OnLive CEO: Cloud-based games to replace all others in 10 years

Currently the concept of playing games via a streaming cloud-based service is in its infancy but according to Steve Perlman the CEO of OnLive, playing games via a cloud server could replace all other ways of playing games. Venture Beat reports that when asked when cloud-based gaming will fully take over Perlman stated, "We’ll be there in 10 years — if that."

OnLive launched in June 2010 here in North America and since then the service has been made available for PCs and Macs. Televisions can also connect to OnLive via the company's MicroConsole which still needs a wired Internet connection. OnLive has plans to offer the service to Android-based phones and iPads in the near future along with built in television support as well.

One of the big advantages of purchasing and playing games via a cloud-based service is that it should almost eliminate game piracy. With no retail disk or even a standard downloadable file available to access, pirates would not be able to get their hands on games that are played on a distant server run by companies such as OnLive as well as its biggest rival Gaikai.

Not only will pirating games become a thing of the past with cloud-based gaming, it should also eliminate cheating by players in multiplayer games. According to Rob Wyatt, the chief scientist of another streaming game service called Otoy (which so far has yet to launch), multiplayer gamers would not be able to send a packet to a game's multiplayer server to do things like getting a headshot with little effort.  Wyatt said, "Spoofing packets is nearly impossible because of the speed of the transmission and because all the computing happens at the other end."

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I'm calling it right now: not only will OnLive be dead in 10 years but cloud computing will be relegated to the archives of tech history long with Apple's Newton.

Everytime someone makes a bold proclaimation like this the opposite usually happens. I remember reading nine years ago where an IBM exec said his company would one of four biggest hard drive makers after everyone else died. We know what happened: IBM sold its hard drive division to Hitachi who then ultimately sold it to Western Digital. The tech industry is full of predictions and hyperbole spouted by fools seeking to bolster their brand name; nothing more, nothing less.

Didn't he make similar claims about his other projects, Xband and WebTV?

It seems he's made a career out of bilking uninformed investors and consumers out of their money.

I don't agree with him at all, while some things are good for online streaming
video for example, you watch it and that's it, you don't repeat the same scene 500+ times
a game you could be going back and forth through the same area countless times
if it was streamed each time, that would be VERY wasteful and cost a lot
and you know publishers wont eat that cost, they'll just make all those games a monthly fee.

Truely -Cloud- based games will never take off, it's just too wasteful no matter how fast
your connection is, and as much as I don't like the idea, the future is probably on-demand
download services, like Steam or Xbox Live Marketplace, we even might get to the point
where games are downloaded each time you want to play it, or even caching as you play
but those are much further than 10 years away.

It might be popular, but I still think in 10 years, people would still want the guarantee of offline gaming (for sure control the service is down, power is out, disconnected from WiFi, etc.), be able to trade games if they purchase it for keeps, etc.

I wouldn't go as far as to say what the title of the article says, but games will definitely take a massive hit just like the music industry has.

As technology advances games etc are becoming more and more accessible, to the point where you can have them almost instantly. It used to be the case that it would be quicker for me to go into town and buy a CD than it would be to download it; but now I can legally and cheaply get a full album in less than a minute. No high street store can compete with that kind of convenience.

The same will eventually happen with games.

If he's talking about playing games from the cloud, rather than downloading them to a local device, then I can't see that taking off. People like to *own* their stuff. Imagine if you couldn't play the single player game that you bought because there was a problem with your internet connection? That would be a pain in the ass..

Omg, Baker says cakes to replace all food.

Trot on Mr.Ceo and come back when you`ve got the majority big names saying that. Hard sell imho after all this lulz and anon database hackery going on and were being asked to send everything into the clouds.....

I agree whole heartedtly with this guy. He also came out a week ago and told the world about a technology his thinktank company invented that will blow open the wireless spectrum.

If his technology gets picked up by the big wireless providers, we'll certainly see this come true, as we won't need copper to the house anymore.

GreyWolf said,
He also thought that WebTV was the future of browsing.

It is. I know many people who use their IPTV set top box as their only means to access the internet.

So, it means goodbye to ATi and nVidia? No more need to water-cool GPUs and overclocking? Future looks confusing to me...

xan K said,
So, it means goodbye to ATi and nVidia? No more need to water-cool GPUs and overclocking? Future looks confusing to me...

Even if cloud-based gaming will become the new standard in the next 10 years, the graphics will still be in demand for software like photoshop, which is very demanding, also the servers that run these games will require graphics cards aswell.

xan K said,
So, it means goodbye to ATi and nVidia? No more need to water-cool GPUs and overclocking? Future looks confusing to me...

