OnLive not threatened by PlayStation Now, Steam Machines

Executive chairman Mark Jung says Sony's purchase of Gaikai is only a validation of how important cloud experiences are going to be.

The cloud-gaming market is going to be so massive that OnLive, PlayStation Now, and others can co-exist, according to OnLive executive chairman Mark Jung. Speaking with GameSpot today about the service's new suite of features, we asked if his company is worried about PlayStation Now. His answer was blunt.

"No," Jung said. "I think Sony's acquisition of Gaikai and the launch of their service is only a validation of how important the cloud-gaming marketplace is. This is such a big opportunity that we'd be hard pressed to say that any one company could possibly capitalize on all of it."

Though PlayStation Now and OnLive are ostensibly alike, Jung contends that OnLive won't be faced with the same strictures of Sony's service.

"And frankly, with Gaikai and that acquisition, that's going to have very much of a Sony feel, in a Sony-closed environment," Jung said. "They have specific goals and objectives for that service for migration or legacy application or platform support for their own titles. They have their hands full in what they have to do. And building out all the data centers is not going to be simple."

"And frankly, with Gaikai and that acquisition, that's going to have very much of a Sony feel, in a Sony-closed environment" -- OnLive executive chairman Mark Jung

Overall, Jung said PlayStation Now is "not an issue to us," and pointed out that OnLive won't spend its time worrying about the competition because, "We have plenty of market opportunity facing us that we're just trying to get our hands around [laughs]."

Part of this market opportunity extends beyond gaming--far beyond. The possibilities for cloud-based commercial applications are "almost unlimited," he said, noting that anything graphics-rich you can imagine can be delivered via the cloud to "roaming devices" like smartphones and tablets.

OnLive has already seen "significant interest" from the military and government, as well as the medical and financial fields, Jung said. Of course, OnLive has a number of competitors who are no doubt vying for the same kinds of opportunities and contracts. But Jung said OnLive's technology is "far superior" to any competitive technology or specific applications for graphics streaming.

"So we seem to be the top choice from a technical standpoint," Jung said.

We also quizzed OnLive about Steam Machines and what kind of impact they might have on the company's business considering Valve recently introduced in-home streaming. Vice president of product and marketing Rick Sanchez described Valve's new system as a "really fabulous platform," but said what OnLive offers is vastly different.

"At least publicly, Valve has said that Steam Machines are about being in the living room. They want their device there in the home and they want to do in-home streaming from those devices," Sanchez said. "What we offer is something very, very different though. We enable you to take your game library and take them with you wherever you go. Streaming out of the home and into the Internet and to another location is a very very different thing than in-home streaming."

Whatever the case, OnLive sees massive potential for cloud-powered experiences across industries.

"Cloud overall is increasing in terms of relative importance worldwide across all technical industries," Jung said. "I think it's inevitable that almost everything will be streamed from the cloud."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

84 comments
theKSMM
theKSMM

Streamed gaming sounded like a pipe dream to me, but OnLive made me a believer.  They still rank as one of my favorite ways to play games.  As a result, I'm actually excited PlayStation Now rather than skeptical.  I have room for both of them in my gaming arsenal.

Wesleypipes77
Wesleypipes77

Sure you don't have to download games, but all that streaming will eat up your bandwidth faster than if you had. That's a huge downside for me. 

BrianC6234
BrianC6234

OnLive is still around? I thought they died last year.

grenadehh
grenadehh

People seem to be confused about computer hardware.


If you're running an ancient piece of shit, your motherboard's NIC literally can't handle the bandwidth required to stream games. So OnLive and PSNow are not a way to bring PC gaming to all PCs. Some people said "Pentium 2" in the comments. No. Absolutely not. First of all, no machine with a Pentium 2 actually even has an integrated network card and even if it does, you literally can't get a decent speed on it.


Processor and memory performance are not the only barriers to entry for gaming. If you don't have a Gigabit NIC, whether your hardware can game or not, you aren't doing shit on a streamed service.

AK1015
AK1015

I think this game streaming stuff is interesting but I don't know if I can ever treat it serious enough to pay good coin for it. I had a short free trial something-or-other for OnLive once upon a time and the input delay was so bad it made my trial experience with Dirt unplayable. Maybe the technology is better now? That was probably a solid 4 or 5 years ago if I remember correctly.

Azubedo
Azubedo

OnLive is still around? Guess you can't really be afraid of competition when you are a minor part of it in the first place

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

2 services that have massive install bases and they aren't afraid??  NO, I bet they're quaking in their boots....and I don't mean that as a double pun for Quake lolz

noirtenshin
noirtenshin

Imagine if GaiKai is able to stream PS 1-4 games to the pc for a cost of 50$ per year or 5$ per month (not counting the game cost). Over the course of 5-6-7 years (time for 1 generation of a console) it would earn much more money then <100$ they earn for selling 1 ps4

bluefox755
bluefox755

The problem with Onlive it has no damn games, and it never gets any new ones.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

I didn't know Onlive is still alive until this story.

