With all the hubub over Wii U and PlayStation Vita, it can be easy to forget that a new game system launched just last Fall. The OnLive MicroConsole boasts an ever increasing library of streaming games, and packs a great controller to boot. Game Rant has extensively reviewed both the OnLive PC service and the OnLive MicroConsole, and we’ve come away impressed at every step.
Still, millions and millions of PS3 and Xbox 360 owners have yet to give OnLive a chance. What if those players could give cloud gaming a shot on the consoles they already own? According to OnLive VP of Engineering Joe Bentley, the service would be a great fit for those consoles, and more.
The OnLive service, whether on PC or console, allows users instant access to a library of over a hundred streaming games that may be demoed, rented, or purchased. The selection is frequently updated, and incudes such recent games as Red Faction: Armageddon and Duke Nukem Forever.
In his response to CVG’s query about the possibility of OnLive being made available on the current generation of game consoles, Bently’s enthusiasm for the idea is clear.
“Absolutely, they would make great consoles. Our controller is a hybrid between a PS3 controller and an Xbox controller. It’s all compatible, it would just work. There are OnLive guys chatting [Sony and MS], but we’ll see where it goes. But it would absolutely work, we’re ready to work with everybody. “
Bently’s description of the OnLive controller is certainly on point, and built in wi-fi capabilities give both Xbox 360 and PS3 an edge over the MicroConsole, which lacks the feature. But OnLive won’t be stopping there. To make the service available to as many players as possible means considering still more platforms, like the iPad and Steam. According to Bently, Valve — and Gabe Newell in particular — “really like what we’re doing.”
“He’s really fascinated with our features and given us a lot of suggestions, they’ve got similar features coming out and we’ve chatted about really innovative ideas. I regard him and the company as friends. Sure we’re going to have other people doing similar things, but the industry is big enough. We’re only a 200 person start-up, we don’t need to own it all, there’s something for everybody.”
Meanwhile, OnLive’s bluetooth controller for iPad and Android tables was unveiled at E3 2011. The OnLive Viewer launched last year with the promise that it would evolve to include full gaming functionality, and with the controller revealed, it certainly appears as if that goal is close at hand — though no release date has been revealed just yet.
Despite the significant upside that OnLive integration clearly presents to Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers (and OnLive), a number of questions instantly spring to mind. For starters, what becomes of the MicroConsole if this plan comes to fruition? OnLive has offered free MicroConsoles to customers for pre-ordering specific games, including Homefront. One suspects that Sony and Microsoft would frown on their systems being used to sell OnLive’s console.
Furthermore, what of the games? Although OnLive’s games are all PC editions, many of the titles they offer are also available on current systems. What is the upside for Microsoft and Sony if, rather than buying a $60 retail copy of F.E.A.R. 3, players beat the game during a three day, six dollar OnLive rental? Clearly, Sony and Microsoft will get a cut of whatever OnLive content is sold or rented through PS3 and Xbox 360, but how will that affect OnLive’s prices and profitability?
Much remains to be ironed out, but make no mistake, OnLive on consoles could be fantastic. Cloud gaming may not be quite ready to replace traditional console/PC gaming (though that point is increasingly up for debate), but it makes an outstanding compliment.
Are you interested in playing OnLive through your Xbox 360 or PS3? Have you tried the service on PC?
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