Hundreds of patents pending
OnLive has filled the global patent pipeline with a portfolio of hundreds of applications with thousands of claims for its cloud-based gaming techniques. Some are filed under the names of other companies that are part of Perlman's Reardon Labs, an incubator for startups.
"This is the largest portfolio of patents assembled around one technology," Perlman said. "We have a giant spreadsheet to keep track of them all," he said.
Perlman would not comment on any plans to assert the patents. He also declined to comment on the number of subscribers for the OnLive service, however he did say it is experiencing rapid growth and has hosted millions of sessions to date.
The service uses three data centers in the U.S. and is working with partners on beta trials in Asia and Europe. It started as a wired-only service for PCs and Macs, and now supports Wi-Fi links.
OnLive can also be used via some TVs, and games can be viewed on Apple iPads. A version of the service for Google Android systems is in beta testing. An OnLive application was recently ranked as the seventh most popular app for iPads in the U.S.
TVs and Blu-ray players will be available in 2011 that build in hardware compression decoders to handle OnLive sessions, Perlman said.
Most fast-action video games do not yet support the touch interfaces used on tablets and smartphones, but that is changing, Perlman said.
"Games take three to four years to develop, so when today's games were started developers never imagined them being played with touchpads on ARM-based devices—they were written for keyboards and joysticks," he said.