A few weeks ago you may have read my article on ‘OnLive’ moving gaming into ‘the cloud’. The global gaming network played via the internet eliminating the need for exceptional hardware spec to play the latest modern games. If you didn’t then I recommend reading that before this revolutionary announcement.
Today, founder and CEO of the company Steve Perlman, announced and demonstrated the OnLive service, not only on a regular PC but on the iPhone too. This extends the service from the current TV or PC/Mac platforms to gaming on the go too, not only on the iPhone but also on a number of regular mobile phones which have yet to be announced.
The mobile gaming platform raises many doubts for gamers though. For example, it is doubtful anyone would be leaping to play the latest first person shooters such as the likes of Call of Duty etc. Clearly, this would be extremely difficult to control on a 3 inch touchscreen as opposed to the traditional console controllers or mouse/keyboard combinations and the variety of control options that they possess. This brings the quality of the games into question as the service may be limited to the old classics like Tetris. None the less it is theoretically possible to play all the top titles on the iPhone, successfully or not, against other users on PC’s, Mac’s or consoles.
Perlman is clearly aware of the potential issues above, saying this during the release…
“It’s important to understand that a cell phone is a very different beast than TV, PC or Mac. And while we’re thrilled about eventually bringing many new games to cell phone platforms, currently, games on OnLive are tuned for TVs and computers. So initially, it’s the Community and Social elements of OnLive that we’re most excited about on mobile devices. It’s amazingly cool whipping out your phone, checking out what your OnLive friends are up to, and then spectating their live game play: Unscripted live user-generated content, available anywhere.”
During the release, Perlman showed the service running simultaneously on 4 separate devices. A TV, PC, Mac and iPhone all running the service successfully. Allowing users to play the games, spectate others and view profiles etc. The prospect of proper, multiplayer gaming on the go is a mouth watering one sure, but a great deal of development needs to be done in order for iPhone users to achieve ‘fair play’ when playing against console users. Perhaps some sort of voice control would be possible on the iPhone 3GS?
There is no announcement on the date of availability as yet. Especially as the original service itself isn’t fully functional yet and is still in closed Beta. The release today was simply a demo run of the capabilities of OnLive and they certainly seem impressive. Whether or not this will eventually become a reality for gamers is yet to be seen, but the stepping stones are in place for a quite revolutionary and remarkable service of games on demand from OnLive that could change the face of gaming forever.
These reports have to be taken with a great amount of scepticism at the moment as there is no real evidence that shows the availability of the hardware infrastructure is there yet or is imminently going to be able to support a service such as this. So I wouldn’t advise getting too excited just yet. As ever, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Via – OnLive Blog