Down but not out, OnLive returns to the cloud gaming scene
Remember OnLive, the cloud-based streaming game service from several years ago? After imploding and then laying low for quite some time, OnLive is back under new leadership and with a couple of new services in tow -- a new streaming subscription program called CloudLift and a new service it's calling OnLive Go. Why should you expect a different outcome this time around?
Game publisher aims to improve upon OnLive’s technological missteps
Square Enix has announced Project Flare, a cloud gaming service similar to what OnLive offered back in 2010. Unlike OnLive, however, the game publisher asserts that the company’s service will offer a “technological breakthrough in cloud gaming.”
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took to the stage at CES 2013 Sunday night, and proved his company is poised to do more than just ship high end GPU’s. The charismatic young CEO announced his intention to take on cloud gaming, showed off his iPad 4-smashing Tegra 4 SoC, and even debuted an Android powered handheld gaming console.
As OnLive’s 200 some odd employees gathered in the conference room for an all hands meeting on Friday, few expected the company to completely and utterly implode, but that’s exactly what happened. We resisted the temptation to write this up immediately as the story was still developing, but as of noon hour on Sunday, Engadget is reporting that anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of the staff have been laid off. They also report that OnLive’s assets appear to have been bought up by an as-yet-unknown third party company, though we expect this will be clarified over the next few days.
Having far outstripped its original Kickstarter funding goal of $995,000, Android-based video game console Ouya has already earned a place in the annals of crowdfunding history. But the real challenge for the Ouya team will begin when the $99 machine hits the market next year, for their ultimate goal is building a great console. While the possibility of Ouya foundering under the weight of all this hype can not be ruled out, prenatal celebrity has its fair share of advantages too.
The recent leak of an internal Microsoft document related to the Xbox 360’s successor has brought to light the software giant’s wariness of cloud gaming services like OnLive, which it identified as a “potential acquisition target” in the 2010 document. Of course, no such acquisition has taken place so far. But if Microsoft is still considering buying a cloud gaming company, another less expensive company may be up for sale.
As PC enthusiasts you have every right to be skeptical of OnLive as a service, but let’s just say we are impressed beyond belief that it works at all. Nothing will ever beat the experience you get with a tricked out PC, however anyone who has fired up Crysis on a netbook and actually given the service a fair shake knows they’ve managed the impossible. It would seem Microsoft agrees, and actually considering buying the service before it got too dangerous.
Google TV had a rough launch last year without a doubt. Although things are starting to look up for Google’s living room push with a slew of new devices being announced, and now a partnership with OnLive. At CES today, OnLive confirmed that its game streaming service will be shipping pre-installed on all Google TV devices. Let the gaming begin.
Palo Alto-based OnLive is expanding its presence in the cloud beyond its eponymous streaming game service. The company, which debuted the OnLive app for mobile (Android for now) as recently as last month, is now gearing up to stream “a seamless Windows desktop experience” to a variety of devices, beginning with the Apple iPad later this week.
HTC made a couple of rather interesting moves this week, starting with the "strategic investment in Saffron Digital," or so HTC says on its website. According to The Wall Street Journal, HTC will acquire the London-based mobile platform firm outright, which HTC says will prove a "key asset as content becomes more and more complex and localized." But that's only half the story. Hit the jump to see what else HTC has been up to and why OnLive gaming might soon be headed to a tablet near you.