GDC09: OnLive, potential to change the gaming industry


This gadget has the potential to change the gaming industry, majorly. Using this, you may never have to upgrade your computer again (and us PC gamers know how technology makes a jump every year or so). If OnLive works as well as it is said to, you’ll be able to play a game as intesive as Crysis, at it’s maximum settings, for the price less then that of a Wii.

OnLive is a new video games on demand service, founded by Rearden Studios. This technology changes the way you get and handle computer games. Take Crysis for example, instead of buying a $3000 high-end computer, use your normal computer and let OnLive’s servers handle all the processing power. The only extra that you’ll need to purchase is a “Micro-console” and have a broadband internet connection.

Kotaku explains the concept like this: ” The controller input….it’s going from your hand to the controller through the internet to OnLive’s machines then back again as streamed video.”. Which pretty much means that their servers are handling everything, which raises the big question. Will there be any lag? OnLive can show video up to a resolution of 720p at 60 frames per second, depending on your internet connection. For standard definition television quality, a broadband connection of at least 1.5 megabits per second is required. For HDTV resolution, a connection of at least 5 mbps is needed.

OnLive claims to deliver video feeds that will have a ping less than that of one millisecond, with also extremely fast video compression. There are no install times, it’s cross-platform capable and the ability to rent and try games. There is also the ability to record short 15 second clips of gameplay called “Brag Clips”.They’re also already receieving purchase offers from big companies like EA, THQ, Codemasters, Ubisoft, Atari, Warner Bros., Take-Two, and Epic Games. This console is expected to be priced “competitively” and possibly have a monthly fee comparable to Xbox Live’s prices.

OnLive has been running small controlled tests with Crysis, and the game played well on the max settings with no lag. So it’s promising at the moment, but we’ll see how it does under pressure when it goes to external, large scale, beta testing.Server clusters will be located in Santa Clara, Texas, Virginia and elsewhere, in hopes of offering OnLive customers within 1000 miles a lag free experience.

What do you think about this?

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