In theory this could change the way we buy and play games forever. Never buy a games console or top end PC again. How? Using ‘Cloud Computing’.
OnLive is a streaming games concept that allows you to play the latest PC games at blistering speeds without the need of a £2k + PC, infact you may not need a PC at all, just a TV and dedicated set box.
How does it work?
OnLive utilises cloud computing, this allows the load and high end specifications which usually sits within your games system or PC to be held by OnLive’s dedicated servers which then streams the ‘live action’ to you directly via the internet. In theory this would allow you to play the latest games at full pace with any old PC (or without using a set-top box) and just an internet connection.
Using patented video compression in tandem with algorithms that compensate for lag, jitter and packet loss, OnLive delivers video at up to 720p resolution (HD) at frame rates up to 60 frames per second. Of course, the quality of the video feed relies on your 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’s technology “incubator” Rearden Studios claims that its servers will deliver video feeds that have a ping of less than one millisecond. Its patented video compression technique is also advertised as blazing fast, with video compression taking about one millisecond to process. These technologies will apparently limit the ‘lag’ you may see while currently gaming on the internet.
The brainchild of Rearden Studios founder Steve Perlman (Atari & Apple), and Mike McGarvey (Eidos) the technology looks to revolutionise the way computer games are brought home. They already have serious buy-in from major publishers, including EA, THQ, Codemasters, Ubisoft, Atari, Warner Bros., Take-Two, and Epic Games. Oh, and 2D Boy.
OnLive is currently showcasing 16 games on the service at this week’s GDC, some of them playable on low-spec machines. Also expect OnLive’s micro console, a simple, low-cost device that’s about the size of a digi box for those that don’t have a PC. Pricing will be aimed at the £1 – £200 mark.
We will know more in the summer when the public beta is rolled out.
In theory this is a great idea, but after playing CS for a few years online and getting annoyed with lag all the time I just can’t see how they will eliminate it and make the experience seem like you are playing locally. I hope I am wrong though…
All details from Kotako.