OnLive: “This is the next console”
Steve Perlman, CEO of OnLive, the cloud gaming service which launched overnight in the UK, believes that the console cycle as we know it is a thing of the past.
In an interview to be published later today, Perlman explains: "In my view, there probably will not be another high-end console. We don't know of any in the works, the developers have not received any prototypes and the Wii U is not that, it's a different kind of thing. I think that this is the next console."
While OnLive currently runs games at inferior resolutions to their PC equivalents, Perlman says it is capable of much more. As broadband speeds improve over time, OnLive will be able to serve higher-quality images to the same hardware – removing the need for a new console every five years.
"We'll start doing 4k resolution games," he claims. "We can do it in the lab [now], 4096×2048 in full 3D – that's the type of resolution Avatar would be projected in a theatre. We can make that work…developers can go and do what they've been wanting to and go crazy with the kind of realism that can be achieved."
It's a bold claim, but has its basis in fact. Microsoft and Sony insist Xbox 360 and PS3 will be around for ten years; Wii U does not appear to be a significant graphical improvement over the current generation. Central to the cloud's appeal is the fact that server-side improvements can be made without requiring anything of the end user, and Perlman is convinced that OnLive users will, in the fullness of time, be playing high-end games on a £70 set-top box, or their existing PCs and tablets.
Our full interview with Perlman – in which we discuss the UK launch, the GameStop Deus Ex debacle, and why OnLive has partnered with one of the worst ISPs in the country – will be published later today.