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EA: Cloud gaming is not the future

EA: Cloud gaming is not the future

EA's CEO, John Riccitiello, has questioned the practicality of cloud gaming platforms such as OnLive.

Electronic Arts' CEO, John Riccitiello, has questioned the practicality of cloud-gaming platforms and outlined why he doesn't think they represent the future of industry.

Speaking to Industry Gamers, Riccitiello said that he thought that physical media was still very relevant.

'Do I believe longer term that the disc will go away? Not any time soon,' said Riccitello. 'I think the disc can actually be a great starting point for a digital business, like an MMO, World of Warcraft, for instance.'

Cloud gaming services such as OnLive, which run games in processing farms and then stream data back and forth through internet connections, aren't always a reliable or practical option for gaming, according to Riccitiello.

'We make services, we don't make products, and I think the challenge I would have in answering the question the way you framed it is I don't think people want a streaming game service. I think they want their games to work.'

'At times, that will be delivered best with streaming. At times, you should just download the game,' he explained.

'For example, I think it'd pretty silly for us to stream Scrabble to you. We're talking about three minutes, you've downloaded the words perfectly, you can play with your friends, the tiles move back and forth... why would you want to pay for bandwidth for us to redraw a Scrabble board 60 times a second? That's just sort of bad math, if nothing else.'

'Sometimes delivering a game by streaming is a really inefficient way to do it. I think the consumer, at least in my view, doesn't care what the technology is, what lives behind the veiled curtain; they just want it to work.'

'I don't think you'd bring OnLive to a LAN party for first person shooters, because latency matters a lot in those circumstances. So, I think there's different technologies for different purposes, and the consumer wants it to be largely invisible.'

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

14 Comments

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LeMaltor 12th January 2011, 12:23 Quote
This is the first onlive news thing ive seen for ages, I'd even forgot about it :O
maximus09 12th January 2011, 13:04 Quote
I wonder about the difference in energy consumption between the OnLive servers rendering a game and streaming it to you, and your own computer rendering a game.

I think it probably boosts the energy consumption considering you need two machines, even if the efficiency of the OnLive servers is much better than your home computer.
proxess 12th January 2011, 13:27 Quote
Well your own bill will be cheaper, and most people now a days have uncaped bandwidth (as in how much you download/upload, not how fast it is). I guess OnLive is ok if you have a 100mbit connection (like me) and a not-so-good computer (like me), and a big-ass television (unlike me). Yet still it's complicated, depending where the farms are.
javaman 12th January 2011, 15:06 Quote
I donno if cloud gaming is the future but failing to acknowledge the possibility that it could be, is automatically shooting yourself in the foot at the start of the race. Unfortunately Onlive's success is in the hands of BT and to a lesser extent other providers so I doubt it will succeed or could survive atm. especially with data capping, ever expensive data tariffs and (un)fair use policies to protect a system that should of been done years ago. In a way we need Onlive to succeed, at least long enough to force providers into upgrading. More useage can only be controlled for so long before the actual problem has to be faced, the ancient backbone of our internet system. A heavy gaming population could cause that, all funded and pushed for by Onlive.

Ironically EA has forgotten about steam. Its a bigger threat to the disk than cloud computing.
Cupboard 12th January 2011, 15:09 Quote
Quote:
'I don't think you'd bring OnLive to a LAN party for first person shooters, because latency matters a lot in those circumstances. So, I think there's different technologies for different purposes, and the consumer wants it to be largely invisible.'

I think he is missing the point. For a family with a relatively rubbish computer that wants access to, and be able to play, a game for a short period of time (until whoever wanted it gets bored, or something different comes out) then streaming makes some sense. If you're going to be using it a lot more heavily and put more time and money towards gaming, streaming makes no sense at all at the moment. Different markets, different things work.
brave758 12th January 2011, 15:19 Quote
mmm internet caps need to be sorted for this to take off
bemused 12th January 2011, 15:56 Quote
I wonder why EA think gaming is unique? In the corporate space cloud base voice, video and other real time collaboration technologies delivered from the cloud are becoming much more common . Gaming as a service - i.e. paying a monthly fee for unlimited access to games - would be a compelling service. The limiting factor only seems to be a) the willingness of content owners to adopt the model and b) the technology.

Given that ISPs are looking for services to sell consumers and are slowly starting to become more comfortable with prioritising traffic over their networks as well as the increasing access to high speed internet if can't be that far off before it becomes viable.
ssj12 12th January 2011, 20:14 Quote
discs will die, DD will live, cloud gaming will fail.
thehippoz 12th January 2011, 20:33 Quote
think it's a good idea as you can see consoles taking over.. most people who game have a decent tv- now put something entertaining on that and they'll pay..

I can see his point about it being a waste to stream certain titles- but you could be solved that by adding a little gpu into the client that could handle casual games- then have the client dl the game instead of stream
delriogw 12th January 2011, 23:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bemused
I wonder why EA think gaming is unique? In the corporate space cloud base voice, video and other real time collaboration technologies delivered from the cloud are becoming much more common . Gaming as a service - i.e. paying a monthly fee for unlimited access to games - would be a compelling service. The limiting factor only seems to be a) the willingness of content owners to adopt the model and b) the technology.

Given that ISPs are looking for services to sell consumers and are slowly starting to become more comfortable with prioritising traffic over their networks as well as the increasing access to high speed internet if can't be that far off before it becomes viable.

well, if a dip in the stream happens while you're watching a movie, you might not even notice

if it happens when playing a game, you might die
bemused 12th January 2011, 23:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by delriogw
well, if a dip in the stream happens while you're watching a movie, you might not even notice

if it happens when playing a game, you might die

But ISPs now seem to be getting to the point where they will priority traffic over there networks. So in high speed internet areas they would give you a high priority channel for this traffic, in the UK at least if you live in a city getting access to 40mb DSL won't be much of an issue, from that a dedicate high priority channel wouldn't be hard to carve out. Also if the ISP hosted the servers in their own clouds they could provide quite a good service.

If you look at some of the home HD video conferencing service like Umi I don't think this is far off for the few.
The_Beast 13th January 2011, 00:05 Quote
I hate clouds, especially the computer kind
Saivert 15th January 2011, 23:50 Quote
OnLive is only usablein the states at the moment. I'm still waiting for the OnLive servers to open up in the UK.
And then the rest of Europe.

The user interface of OnLive is incredibly nice. I have tested it from Norway. You can still logon and use it, but high latency makes it hard to play any games which require direct feedback on things you do like fighting and shooting. Sometimes the latency is so high that it just blocks you from logging on.
So I'm just waiting for them to open up servers in UK and/or Europe (the latency will be much lower then).
caos 14th June 2011, 23:57 Quote
yea i like it to just big companies dont understand if we have good computers but cant run games we wont that possibility i mean id rather spend 50$ a month on the internet i have to play this then wait 5years down the road on a $4000 computer cause 50 x 12 = 600 <---not enough

and the only people who complain about this futuristic gaming is little rich kids who never been middle class and will never understand cause they get things handed to them so they have the $6000 computer and didn't ever earn it or even if they did they only think about them selves and how they have all the power that can run every game on steam at ultra quality. Well cloud gaming for the f'n win cause it gives us the possibility to run (i.e metro 2033 or crysis) on a normal netbook also people spending money that help out the economies so all you rich kids don't have a say so just like a pretty girl don't on saying how she get a job easy why can't you.... thank you -Caos proud onlive user
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