Sony has cast doubts over the potential of OnLive, the upcoming on-demand service that will allow users to play high-end PC games on TV sets and modest rigs.
Speaking to Edge, SCEA director of corporate communications Patrick Seybold did acknowledge that OnLive is offering a different approach to Sony, but asked: “What will be the final cost to the consumer when you start adding up what [OnLive is] selling?”
OnLive’s concept means that users won’t directly have to pay for the processing power and graphics cards that can do justice to high-end titles such as Crysis Warhead. Instead, game data is streamed to a user’s PC or TV from a powerful server.
Of course, the investment required from OnLive to set up a chain of immensely powerful servers will have to be recouped somehow, and concerns are growing that the service would therefore need to charge an inordinately high price for its games. OnLive has not yet announced a subscription price structure.
Seybold also touched on the logistics of the OnLive system: “What will be sacrificed when you [put OnLive] into a real world environment where multiple devices are plugged into one broadband connection?”
OnLive states that to run its service – which is set to launch this Winter – users will need a broadband connection running at two megabits per second. A five megabit per second connection is required to play OnLive games in high-definition.
"PlayStation’s been bringing HD gaming and entertainment into consumers’ homes for many years now,” adds Seybold. “With both digitally distributed and disc-based content, we have a competitive offering for consumers, whether they are tethered to the Internet or not. Only on PlayStation 3 can you get HD gaming, watch BD and downloaded movies, have ample hard drive space for music, movies and photos, built-in Wi-Fi, and free access to PlayStation Network – right out of the box.”
Seybold added that this approach has a proven legacy.
SCE had very recently filed a trademark for "PS Cloud", a move which sparked speculation that the platform holder was set to embark on the same cloud computing concepts as OnLive.