Cloud – The Future of Video Games (OnLive, OUYA and Microsoft)
The cloud really is where everything is moving, that’s where most of my files are stored now, accessible around the globe on a PC, a Mac or a cell phone. If my files can be accessed anywhere, why can’t game companies come together and push the idea of games anywhere?
Well, they can! They definitely will too. Sony acquired Gaikai recently, a cloud based video gaming company and documents from a supposed Microsoft leak led us to believe that they would likely implement cloud too.
If you come away from the big hardware manufacturers there’s already a fully cloud based console that is out there on the market. OnLive offers gamers streaming of games through tablets, mobile, PC, Mac or even a $99 set-top box.
Having played around with OnLive I can tell you that the service is great! OnLive is how consoles should, and probably will, work. It brings a cheap experience, free of all the clutter of disks.
Unfortunately for OnLive they just don’t have the name recognition when it comes to selling a console to the masses, Microsoft and Sony do! If one of those companies wanted to seize the market once and for all then I think they need a console that would:
- Be small, definitely starting out about the size of the current PS3
- Fully cloud based gaming
- Intuitive and well-organized game inventory system
- Allow software resales
That last one is a tough point, companies like GameStop would disappear from the face of the planet if cloud based gaming were to become the norm. Consumers would also lose out on the ability not to sell software that they no longer use on to somebody else. A company that will allow their users to resell software is in my eyes a winner.
A recent EU ruling gave consumers the ability to sell on digital content and GameStop is looking into how it could work. If Microsoft allowed people to do this on the new Xbox I think they’d definitely have a winner on their hands.
I guess the real question is, will Microsoft or Sony want to hurt the content providers in such a way? Probably not. That’s why, in my final prediction, I don’t see the big three console makers (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) being in the business five years from now.
The future of games, in my opinion, will be run by the likes of OUYA, OnLive, and other, potentially even built-in, tv consoles.