Four years ago Onlive was one of the most ambitious concepts in gaming. The ability to play games that would normally demand high-level hardware through cloud computing. The idea gave phones, tablets, and otherwise incapable machines the ability to play top-tier titles.
Plagued by stuttering gameplay, for all too many people slow internet speeds and Onlive’s server capacity just caused too much lag for most games to be playable. The idea never reached what they had envisioned.
But now major gaming juggernauts, Microsoft and Sony both have showcased the desire for something similar. — Microsoft with Azure cloud computing, Sony with Gaikai.
Azure showcases the capability to offset part of a game spec-demands to a server to be processed and in-turn run smoothly. Gaikai shows something much more similar to Onlive with entire games being processed away from the physical console itself.
As the two companies prepare to dominate the cloud computing market due to their massive already-built infrastructure, Onlive has little chance to compete due to their current financial situation.
The company is still alive today though, with partnerships with Wikipad and efforts to promote Android and iOS gaming the company remains afloat for now.
Maybe as internet speeds worldwide improve, Onlive will have a resurgence. But until that day they will be known as the forgotten pioneer of videogame cloud computing.