OnLive: The Future Of Games?

January 14, 2011
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Imagine, all your favorite games, not on your Xbox or PS3, but in your back pocket. OnLive is a gaming service that does just that. OnLive’s tiny console allows you to take it anywhere and not have to worry about having to lug around an oversized system. Not only is the system small, but you don’t have to worry about carrying games with it. The games for OnLive are streamed through servers. This avoids discs getting scratched or losing cartridges. This is the future of gaming.
“The Future of Gaming—In My Pocket” by Farhad Manjoo explains this new console. The idea of never having to carry around games would sound good to gamers who scratch or lose their games. It would also attract people who do not like load times. “Every time your game image changes—or every time you press a button on your controller—the update goes screaming over the internet in real time,” says Manjoo. Again, this is not from a disc, but from the internet. This would also eliminate the need for large storage devices to save your games onto. Each time you saved, you would be saving to one of their servers. No more bulky or expensive hard drives.
Like every console, though, this one has its downsides. The graphics of the game are limited by the connection to the internet. A strong connection gets high definition graphics, while a weaker connection gets a more pixilated picture. Graphics are also dependent on the size of the TV. The games will look better on a smaller TV; most people, however, would prefer to be playing games on their large new HD TV. These people wouldn’t be receiving the same picture as someone playing the same game on a 20 inch regular TV.
There have been concerns about whether or not games would eventually “expire” after being bought. These rumors seem to have been dismissed by OnLive’s founder Steve Perlman. When Manjoo asked Perlman about these concerns he replied, “It’s my goal that 10 years from now you’ll be able to play every game that we had at launch.”
In his article, Manjoo also poses his concerns about the overall effect this console could have on the internet as a whole. He is concerned about the ability of OnLive to keep up with demand, should it get popular.
If it succeeds, OnLive could become one of the most popular consoles on the market. Its large upside could have people looking to it instead of traditional consoles for years to come. With its size and basic setup, it could easily be the one of, if not the, most convenient console on the market. Big companies like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo should watch out because OnLive is coming, and it’s coming fast. This could be the future of video games. In a few years we will know, but for now we will just have to wait and see.

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