No, their products will be moved to the cloud for faster rendering there.

xan K said,
So, it means goodbye to ATi and nVidia? No more need to water-cool GPUs and overclocking? Future looks confusing to me...
Exactly. Goodbye to retail sales of components, hardware and software. Say hello to dummy terminals that are super light and have unheard of battery lifespans. Everythings ran from the cloud. No worries of dead fans, data loss, viruses/screwed up OS loading, huge power hungry processors, or the need to drag your computer with you everywhere.

The ultimate security model is not allowing anything in or out, like a brick.
Since this isn't functional if we take away the hardware and store that datacenter side, and we take away the ability of the full software installation and locate some of that server-side.. we are essentially allowing only ONE entry into the system, which mimics the ultimate security model by closing the door to all phsyical intrusions as well as limiting software-side breaches as EVERY move on the service can be monitored.

Once we have ~1Gb/sec internet available cheaply (as in everyone has it), that will be possible.
Even if that did happen, local copies would still have to be available for a good 10 yrs after most of the world gets super internet, cos you have ****ty countries like New Zealand with terrible internet (currently >$50 USD for just 20Gb/month, and the largest plan I have seen is about 60Gb/month)

Wolfbane said,
Once we have ~1Gb/sec internet available cheaply (as in everyone has it), that will be possible.
Even if that did happen, local copies would still have to be available for a good 10 yrs after most of the world gets super internet, cos you have ****ty countries like New Zealand with terrible internet (currently >$50 USD for just 20Gb/month, and the largest plan I have seen is about 60Gb/month)

Most places arn't running fibre and are going cell towers. Cell towers can do like 50Mbps now. If a console had a 50Mbps wireless line dedicated to itself - no one could screw around with it and no one would pay for bandwidth but the carriers/publishers. The cost of them shelling the game out over the wireless networks would be built into the fee of the game.

I don't think everything will go to live streaming but I do believe that most games will have a cloud component similar to MMORPG's where you game on a central server or at-least a central server runs enough of the game to make it impossible to play offline as a way to curb piracy. I also think that we won't be able to play any games without first entering some kind of log in screen.

Games are moving towards a service instead of individually sold products.

Vice said,
Games are moving towards a service instead of individually sold products.

+1 Kinda
I think micro transactions & subscriptions will be the future. Every game can be played for free online with heavy advertisements (like cutscreens of advertisements) but for a small price ($15-24 a mth) have no in-game ads. For $50 a month get 'first dibs' at new release games, say 1-2 weeks before the free release, and maybe a free video streaming or music streaming service, skype video calling, whatever else...

For a bigger fee ($75 a mth), have 'first dibs' and X amount of DLC/addons (5 addons for whole account) to enhance the games. for $150 a mth get first dibs and 10 addons per game for DLC.

Some addons only available with certain subscritions, discounts with subscritions over buying 'freelance' and so on and so forth.
Nickle and dime the death of gamers.

So, if this all works as stated, our game machines would literally be a VNC dummy terminal, and the games should be super cheap (no retail, no pressing, no printing, no shipping, no middleman, no resale, no piracy!) compared to the $70+ they are now for a physical copy.

The prices probably won't drop. Shipping, printing, pressing have little to do with prices. Just look at black ops on steam.

Music/Video on physical media is almost dead thanks to Streaming / Torrenting / Digital Downloads. The only dics I use are console games and occasional rented redbox movies. Even A PC (Windows) today needs a good high speed internet connection to continue to be useful. So the notion that Games will switch to Cloud / Streaming in the future is not surprising. Onlive's current products on the market are indeed satisfactory. I am definitely going to invest in this company when it goes public. Folks who refuse to believe cloud gaming is the future are seriously living under a rock. There are indeed technology limitations today. But these limitations are so minor that I am sure It would only take less than three years (not ten as quoted by perlman) to overcome these limitations in the USA. Zune on XBOX and Playstation Store had their own share of Video content; yet they were forced to include Netflix, Hulu, Vudu Apps on their Consoles. With Vizio bundling Onlive App on their HDTVs, The next console by Sony or Microsoft is going to flop if they do not bundle their consoles with the Onlive App. I would'nt be surprised if the next Apple TV refresh includes an Onlive App and Apple TV comes with a Game Controller.

Xilo said,
Guy is an idiot. Cloud/streaming will never replace the actual product.

It actually can simply because things change, in the next 10 years internet *might* even become a human right (source of information etc...). People also thought that flight will never become a preferred choice over the ship for long distance travel (in terms of humans travelling and not delivery), look how that has turned now...

everything goes streaming and the internet goes per byte billing! yay future! its going to be expensive and moving into the past!

