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Op Ed

IndustryGamers - OnLive is 'Doomed,' says Alex St. John.
Take the much anticipated launch of OnLive for example. Itís a great sounding idea Ė streaming games that require no installation, can be played anywhere, and are stored in the cloud with support for spectating! Sounds great; itís too bad that itís doomed. Is anybody out there aware that Valve is doing a 9-figure downloadable gaming business for premium titles already? Although Valve is so wildly profitable that they have little need to hype the company to investors, I suspect that Gabe Newell is smiling to himself and thinking the same thing I am. This is going to be a fun show. Does anybody remember how many failed companies there are who have had the same idea and perfectly workable technology solutions for delivering premium games over the Internet?

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7. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2010, 18:27 peteham
 
I don't really see how Steam and OnLive are comparable services. Steam is pretty much pure content delivery, while OnLive is about being able to rent a simple box that you just hook up to the TV and then being able to ignore all things hardware for the next decade or so..

If it works as well as advertised (which I doubt), it certainly has a large set of potentially appealing features. On the other hand, some of the obstacles seem insurmountable to me:

- Pricing. Their model is looking too expensive. Don't remember the exact suggested figures nor can I be bothered to look them up, but a subscription fee in addition to rental fees per game will probably kill most people's interest right off the bat..
- Datacenter density and availability.
- Response times.
- Image quality.
- Who are they gonna sell to? I don't imagine current PC Gamers are about to replace their PC-setups with an OnLive boxes and gamepads any time soon. The service will likely never provide console games either; I doubt Sony or MS will want to undermine their own console sales even if the hardware itself is not where the money is made..

The point I'm trying to make is that if OnLive ends up being a big flop, it will have very little to do with Steam.
 
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