OnLive: Stop buying consoles this summer or something

11 March 2010


Gaming is for sad, dreary nerds. People with no social lives sit around trying to wrestle the sword of Albion from a be-tentacled dragon ballsack and blah blah. That's what a lot of idiots think about computer games. Fact is, video games are better than watching films. The GTA series is like being in a mafia flick except you, dear gamer, get to go on a pretend cop-killing spree should the plot become too boring.

However, the way we go about playing games could be about to change. A new service will launch June 17th that will attempt to kill off the traditional gaming console.

OnLive, which launched in 2009, will stream popular games online properly this summer. Basically, instead of downloading and going to buy things from a dusty shelf, OnLive promises games on-demand. Imagine iPlayer if it was full of games.

Chief operating officer of OnLive, Mike McGarvey, says: "We want to take your dollars from hardware and let you spend it on software. We are a new platform and we're building a network and infrastructure to last for the next 30 years of gaming, not the next five years."

The company said it will deliver on-demand games via the cloud to the PC, Mac or TV and that it could provide high quality gaming on crappy computers that don't work properly. The whole thing relies on video compression technology which streams video via the internet so if feels like the game is playing locally... which is all very clever indeed.

So how much? Well, OnLive will be available for a monthly fee of $14.95 (£9.99) for subscribers to then buy or rent games over the internet. Only time will tell if this is going to work, but as video game sales dropped in 2009, this could be to gaming what Spotify is to listening to music. Perhaps they should look at an ad-based free version to really suck everyone in? [BBC]


  • Jase
    Micro-payment gaming is already popular in Asian countries, but as you've said, only time will tell if the business model will work in the West.
  • JGN
    about a year late with this one, but i expect nothing less from BW now ;)
  • Marc
    I am trying to make the phrase "wanking pliers" popular.
  • Junkyard
    "this could be to gaming what Spotify is to listening to music" What, a popular and well-loved service, with a future that's highly doubtful because it doesn't make any money?
  • JGN
    just under a year late - i wasnt far off...
  • llesal
    JGN - Get over yourself.
  • andyofyarm
    Too many things to go wrong between their servers,bandwidth,your kit and the software. This guy will over promise and under deliver
  • Maxi_Pad
    Can't wait to play this on the amazing 0.6meg connection that BT provides me. I live in Shoreditch, central London, I can't believe that this is all I can get.
  • Marc
    This was tested in the states by Ars Technica Apparently the graphics lag made it literally unplayable.
  • Marc
    i mean graphics/lag.
  • Gunn
    Sounds like a good idea, but the infrastructure just isn't quite there yet in this country. I much prefer to own the hardware and own the games, I can't see it replacing those industries and I really hope it doesn't, otherwise where will innovation come from.
  • Marc
  • ElBuc
    It will be a good many years before this can compete with Steam. Sounds like an idea made up by someone who hasn't played a new game in over 10 years.
  • JGN
    llesal, suck my fat one.
  • Nigel
    @JGN - The new news is that it will launch June 17th. You won't find that in any year old article. I'm sceptical it will work too. I read a review of a BETA tester who basically said it was 'playable' but not without faults. It's a 720p stream and relies on a fast internet connection. It's a nice concept but it's not going to interest top end PC enthusiasts.
  • Nigel
    Here is the review I was talking about.
  • Kwaker76
    "...We want to take your dollars from hardware and let you spend it on software...." ...and a quite heavy subscription where you don't actually end up owning anything tangible.

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