Cloud gaming “not as close as a lot of people would have you believe,” say Microsoft

The head of Xbox UK Neil Thompson has cast doubts over the viability of OnLive.

The streaming, cloud-based gaming service is set to launch in January or February this year, but Thompson doesn’t believe the technology is up to scratch. Not yet, anyway.

Speaking to The Independent, Thompson said, “There’s limited technology to allow certain game types to be streamed. There are lots of ‘snacking’ games online on our own Xbox Live Arcade today – and I think that area will grow in time.

“But there’s a way to go for a full capacity game to be streamed and for that experience to be as rich [as it is on disc] today. It will probably happen. But it’s not as close as lot of people would have you believe.”

OnLive claims that it will allow gamers to play streaming versions of the latest titles without any lag, thus sidestepping the need for discs and constantly updated hardware.

Thompson’s comments echo those of PlayStation UK boss Ray Maguire last week. Maguire said that “dedicated games consoles remain the only system powerful enough” to deliver “an entertainment experience on par with the quality consumers have come to expect and that they demand.”