Friday, 30 September 2011

OnLive Game Spectating May Get Interesting: Rewinding Video, Commentators and More

One aspect that OnLive has, which is totally unique in the gaming industry, is the ability to spectate. OnLive game spectating allows people to watch as their friends or complete strangers play certain games. This is all done through the OnLive arena, where people can browse through different games that are currently being played.


While spectating, viewers have the ability to do several things, including:

- Give the player a thumbs up (cheer) or a thumbs down (jeer).
- Add the player to the viewer’s friends list.
- Send the player a message (if they are already a friend).
- Voice chat with the player.

As OnLive seems to be blurring the lines between TV viewing and video spectating, the company appears to be on the verge of adding even more features.

In an interview, OnLive’s Vice President of Games and Media, John Spinale, mentioned a few new aspects that may come to the service’s game spectating in the future.

In discussing the OnLive spectating feature, Spinale said:
“I think we’ll see that now [that] we’ve got all this working, we’ll start to marry [it] with more functionality to broaden the appeal. For example, the concept of curation, so that a celebrity could narrate what’s going on, so that all the spectators have a bit of context. That and other stuff can really start to turn the viewing experience into a more collaborative experience. That’s where I think it’s going to really turn into a whole other thing.”
The idea of adding features such as commentary to game spectating could be what really makes the feature something that gamers and non-gamers would be interested in watching.

When asked about the possibility of having in game commentary and audience interaction during game tournaments, Spinale explained:
“None of it’s live today – but you can imagine I have a tablet version of OnLive where I can mark up information like on a chalkboard, while someone’s playing. Or if say someone scores a really cool goal, I can rewind it and point out to the viewer how this other guy is way out of position over here, using the tablet to interact with the television feed. You can have voice chat on with someone who’s a well-known celebrity commentator, who is pointing details like that out in real-time, in the game space. So you’re right – it helps turn games into a broadcast medium.”
Of course this would be a bit complicated as far as assigning the commentators, but in time, it could conceivably be worked out. Just as websites such as Youtube and Justin.tv allow people to have their own “channels”, could OnLive do something similar?

Spinale went on to explain:
“That was the beginning of the thought process, but once we realized that, ‘OK, the platform allows us to do so many different things because now everything is up in the data center and streamed as video,’ then your mind begins to go on to this other dimension and asking: ‘What does that really mean?’ It becomes another media type like movies, music and television – games could be broadcast out like them, so what can we do with that?”

“You can take these kinds of live events and make it more exciting, accessible and deeper than if you were just looking over someone’s shoulder.”
Could we really be on the verge of having a real live video game television option, whereas there are commentators, live tournaments that thousands of people could watch, and more? It certainly seems as though this is something OnLive is strongly considering.

OnLive multiplayer tournaments are both fun to play and fun to watch, but imagine adding in a commentator who could make the viewing experience even more interesting.

SOURCE: OnLiveFans.

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