He's the CEO of OnLive.. we shouldn't expect him to say "Cloud-based games will never replace the other ways"... But everyone everyone knows that if the games get only cloud-based, a lot of people in the world would have to stop playing. The market would be very smaller.

So then, does this mean i can get rid of my mega monster gaming desktop and play on my p*ss poor netbook. Dont think the graphics card/cpu/desktop makers are going to like this and its a load of sh*t anyways.

I am also certain the pirates will be able to figure something out they always do, not matter what the companies try.

Back in the day when I had my spectrum tape to tape was the way then they introduced speedloaders/lockloaders/lenslock which made that more difficult, so they made multiface just load the game press a button and save to tape or disk. You could even get progs that would load bits of the game and copy that to tape, but that was lengthy and a pain.

I guess that after 10 years 3840x2160 120Hz resolution will be standard. PC can handle this resolution easily today. Can you imagine power and trafic demands for such quality over the cable? Cheap local PC would be much more power eficcient.

Is OnLive a public company? If so I want some shares

Lol at the people that say cloud based gaming won't become huge. I'd put money on Cloud based game services overtaking traditional consoles in the next 6 years.

SuperHans said,
Is OnLive a public company? If so I want some shares

Lol at the people that say cloud based gaming won't become huge. I'd put money on Cloud based game services overtaking traditional consoles in the next 6 years.

Couldn't have said it any better, people just cry because there provider caps them or they're too cheap to want to pay for unlimited.

SCRISP said,

Couldn't have said it any better, people just cry because there provider caps them or they're too cheap to want to pay for unlimited.

Indeed. The arguments that people come up with will become redundant over time as fibre and high speed wireless connections become more and more available.

SuperHans said,
Is OnLive a public company? If so I want some shares

Lol at the people that say cloud based gaming won't become huge. I'd put money on Cloud based game services overtaking traditional consoles in the next 6 years.

Certainly won't be OnLive leading the way as far as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are concerned. How will generations of consoles move on? They'd have to pay OnLive to adapt their hardware and it'd be a huge mess.

Maybe if the three main players got into it, then MAYBE we'd see a change. But as far as I'm concerned it's still a daft idea.

AFineFrenzy said,

Certainly won't be OnLive leading the way as far as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are concerned. How will generations of consoles move on? They'd have to pay OnLive to adapt their hardware and it'd be a huge mess.

Maybe if the three main players got into it, then MAYBE we'd see a change. But as far as I'm concerned it's still a daft idea.

This is why I said "cloud based gaming" rather the specifically "OnLive"

Basically running a server farm is far more cost effective than producing and distributing millions of consoles. It's a no-brainer.

Also have you seen the video where the Onlive employee plays Assassins creed 2 on the ipad with a special controller? So much potential. Imagine being able rent any game and play it seamlessly via your PC, iPad, Android phone, TV etc...

Although multiplayer games would have far more latency (unless Onlive hosted the game servers at there original servers too... ooooOOh the possibilities )

SCRISP said,

Couldn't have said it any better, people just cry because there provider caps them or they're too cheap to want to pay for unlimited.


Don't act like a f*cking richie. Most of the time, is not people that is "too cheap to want to pay of unlimited'. There are places in the world where good connections just don't reach. Just like where I live. The only provider that reach my place offers a 1mbps connection, and limit by 75gb/month. The speed isn't even good for multiplayer gaming. So it will be even worst for cloud based gaming.
Stop thinking everyone is in the same condition you are, and that the only limitation people have is money. The world is bigger than your neighborhood.

SCRISP said,

Couldn't have said it any better, people just cry because there provider caps them or they're too cheap to want to pay for unlimited.

and when your ISP has NO unlimited choice? and if you reach their cap you get cut of the internet for a year?

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,

and when your ISP has NO unlimited choice? and if you reach their cap you get cut of the internet for a year?

Then you shouldn't even be playing online gaming at all, let alone a cloud-gaming service and this argument is invalid to you.

SCRISP said,

Then you shouldn't even be playing online gaming at all, let alone a cloud-gaming service and this argument is invalid to you.

So if this cloud based gaming becomes a reality people are not entitled to play games if they dont have a favourable ISP or dont want to pay through the nose for more bandwidth? Compared to buying a $300 console and games ranging from $20--$60 they can keep and trade in and enjoy irrespective of their ISP's policies?

Not even possible. The latency aspect can't be overcome. You can try to reduce it as much as possible, but it's always going to be limited by the speed of light.

