The Beginning of the End for Consoles?

By NightStalkar, 9 years ago
First off, this is a highly debatable topic, so I will not take sides. Note also that this is a currently developing issue with scattered information across the net. Nothing is written in stone as of yet.

Now, you need some background info on what we are about to discuss - So I will sum up the numerous articles I have seen as best as I can. Anyways, Here is a quote to get you up to speed:

"Imagine being able to fire up your vintage low-end Mac laptop and play Crysis, a gorgeously high-resolution PC game that's famous for overwhelming the GPUs of $4,000 Alienware rigs. Imagine being able to play the same game on a tiny device streaming directly to your TV. That's the kind of service OnLive announced Tuesday" ~ Chris Baker, Gamelife

In laymans terms, this means that the same service that you use for HD VoD is entering the world of gaming. It’s basically the PS3 “Remote Play” technology done on a grand HD scale. There are two companies that have arisen in the past day or two and shocked the industry with their aim:

Playcast -
The Playcast website states that current IPTV and Cable video on demand networks "already reach over 360 million households worldwide" hence the company now wants to offer gamers the option "to play off-the-shelf, next-generation games directly through the cable system – no hardware changes to the set-top box or network required.

OnLive -
OnLive will "also stream games directly to a TV via a small plug-in device, and players can use a custom wireless controller [a la PS3 and Xbox 360] as well as VoIP headsets in conjunction with it."
Apparently, OnLive users "will have only to download a 1MB plug-in to get the service up and running" according to the company's other director on hand at GDC, WebTV founder Steve Perlman. Lastly OnLive's website just released a very intriguing video on its new technology. Check it out for details.

So how will this affect consoles? What are the CEO's of Microsoft and Sony thinking right now? Most likely they see it as heavy competition and a threat to their industry. However, as the old saying goes, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." If one company acquired the patents, they would surely dominate the industry if this proves successful.

This new technology is only just being born, and the possibilities, though not fully tested yet, seem endless. Is this the future of gaming and the end of consoles? What are your thoughts?

I will keep this thread updated as best as I can as new information arises.