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In the Clouds …

2010 May 25
by Dave

As a scientist, and entrepreneur, and a teacher I always enjoy watching coming trends in the Video Game industry.  What’s been fun to watch over the past years is the increasing trend of “taking everything online”.

Specifically, I’ve been keeping tabs on OnLive and after reading an article in CPU Magazine this month finally “get it”.  It’s always amazed me why Mr. Perlman would even try to launch such a company; the cards are stacked so evidently against his success.

For those who haven’t tuned in yet … OnLive seeks to take video games into the world of streaming.  As advertised, you literally play the game elsewhere “in the cloud”.  I’m skeptical; I tend to experience cloud computing (via my experience in IT and in Science) as being best suited to distributed storage and processing.  But this isn’t about criticism, it’s about prediction!

In Mr. Perlman’s own words …

You have to go and see what the people need, and you tune what you’re doing to meet those needs.  Then, you get to do something cool, and someone else gets something that they really want to use.

From this assertion, actually, I perceive that this isn’t really about gaming at all.  Win or lose, a good entrepreneur in the IT sector starts somewhere and creates technology that’s  used elsewhere … in this case perhaps not in gaming.  Where I think things will really break down will be multiplayer gaming … and what good is a video game that you can’t play with your friends?  Our friend Jessie Schell will tell you that multiplayer is still the future of video games.

So there stands my prediction for the future.  Interesting technology, but then from personal experience so was GameRail.  Technology in gaming has nearly always proven to be unprofitable; we’ll see what happens in this case!

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