FloatingFatMan said,
Data over the internet doesn't run at anything even close to the speed of light...

Yes it does, it's not like the internet has its own special set of the laws of physics. Unless of cours you mean that more latency is added because of the constant packaging and depackaging by network layers. Which of course is true, but not the point of his post

XerXis said,

Yes it does, it's not like the internet has its own special set of the laws of physics. Unless of cours you mean that more latency is added because of the constant packaging and depackaging by network layers. Which of course is true, but not the point of his post

Light travels slower through optical fibre (about 66% of the speed of light in a vacuum), therefore any internet connection currently WILL be slower than the speed of light.... Not to mention that not all connections are optical, there are copper links in between plus your packets on the internet do not necessarily travel in the most optimal way or indeed each packet of a given message may not use the same route or arrive in the same order sent..

And yes I have used On-Live, and yes it does have severe latency issues (I have a 50mbit/5mbit connection on cable)

Aye. What I'm saying is that it can't go any faster than the speed of light. Speed of light in typical glass fibre is roughly 33% less than the speed of light in a vacuum, about 200,000 km/sec. Distance from UK to America, as an example, 4,828 km. So, the absolute minimum amount of time: 2.4ms (4828 / 200000%). I may have got that wrong

Edit: don't forgot the routing latency as the other poster mentions, as well as bandwidth, and packet reordering. Going in and out of hardware is expensive in terms of time. Also, I assume OnLive uses RTP as a protocol, probably over UDP. TCP would be too expensive.

a new display name said,

This is where it begins!

Except the difference between Steam and OnLive is that Steam actually lets you poke around in the software that you actually paid as well as 10x better graphics (well... that depends on your rig. Some people think their gaming machines are awesome when actually they're pure ****), whereas OnLive doesn't give you jack **** and doesn't use the power of your PC to determine the quality.

I also don't care how fast the internet gets, nothing beats the pure processing power of a beastly graphics card rendering high resolution 3d (yes, stereoscopic 3d) images in real time. In order to provide everyone with the same quality of graphics that I get at home, they'd have to spend more money than they're ever gonna make setting up those servers. Plus, the connection on both ends needs to be far superior to anything we (the average consumer) have access to now.

Sure, OnLive make take over the console market in the sense that now people can go out and buy a 400 dollar laptop or PC which can do normal PC things and run the games compared to a 300 dollar console which ONLY plays games. This will never destroy the PC gaming market and what they're doing actually makes me cringe because it only pushes our consumers to downgrade to crappier hardware rather than upgrade to something like a GTX 590 or Radeon 6970.... Then again, maybe the demand for the hardware will go down and prices will drop and I, along with the rest of the non-retarded people that won't fall for this, will be much happier!

err what about single player and people who dont have a current net connection, that guy is spouting his own sales blurb, cant ever see the day where it would be 100% "cloud" based.
total nonsense

Mando said,
err what about single player and people who dont have a current net connection, that guy is spouting his own sales blurb, cant ever see the day where it would be 100% "cloud" based.
total nonsense

How often is somebody not going to have internet access 10 years from now?

Memnochxx said,

How often is somebody not going to have internet access 10 years from now?

Come to live in Brazil and let's see what you'll expect for the next 10 years...

Memnochxx said,

How often is somebody not going to have internet access 10 years from now?

Geographically probably quite a fair proportion of remote areas of Scotland, most cannot get a reliable steady connection dood, not everywhere worldwide has such luxuries as total 3g/gprs or even gsm coverage, never mind enough bandwidth to stream content. Unless some magic happens to have global coverage of the same quality........

Mando said,
err what about single player and people who dont have a current net connection, that guy is spouting his own sales blurb, cant ever see the day where it would be 100% "cloud" based.
total nonsense
Agree with this. Advancements in technology are held back by the lack of infrastructure capable of dealing with it. It isn't available broadly enough and where it is available is usually encumbered by restrictions and caps which stifles its usefulness.

Bill gates was right when he said physical media would eventually replaced by media over the Internet and the OnLive CEO is probably right about this. BUT a 10 year estimate is a little optimistic to say the least. It won't happen until the big ISPs around the world start making big improvements to the infrastructure of their networks, which in most cases would require government intervention and funding to happen.

Maybe in year 2070 something like this will become reality.

"One of the big advantages of purchasing and playing games via a cloud-based service is that it should almost eliminate game piracy."

Challenge accepted.

Draje said,
"One of the big advantages of purchasing and playing games via a cloud-based service is that it should almost eliminate game piracy."

Challenge accepted.


Lulz!