OnLive kick starts 'new age' of gaming

Video game streaming service poised to give shot in the arm to what many see as a flagging PC gaming sector
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Radical cloud gaming operation OnLive says it has the power to reinvigorate the PC as a gaming platform, ahead of its launch in the UK next year.

The system – which processes games content on external servers, and streams an image feed directly through to a TV or computer, negating the need for a console or high powered gaming rig in the house – launched in the US last month, and PCR understands it may land here earlier than the 'by end of 2011' date launch partner BT announced.

In an exclusive interview with PCR, OnLive founder, president and CEO Steve Perlman said the platform will open up the PC gaming market to a wider audience, providing a much needed boost to what some argue is a market in decline.

“A lot of people have said that people are dropping like flies in the PC gaming world, because they can’t keep up with the hardware costs," said Perlman. "And a lot of gamers are disappointed at the limitations in the console world. Consoles are five-year-old platforms now, and there are no new ones on the horizon. So for a lot of folks, they see this as a really nice adjunct to the PC gaming world. They get to share their world with a lot of other people that perhaps wouldn’t have the time or resources to get into it. We are going to run into people who will say the graphics aren’t as sharp, or that the latency is higher, but what can I say? I think they have a very narrow view of the world,”

Perlman also claims the system has the potential to drive game prices down, while simultaneously putting more money in the hands of those making the game rather than selling it, resulting in more investment in development.

“The publishers are happy to lower their prices if the demand for a game drops off. The difference with OnLive is the money will be going to the publishers rather than the retailers, which will mean more game development and more money funnelled into existing games. And frankly it gives the publisher the opportunity to lower the price further.

“We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for people to go and give it a go. It’s the beginning of a new age, and we did the best we could for this first shot. But it’s only going to get better. The great thing about it is that even as it does, you won’t need to upgrade your machine to feel the benefits. We’ve made games digital media – but it’s just the beginning of this era.”

To read the full interview, click here.

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