OnLive, if you're not familiar is a new approach to gaming within the culture. It's a streaming subscription based game service much like Netflix is for movies. It is supposed to offer gamers a chance to play the latest games over the internet on their TV and PCs (both Windows and OSX based systems) with claims that the micro-console, controller and service subscription will be less expensive to the consumer than the cheapest current gen (7th) console.
With handheld devices like Blackberry, Droid, iPhone and other Smartphone / PPCs being a growing aspect of people's daily lives, questions surrounding whether or not OnLive would be available for such devices as well.
Steve Perlman wrote in the OnLive Blog:
"Today, at a Wedbush financial conference in New York I showed OnLive running simultaneously on 2 iPhones, a TV, and a computer. What is really cool is that all 4 devices had access to the full OnLive Game Service, so they could play the same games, spectate on each other’s (and Beta users’) game play, watch Brag Clips, check out Gamer Profiles, etc.
If there was ever an opportunity for Apple to move into the gaming sector, it would be soon and with holding hands, fingers interlocked with OnLive. Currently Apple has cut loose the 16GB iPod touches and implemented 32Gb and 64GB version of both iPhone and iPods that feature enhanced GPUs for smoother 3D graphics and animations. Both devices already feature WiFi connectivity (as do a number of existing SmartPhones and PPCs), so combined with OnLive, Apple Inc. would have to devote very little resources into developing a hand held gaming device in the way that Sony has and Microsoft was rumored to have. Likely first mobile candidates would be the Droid and iPhone / IPod touch, followed by the PSP and DSXL (provided that Nintendo and Sony don't move to embrace and use OnLive as a third party distributor under contract).
Currently however, the blog indicates that the use of mobile devices is geared towards spectating... which is sort of impractical because most people would rather play a game than watch a game. It is an interesting gimmick though, I'll give it that much.
Also, there's been no mention as to how OnLive intends to keep their subscription fees low and whether or not the lower costs of their service will be due in part to streamed advertisements, a growing trend in the video game culture.
No change has been indicated as to the initial "Winter 09" release by anyone officially affiliated with the OnLive device or service, but as "Winter 09" quickly approaches the likelihood of the device being retail ready within the next few weeks in light of this announcement seems non-existent and "Winter 10" starts to feel more opportune and realistic but then again, not only would OnLive be the first "XBOX" of the next generation, they would also be the "XB360" of the next generation - horning in on the profits because gamers will be looking for new consoles at about 2011-12.
This type of service is offering up compatibility with older games, offering new games, and getting more developers to hop the bandwagon, but could easily make OnLive push themselves out of the console crowd because Sony, MS, and Nintendo are already well established with integral first party titles which OnLive will likely never see a license for, possibly prompting a wave of yesteryear console wars to start a new, waged with exclusivity and first part ownership. Nothing helps an economy like a war, eh?