that streaming games only works if you have a good enough internet connection this should not be a long term criticism. Many of the UK’s internet providers are drastically increasing the quality and consistency of their internet connection and if you couple this with the fact that OnLive may be able to lower the required speed of your internet connection I feel that it will become a great alternative to console based gaming simply because you can do it at home on your TV as if you were on a console but then you can take it out on your Ipad and finish your game elsewhere.
Couple with this the fact that PC games are increasing in popularity (and quality) and the development of download based services such as Steam and I feel that, despite attempts to incorporate some of these elements into their consoles, the major console producers will find that the next generation, or if their lucky the one after it, will die. Likewise disc based gaming, and exclusives along with it, will also die.
Many seem to think this is a bad thing but I can’t understand how it could be. It is nigh on impossible not to be impressed with how OnLive works and as my interest in PC gaming grows my love of Steam also grows. I for one would love it if developers could set aside console based arguments and exclusives and simply work to development the best game they can and then make it available to all gamers, not just some. Many people simply don’t have the money to own a Wii, Ps3 and Xbox 360 and therefore can’t enjoy each of their exclusives, if these consoles were to die and OnLive were to truly take off, then these issues would be a thing of the past.
But then surely we’d all need to spend a fortune on a great gaming PC/Laptop? Wrong, my laptop is fairly average and yet because OnLive relies upon your internet connection to power its graphics games such as Batman: Arkham City look great regardless of how bad my graphics card may be.
Ultimately OnLive has the potential to completely revolutionise how the gaming industry works and I think that it certainly should do this, the changes it would bring would be more than welcome and more people need to forget discs, exclusives and arguments over which console is best and simply embrace the idea of internet based, diskless, gaming.