Onlive: Is it (too good to be) true?
Mac geeks, Vista nerds, your days of sitting in the back row while all your friends with consoles get the latest and greatest in video gaming is nigh over, or so claims OnLive founder Steve Perlman. That’s right kiddies, unveiled on March 24th at the Game Developers Conference was a little magic box (unimaginatively called OnLive) that will enable you to play top tier video games at the highest specs possible on your POS laptop your mom gave you 3 years ago. How is this possible you ask, and what body parts am I going to have to sell to get this system when it arrives in stores this winter?
Well according to Perlman this little black box of joy will run Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or PC games online thanks to their server side functionality. But what does that mean exactly? Well essentially they will be running games on their supercomputers and sending the game content through the internet straight to your media of choice, then relaying your commands in mere microseconds back and forth so that it seems like you are running the game from your home. As a recent convert to Macintosh I was sure I was giving up on my PC gaming career save for Blizzard (thank you for being awesome Blizzard), but now it seems that won’t be the case for long as any computer, PC or Mac, will be able to take part in this, dare I say, gaming revolution. Not only will you be able to purchase and play these games instantly, but you can also access a slew of other amazing options, such as observing other gamers in action and renting games online. As an added bonus, a “brag feature” records the last 15 seconds of gameplay, allowing you to replay epic gaming moments. Finally you can show your friends proof of that you perfectly landed that triple barrel roll in your warthog, or managed to kill 6 zombies in a single shot.
About this time you are either wetting yourself in anticipation or asking if this is an April Fool’s joke come early. How can a computer run Crysis on your TV at full quality without any lag or hits to quality? Well that seems to be the $64,000 question doesn’t it? If this technology were available, why wouldn’t we have heard about it? And how much money am I going to have to shell out to get this amazing service that in theory makes all consoles and gaming hardware companies obsolete? No price has been announced yet, and according to Perlman this technology has been secretly in development for the last 7 years. The only thing we do know is that you must have an internet connection running at least 5.0 Mbsp to get full quality service, which if you have standard cable and aren’t constantly running torrents, shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Besides, if OnLive delivers what it promises, it wouldn’t just be prudent, it would be your DUTY to make sure your internet can handle such specifications.
Aside from that, we will have to see if OnLive can truly live up to its lofty promises. But in the meantime, why not head over to their website www.onlive.com and sign up for the beta anyway?