OnLive does "everything" Wii U does

Steve Perlman casts doubt on consoles.

Nintendo believes Wii U will change the way we play games, but according to OnLive boss Steve Perlman, everything it does UK gamers will be able to experience this autumn.

OnLive is the cloud-based gaming system that allows users to play high-end games through the internet as opposed to a home console.

The tech, which makes its UK debut this autumn, works through touchscreen devices such as smartphones and tablets - and it's this fact that leads Perlman to cast doubt on the Wii U.

"Nintendo announced a really cool thing, but, well, I can hold up an Android screen or an iPad screen and we can do exactly what they're doing," he told Eurogamer.

"In fact, if all you want is touch, I can do it with a smartphone as well, but I'm not tethered to my Wii. I can take this away and use it in a room by itself.

"Everything they demoed at their announcement is going to be available in the UK this autumn.

"Then again, people are going to want Mario and Pokemon. So those aren't going to go away. There's going to be an evolution to it."

Some commentators believe cloud gaming services such as OnLive and Gaikai mark the end of home console gaming.

Perlman believes consoles are under threat, but their extinction will be a drawn out process.

"PC gaming is always going to be there," Perlman said. "I hope it's always there. In fact, these are the guys who are pioneering the future.

"But console gaming, look, we're six years into what is usually a five year console cycle.

"Much as what has happened with the video and music world, mainstream people just want to play the games. They don't want to deal with downloads, with obsolete hardware. They don't want to deal with discs."

Game publishers, too, are leaning towards cloud-gaming, Perlman said.

"The reality is the publishers are just getting killed with used games and piracy. The publishers do lower the price when demand decreases. But the problem when the game stores do it is no money feeds back into the development of the games.

"With piracy, the people who do pay for the games are paying for the versions of the games that are pirated.

"Publishers can lower the price of all the games and benefit for the long tail if we control that. Cloud gaming enables that.

"Let's put it this way, it takes a long, long time for an established platform to finally go. For example, Xbox Live is a good example of stickiness. People have got their ranking, achievements and friends. That's going to be something people go back to.

"In that sense, we may see a co-existence."

Wii U hardware demo

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