A streaming games service—"cloud gaming", as the buzzphrase has it—is on Microsoft's horizon but, for the near-term, it's not something that can be reasonably delivered to a local-machine user, said the Europe boss for Xbox Live.
Speaking at the London Games Festival, Jerry Johnson told an audience at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts that cloud gaming, such as the on-demand OnLive platform announced at GDC 2009, isn't a mass market likelihood "for the foreseeable future".
"Streaming technology is something that the industry is betting on longer term," Johnson said, according to TechRadar. "Right now I don't believe that technology can scale out against the experience we can offer on a local machine."
"The technology will continue to improve," Johnson said. "As an industry we'll have to accept that and move with it - but I don't think it's on an accelerated timeline for the foreseeable future."
Johnson's remarks came during a panel discussion of "Digital Distribution and the Future of the European Games Market" at the London Games Conference. As trendy topics go, this one set out to answer when digital downloads might overtake retail sales of boxed games.
Analyst Nick Parker said that might happen around 2014. He also said, speculatively of course (because that is what analysts do) that it wouldn't surprise him to see "one new entrant" to the console game—namely, Apple, Inc.—produce a dedicated console. Apple gamers such as myself shrugged and/or snorted.