Greetings game console compatriots. Ole DW here with your “state of the gaming union” address.
Looks like the gaming community is buzzing with news from GDC’09. The one tag line we found quite humorous was “OnLive could threaten Xbox, PS3, and Wii”. If for some reason you briefly escaped our dungeon of n00b, and / or you are far too lazy to Google, we will give you a brief synopsis of what OnLive is….
The brainchild of WebTV founder Steve Perlman and former Eidos CEO Mike McGarvey, OnLive will be a digital game streaming service that will steal the thunder from the current big 3 console manufacturers. It will allow streaming of games on an Intel-based Mac, standard PC with XP or Vista, and on a standard television with the aid of a small plug-in device.
With that said…please allow us to release the flood gates of rant…
Here we go again with news of a magic do-hicky that will change the course of console gaming as we know it. Ever since Micro$oft packaged a PC in a console shell, we have received news of vaporware such as Indrema, Phantom, and Evo:Phase 1. The Phantom promised game downloads, and supposedly threatened the console market of its time by eliminating the need to purchase physical media. It was ridiculed, died, and the game download concept was rolled into the big 3 current gen consoles.
So let’s see here…You can download games on current consoles. Heck, you have been able to download games on PC from services like Valve’s STEAM and GameTap for years now.”…but but DW…the games can be streamed!” Don’t make us put you in the n00b dungeon. The OnLive system requires a 1.5 Mbps broadband connection for standard-definition gameplay, and 5 Mbps for high-def. We are sure it worked perfectly at GDC with their ‘controlled’ environment. However, there is no promises of lag-free gaming in an uncontrolled broadband world. Limited 3rd-party game developer support, and game size limitations also a cramp. In short…if OnLive makes it to the market…then great for gamers, but if you intend to use taglines like the one mentioned above…we have a nice cage ready for you in the DW dungeon.
GDC’09 seems to be paying homage to our historical mention of the infamous Phantom.
Introducing the Zeebo™ Console.
Zeebo has reinvented the game console for a new wave of global consumers. The Zeebo Console smashes the barriers that have held interactive entertainment back in emerging markets around the world.
Zeebo will be a device marketed in South America, Eastern Europe, China and India. It reportedly has the graphical capabilities somewhere in the middle of the original Playstation and Playstation 2. So we are thinking Dreamcast or PSP. The device will follow the same digital download concept that everyone else and their mother are using, but will utilized cellular 3G networks. Zeebo aims to be affordable. The retail cost will be $199USD, but is designed to use require little power (works on 1 watt), comes with 4 installed games (and one free download). Other downloadable games will be sold at low cost.
Hopefully, Zeebo does well and brings good gaming to markets where current gen consoles are far from affordable. Guess we will just have to wait and see…
This concludes our “state of the gaming union” address. Until next time….DW fading into black…