OnLive boss cites high game console prices as a blessing in disguise, talks 5-year plan

OnLive has yet to make a big splash in the highly competitive video game console arena. Part of that is because it’s a cloud-based service and not an actual system. However, the company isn’t letting that little detail stop it from at least talking big about the future.

John Spinale, Vice President of games and media at OnLive, provided a time frame for when he believes the on-demand gaming platform will truly give home consoles and gaming PCs a run for their money.

OnLive boss cites high game console prices as a blessing in disguise, talks 5-year plan

Speaking to gaming news site CVG, Spinale cited an expensive new round of game consoles as a potential boon for OnLive. “The next time the console cycle starts up people will ask if they want to spend $500 on a new console or just get the same games without that investment,” Spinale said. It could take another whole cycle of consoles – or five years – before OnLive can catch up, he added.

While no price has been confirmed for the sole announced next-gen console, Nintendo’s tablet-controlled Wii U, Spinale believes the Kyoto-based game maker’s competitors will certainly bring pricey platforms to market, telling the site: “I guarantee you if Sony and Microsoft ship next-gen consoles they’re going to be expensive.”

The last round of home game systems certainly tested consumer’s wallets – at least when they first arrived. Sony sold its PlayStation 3 for $499 in 2006, with a higher capacity model also available for $599. The Nintendo Wii, with its unique motion controller and less-than-impressive horsepower, bowed in at $249 that same year. Microsoft jumpstarted the current generation in 2005 with two Xbox 360 SKUs: a 20GB HDD model for $399, and an HDD-less one for $100 less.

Spinale stopped short of hyperbole, refusing to ring the death knell for traditional gaming platforms. “I don’t think consoles are going away any time soon and I don’t think existing PCs are going away either,” he told CVG, adding that OnLive’s architecture “makes sense” for the future.

OnLive launched in the U.S. last June with a $14.95/month subscription plan. Months later, the company dropped the price to the more affordable cost of free, offering new customers unhindered access to demos, friend lists and online spectating. Games must still be purchased to play (obviously), and the paid PlayPack bundle – which grants users unlimited access to the full roster of over 100 titles – is $9.99/month. OnLive launched in the UK today, including over 150 games, full PlayPack support and a similar pricing structure. (via CVG)

Have you tried OnLive or any other streaming video game service? Or are you strictly a PC or console gamer? Let us know in the comment section.