OnLive‘s cloud gaming service seems like the next logical step that video game platforms will take in the future. Even GameStop is interested in getting in on the action. Some would argue that the ongoing problems with video game piracy would not be as big of a headache if console architecture went all digital. Things like Ubisoft’s oft-criticized DRM would not be needed with a fully digital distribution platform.
There are other perks to OnLive membership – namely pre-order incentives, and today the company has announced a new preorder deal for UK buyers who pre-order a copy of Batman: Arkham City. UK pre-orders for the game will be eligable to recieve a free OnLive console. Yes, an entire console – and, if you’re already a subscriber, and decide to pre-order Batman: Arkham City, you’ll get a free game from the service instead.
The news, posted today on the OnLive Blog, adds yet another pre-order incentive to an already long list of bonuses for the upcoming Batman game. More importantly, it also provides a suitable title to showcase OnLive’s capabilities as a console to UK players. Still John Spinale, OnLive’s Vice President of Games and Media, is a realist, and believes that it will take at least one more console generation before OnLive begins to take a significant market share from the existing console giants. How long will that console cycle take? In an interview with CVG, Spinale speculates that the time frame could be around five years.
For anyone left scratching their heads, OnLive is a console service where users have access to a large library of streaming game content. Using specific compression algorithms, the service advertises that games have a millisecond delay (that’s 0.001 seconds) for decompressing game video. The service has been in a state of rapid expansion since the initial launch with several different publishers, such as Eidos, EA, and Ubisoft, now releasing games day and date with retail releases.
However, the service has faced some criticism for its latency in multiplayer games as well as issues of quality when compared to other platforms. A little over a week ago, Spinale responded to criticisms stating that OnLive’s technology can continue to grow – while existing console architecture, with a particular jab at the Xbox 360, isn’t getting any faster.
Meanwhile, in Gotham City, the Dark Knight will return in Batman: Arkham City on October 18th for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
The PC version is slated for sometime in November. There is no official word yet on when the OnLive copy will be released, but considering the console architecture we speculate the release date will be the same as the PC version.
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Source: OnLive Blog, CVG