Right before the holiday a Video I found on Youtube caught my eye. The video was a demonstration from Steve Perlman, one of the inventors of Apple’s QuickTime technology, he was in front of a couple students at Columbia University and was discussing his next project; OnLive. OnLive is a games-on-demand service that was first revealed to the world at GDC 2009 in San Francisco and since then there has hardly been anything new.
Now in this 40 minute video nothing too new was reviled, but Perlman did mention something interesting that perked my attention on the subject about the MicroConsole. Now if your still a little unfamiliar with OnLive, it’s can be defined as this: “A gaming service that lets players stream video games using the Internet. The player has a couple of options to do so. One, they can download a 1MB program that lets them play a game directly to their computer, without downloading. The second way is to somehow get their hands on the MicroConsole and play the games the same way, but on their television.”
Some people thought “cloud-gaming” service could be the future of gaming, while many others thought there is no way this technology will work with the functionality of today’s internet capabilities. But with all these questions, the same question kept recurring: How much will the consumer have to spend in order to use the service? So the question was asked – how much would this MicroConsole cost? In April, IGN.com did an article stating that they felt the box should cost no more than $100 when it is released. While Perlman didn’t give a definitive answer on the actual price of the unit during his session at Columbia, he did reveal there isn’t much in the box to make it expensive. In fact, he said: “The plastic on the outside of the MicroConsole is actually more expensive than the gadgets inside. It’s MicroConsole so inexpensive, that the case actually costs more than the chips inside of it. So we are in a position where we can give it away if you sign up to a subscription if you want to or charge very little.” This could be a hint to the consumer that the box could possible be free. Perlman also mentioned that people who sign a contract for x-amount of years, could feasibly get the unit for free, a business tactic similar to what wireless phone companies and some cable/satellite companies do. We at Platform Nation look forward to see what OnLive will do for gamers, and can’t wait to see what this service will offer.