Microsoft's Brian Price has suggested that cloud gaming is the future of the industry and that services such as OnLive and Gaikai, not to mention Microsoft's Azure service, provide an indication of where we're headed.
'These are really gaming platforms as a service,' said Price, speaking at GDC China. 'There are some limitations here, but I really do think this is the distant future of gaming in the cloud.'
The limitations Price threw up were the usual affair - particularlythe unreliability of the current standard of internet connection and choking ISPs - but he also warned against a business model that tended to focus solely on triple-A games to the detriment of others and the emergence of OnLive and Gaikai as platform providers and game publishers.
'Typically these platforms focus on AAA PC game titles,' he continued. 'If you're not in that space, they don't want to talk to you as much. Another problem is that your gamers need high speed internet access. That's fine if you live in a city, but most of America doesn't live in a city, for example.
'You lose a little bit about how people are finding and playing your game, which can be important. And this is yet another publisher you have to deal with. Sometimes publishers are a dream, but it's another contract you have to sign.'
Of course, Microsoft have their own cloud service - Azure - the servers of which cost a reported $6.5 billion, and Price hinted at cloud features making the jump to home consoles, though he wouldn't divulge much.
'You will be seeing things in the Xbox platform that's cloud-specific. I'm already doing it, it's really exciting, but I can't tell you about it or else I'll get fired.' [Gamasutra]