1:3 And the Flying Spaghetti Monster said, Let there be OnLive: And there was OnLive.
When OnLive first shimmied its way into the collective consciousness of internet news, I was nonplussed. An on-demand streaming system of gaming that can play anything at the highest level of quality across any platform? Oh yeah. Sure, and there is going to be a Duke Nukem Forever demo included if you preorder Ion Storm’s Anachronox 2: Anachronox Harder for the Phantom.
Still, it is hard not to raise a curious\excited eyebrow when watching the video of Steve Perlman’s demonstration of OnLive at Columbia University.
It is impressive, that is for sure. I’m still not convinced, and I don’t think I will be until I see this in action for myself. Regardless of my personal opinion on whether or not this is going to be a silly mess when it actually launches (Spoiler alert: I think it will be) the fact stands that if all goes according to plan, this could fundamentally change everything we know to be true about gaming. Perlman has gone on record saying that the MicroConsole that would be offered to use OnLive would be cheaper than even the cheapest consoles, and the argument that it won’t find support with developers goes out the window with EA seemingly supporting the technology.
OnLive being a success and working exactly as it is advertised would be the way I would acknowledge the death of the PC as a gaming platform. I don’t hide the fact that when I picture PC gaming I think of a guy in a top hat and a monocle sipping fine whiskey in some sort of airship, while I look at console gaming as the mechanic servicing said airship with a flask full of corn-mash. This isn’t as insulting as it seems, because us PC gamers wouldn’t be able to use our fancy airships if it weren’t for the consoles constantly pumping money into developers coffers, and nobody is arguing that consoles are the money makers nowadays. But the technology is always on the side of the PC, and with parts getting cheaper and building your own godlike rigs getting more and more accessible, it is easy to see how the PC market can recover. OnLive would come in and pop our dirigibles and put all the mechanics out of business. Why would non hardcore gamers bother spending $400 for a new system or $1000 for a high end computer when they can just plug WebTV 2.0 into their television and play Crysis?
I know, I know, most of us on this crazy internets would still buy consoles and still build computers, but it would be tempting wouldn’t it? Of course this is all assuming OnLive actually works and doesn’t hype itself up so much that it Molyeneuxs its way into the history books.