I doubt OnLive will become the video game console of the future, but it’s pretty clear that their method for cloud-based gaming will be. In the future your Xbox will be nothing more than a media console for gaming, television, movie rentals, etc.
For $99, OnLive gets you a controller, a small hardware box, which connects to the internet, a free game and access to a plethora of games to either buy or rent.
OnLive’s most attractive when looked at from a financial perspective. The price of the hardware and the price of the games undercut anything else out there for a TV-based hi-def gaming experience.
However, there’s a bit of conceptual gap with the strategy behind the MicroConsole. On one hand, the inviting design and the attractive pricing of the hardware and service are meant to appeal to middle-of-the-road gamers, folks just entering the market and who just want to play games regardless of which platform they’re on. But, then, it presents the kind of challenges that require a deeper investment to solve. How do you deal with the WiFi Problem? Why exactly can’t I connect to the service? That last one could be the ultimate proving ground for the system.
Either they’ll continue to perfect their problems or Xbox will just make this strategy happen.