Virgin on the offensive for 360 and PS3

Opinion: Tim Ingham is ready for Richard Branson's revolution...

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If Branson's Virgin Media service launches a server-based gaming service for its V+ HD box at E3 - or, indeed, a new box altogether - time will stand still for old gaming media. Branson won't just be tapping into the market that almost saved Zavvi - he'll be pioneering the online media that killed it.

It's all speculation at this point, of course, but we're not talking about a promising start-up with untested tech here. Just like Microsoft and Sony themselves, Virgin rarely puts its mouth anywhere its money doesn't follow.

The announcement of a Virgin box that offers glitch-free Cloud gaming from the world's top developers - as well as TV, movies and web browsing - would instantly render disc-based consoles endangered.

If Branson pulls it off by stealth - perhaps with an OnLive-esque micro-console that plugs into existing Virgin boxes - that menace would be multiplied tenfold.

If it happens, you can bet Sky and Apple TV won't be far behind - and the entire landscape of what we know as a 'games console' will shift overnight.

The pandemonium at E3 will be a sight to savour - especially if you manage to catch its reflection in Branson's ruthless grin.

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