Storm cloud: the future is not here yet
September 18, 2012
Source: VG247

Speaking after the evaporation of OnLive last month, Robert Levitan, CEO of Pando Networks, warns that cloud gaming has another 3-5 years to wait before truly hitting its stride.

As I’ve stated before, “OnLive may be the future, but the future is not here today."
I love developing products to help invent the future; this is probably the most exciting part about being a technology entrepreneur. For 30 years I’ve been privileged to build new businesses and work with new technologies. So naturally, I’m a fan of what OnLive and Gaikai set out to accomplish. I am confident their vision of streaming games will happen – I’m just not sure when.

Almost a year ago in a blogpost on Gamasutra I discussed the challenges of scaling game streaming. I specifically noted the costs involved, as well as usability concerns (such as latency). The very recent news of OnLive burning through millions of dollars a month and being put into ABC has illustrated these issues weren’t (as some of the commenters suggested) easy to overcome.

Furthermore, the news of Gaikai’s sale to Sony in July also proves that there’s more work to be done to make this industry viable. Gaikai streaming has initially proved useful for demos and trailers, but there is still a long way to go to make it cost-effective to deliver a high quality, uninterrupted gaming experience. I can imagine some of the reasons why Sony decided to purchase the company – but Sony will have to invest several years and many millions of dollars to further develop Gaikai’s technology into a viable business unit.

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