There is an Alternative
Despite its innovation, OnLive is not the terminus in the game industry. At the same time there are other new ideas that are actively being developed – and we hear of them daily. For instance, a few months before OnLive started to be tested we had heard of David Perry, a famous game designer. In his blog the game-designer posted a photo of iPad on which the well-known World of Warcraft was launched. And actually Blizzard has never made a special version of an online game for this platform.
World of Warcraft on Apple iPad
As it’s turned out, there is another online service that uses cloud computing technology and it’s Gaikai. A game was launched on its server and the image was transmitted to a tablet computer through Wi-Fi. And this is only the tip of the iceberg – no doubt OnLive will have plenty of other competitors while it’s working its way and getting bumps. The opening of Gaikai, which is similar to OnlIve both in structure and functionally, is fixed for the end of this year – as early as in December gamers will have to choose their future server. The owners of Gaikai are keeping an eye on OnLive’s progress and taking notice of its drawbacks. This is proved by the fact that the American service’s competitor is going to operate in a regular mode without tentative beta-testing from the very start.
Subscription for Gaikai will cost $15 according to the preliminary information. For the time being we can mention a short list of the companies that have registered for introducing the service into their games as Gaikai’s only shortcoming. So far Gaikai has managed to enlist Electronic Arts’ support while OnLive already cooperates with Canadian publishers as well as with Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Eidos Interactive, THQ, Atari, Epic Games, Codemasters, Warner Bros and others. However no one doubts that support will come with time and Gaikai will add other cooperating companies to its list soon.
Along with the forthcoming competition among the online services based on the cloud computing technology there is also Epic Games that presents its projects from time to time. Its head Mark Rain is in favour of portable games – not those we are all familiar with though. The portable consoles of the present generation like PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and the forthcoming 3DS are too simple. A console that can fit in your shirt pocket but is as high-end as Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 is another story. Having played to your heart's content while waiting in a queue or going by public transport, you connect it to your TV-set or home theatre, take the gamepad in hands and play the most up-to-date projects.
Unreal Engine on Apple iPhone
Strange as it may seem, all the above is neither a dream nor a delirium of a nerdy gamer – this is what many studios including Epic Games are working on. The latter is already taking the first steps in this direction – the high-performance graphic game engine has already been ported to the Apple mobile platform. However the developers are facing another problem – it’s technically possible to make the present consoles in iPad format high-performance ones, but here we face the problem of power consumption – energy consumption is becoming enormously high. Nevertheless almost no one doubts that a way out is going to be found soon – as they say, history gives lessons.