Barighm
Barighm

I agree Cloud gaming will be a big thing...in like 5 years from now. The tech is still just emerging. Always takes at least 10 years for new tech to really shine.


As for OnLive, Gaikai does it better simply because they have the games. That's gonna happen when you're owned by Sony.

deathwish026
deathwish026

blah blah playstation is better blah blah everything else sucks blah blah if you dont agree you are a xbot blah blah console war blah blah titanfail blah blah fanboys blah blah pc mustard race..... did i get it all ?

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

Is anyone actually using OnLive? Serious question.

Megamandrew
Megamandrew

I completely forgot about OnLive.  I'm a little surprised they haven't folded yet.

demonfoo
demonfoo

@grenadehh Exactly, not to mention decoding the streamed video in decent quality is probably going to be more than an old Pentium II could even swing right now. An older Core Duo? Eh, maybe.

abram730
abram730

@AK1015  Tech is much better now.  I'd think they have the new tech, but they haven't confirmed that I know of.  You can with a ping of 30-50ms have about the same latency as a console.

abram730
abram730

@MJ12-Conspiracy  Steam has what like 65 million active accounts.  How many does PSN and XBL have?  Again onlive links to steam now.  If they go belly up games you get there will work on steam and games you get on steam work there.  Games are safe.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Actually, I think OnLive has had much more time than Sony and Gaikai to refine their product and delivery method. They already have over a decade of experience that Sony is just now getting ready to enter into. Sony still has all the hard lessons to learn along the way.

hystavito
hystavito

@Barighm  Something that's always kinda sad though is how the pioneers are usually smaller companies that end up getting pushed out by the big guys when the system/tech becomes the norm.  It happens a lot outside of gaming too.

philnolan3d
philnolan3d

@xsonicchaos I play fit all the time, in fact I do more gaming on OnLive than anything else.  It's been a really nice service. Incoming games slowed down for a while while they rebooted the company but now things are moving fast again!

kovaras1984
kovaras1984

@xsonicchaos hmm spend ages replying lol explaing ups n down of it and it didnt post... yes i used it but i would be lying if i said i still did

 pros.... no downloads ever instance access to any games you buy so no worrying about storage space etc etc as it is all server side. no more upgrading hardware as its all done server side.... and it does work very well with no lag at all 

But it did not secure new games often enough to keep people interested. And the player base went from been fairly good to next to none

 such a shame because its actually a really good service. But a console is only as good as its games. They need to start securing  more than 5 a year lol. if they did this i would defo go back to it


oh yeah coz of no cd's etc its cheaper to buy games in general

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@Megamandrew It surprised me too, but cockroach's can remain hidden for months before starving.

abram730
abram730

@Ripper_TV @angry_cowtipper  Now Onlive is undead.  


See what I did there?

grenadehh
grenadehh

@Sohereiam @noirtenshin  Considering you can play PS1 and PS2 games on PC, not really. Also the fact that many of them had PC ports anyway.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@noirtenshin Also it won't work on PC's it will work on smart tv's, iphones, PS3-4 and Vita.

noirtenshin
noirtenshin

@Sohereiam @noirtenshin  thats what am saying, if you get more money then selling the console, there would be no need to sell the console and the popularity of the service would grow much faster

abram730
abram730

@Vodoo  Onlive had gen 1 stuff.  I'd love to know how much gen 2 game servers they have.  Gaikai got all gen 2 stuff from Nvidia.  Nvidia did playable streaming from France to Vegas.  Locally with a ping of 30-50ms It's the same as a console in terms of input latency.  This is unless the internet has a traffic jam or you ISP starts playing pinch the hose.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@Vodoo  Yea OnLive will be better than PS Now for a while. It just doesn't have games evidently. This is all a pointless conversation because no one is going to use OnLive and there's no point in using PS Now either unless you don't value ownership and you aren't a collector.

kovaras1984
kovaras1984

Add....

no hardware investment to try it either lol, try it on pc by downloading a small app. and you'll see top end games running on your Pentium 2 pcs lol as long as its good enough to stream videos on its good enough for onlive


 i was so impressed i bought the console, but like i say no new games came for far to long, they need to secure a lot more games to make it viable

grenadehh
grenadehh

@Sohereiam @Megamandrew  So...onlive is a cockroach. That's interesting. The company that basically invented online game streaming years before the mainstream companies thought of it, and you refer to them as a cockroach. Typical.

abram730
abram730

@noirtenshin @Sohereiam  You get it.  This is way they say "this may be the last console generation".  If you have 65 million customers and 5 million max are playing at the same time.  Do the math on how much hardware you actually need and how much you make.  You make billions and games work on anything and anywhere with good internet.  You never need to upgrade or get new consoles.  There is no $500 console people need to buy, just a monthly fee.

philnolan3d
philnolan3d

@kovaras1984 Well they've just added over 20 new games. One big thing now is that the games don't need any alteration to be added to OnLive, so publishers get just drop it on there on Launch Day.