We’ve covered the development and general progression of the OnLive cloud gaming system with a fair amount of interest and curiosity in the past here on Zath; and it seems now that it’s finally made its big break. BT has announced a deal with the Silicon Valley based company allowing them to bundle the gaming service with their Broadband. With BT already attracting in excess of 10 million broadband customers in the UK, we could soon be seeing a lot more of OnLive over here.
If you have read any of my articles regarding OnLive in the past, then you will be aware of my scepticism of the service and whether it really will be adopted as a mainstream gaming service. Clearly, BT are out to prove me wrong on this one, but perhaps the biggest barrier they will have to break is the awareness the general public has of the service. Personally, it will take a phenomenal amount of marketing to sell the service, particularly considering the massive leaps being made in the tradition video gaming market these days with PlayStation Move and Project Natal on the horizon.
The service itself, having been in production for a total of seven years, will finally be unveiled in the US this year. Having been announced around this time last year, there has very much been a mixed reception over there so it certainly will be interesting to see it’s progress over there, and I’m sure BT will keep a close eye too now that they have a 2.6% shareholding in OnLive Inc.
BT, the same company which bring us the on-demand digital TV service, BT Vision, have shown a keen interesting in cloud services and this is a huge leap forward for both partaking companies. I’m sure a commercial partnership with a fairly dominant broadband provider is exactly what they were looking for. In fact, Steve Perlman, CEO of OnLive, said:
“The UK market is extremely important to OnLive and our video game publishing partners as we expand into Europe. We view BT as the ideal UK partner. As gamers are moving increasingly to online game distribution, OnLive delivers video games as a pure form of online media, playable instantly on almost any video-capable device attached to the internet. The implications are nothing short of transformative to video games and in time, all interactive media. OnLive is delighted to be pioneering this revolutionary technology in the UK together with BT.”
“Entertainment is going to be at the heart of what we offer customers in the future. The partnership with OnLive complements our existing BT Vision service. It’s great for our customers – they’ll have access to a huge catalogue of games, available instantly on their TV or PC without expensive hardware. And it’s great for BT – it will enhance our premium broadband position and we’ll be entering into a market that’s worth more than £2billion.”
So what we have here is one of the world’s leading providers of communications and Broadband spanning 170 countries across the globe in BT, commercially partnered with a revolutionary new service set to change the way people view video games, a huge market in itself. Sceptics there may be, but this deal has certainly swayed my opinion of the OnLive cloud-based gaming service and it seems even prior to any form of release in any country (although the US OnLive release date is expected to be June 2010), they’re attracting some serious interest, hopefully this will be a promising step forward for gaming in general.
Are you looking forward to the potential that OnLive could represent or do you think it be something that is let down by the infrastructure not being able to cope? Do you think that this OnLive cloud gaming system could be used on your mobile phone and could be the true future of mobile gaming? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!