OnLive says 'at least 5 years' for cloud to go mainstream

By Steve Watts, Sep 22, 2011 4:00pm PDT

Analysts and soothsayers agree that technology is progressively moving towards the cloud, and that includes games. OnLive is getting started early, but perhaps a little too early. At the UK launch event, VP of games and media John Spinale said it will be "at least five years" before cloud gaming overtakes the traditional market.

"For us to get a majority as a genre of gaming platform it's going to take one whole cycle for that to happen [sic]," Spinale told CVG. "Whether that's everyone retiring their existing consoles or having their PCs be really underpowered... it'll be at least five years before we see this as a majority."

But even after his 5-year prediction is up, Spinale doesn't think traditional consoles and PC gaming will go away. They'll just adopt a new delivery method. "I don't think consoles are going away any time soon and I don't think existing PCs are going away either," he said. "I think the opportunity is that over time this architecture makes sense.

"As my PC dies the question I have is 'do I want to buy another one with a higher end system, or is it time for me to upgrade my graphics card or not?' Those are the times when we start to come into play as a real meaningful decision and take market share. Right now from a convenience perspective this is easy, frictionless and we're getting lots and lots of people that appreciate the value of immediate supportability."

OnLive has been a moderate success so far, brokering deals with games like Red Faction: Armageddon and Duke Nukem Forever to get the free MicroConsole into homes. Some of these deals have been more successful than others, but at the very least there seems to be some interest in adopting the OnLive technology. The company is reportedly in talks with Sony, Microsoft, and Valve.

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