Thursday, September 3, 2009

OnLive "The Future of Online Gaming"

Have you ever wanted the newest and hottest game titles instantly? Well I’m not talking about downloading torrents, sadly sharing is illegal. But this new company called OnLive is offering a new gaming console, which allows you to play games on demand through your computer, without buying a disc. Now I know a lot of you are saying, “My computer can’t run that game” or “My computer is too slow to do that.” Well, you might be right if you’re running a 1998 Gateway that can’t load a Youtube video. The system requires Windows XP/Vista/7 or any Intel-based Mac running OS X. Now even “low-end” computers can play games at HD resolution. The games are not actually saved on your computer; they are saved on your account that you sign into, so you can pick any game that you have bought and play it directly from the OnLive servers. Also OnLive will be selling a “Micro Console” that hooks up to your TV and be played like any other gaming system, but still be hooked up to the OnLive servers to play your games instantly. There have been many game developers are on board with this company including; EA, Take-Two, Ubisoft, Epic Games, Atari, Codemasters, THQ, Warner Bros., Eidos Interactive, and 2D Boy. As of right now there are 16 game titles available for the OnLive service. Some of the top name games being, F.E.A.R 2, Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, and Bioshock. I don’t know if you will be able to play the OnLive system with a mouse and keyboard, but the system does come with a USB OnLive controller. There are supposed to be 5 North America data centers. As of right now there are only 3 in total; Santa Clara, CA; Virginia, and one in Texas. OnLive recommends that you should live within 1,000 miles from one of the servers to get the maximum “LAN quality” connection.

The system now has a beta form, and OnLive is seeking beta testers for their new console. But you need to be at least 18 years old and be in the US with broadband connection. The scheduled release date is not exact at this time, but it has been said it’s going to be released in winter 2009. As of right now there have been no price announcements that the console might cost. I am hoping that OnLive gives Microsoft and Sony a little scare over their new gaming console. I think that OnLive is going to do big things in the gaming world, and I also think that after its release Microsoft and Sony will be trying to compete with the new technology they are bringing to the field. I am going to buy an OnLive system on the release date, just because I am really excited that you will be able to play these games on a dedicated server on “LAN quality” connection, so you won’t have any lagging kids thinking they are good because they are stealing their neighbor’s internet through their mom’s laptop. Hopefully they are right about the 1,000 mile radius for the connection being at that high of quality, because that is one of the things that sets OnLive apart from the other gaming systems available right now; and OnLive has only been tested at a 350 mile radius. It’s going to be very interesting how this new system plays out. Are Microsoft and Sony going to try to compete with its new rival? Or are some of the bigger named companies like Bungie and Infinity Ward going to offer their top titles like Halo and Call of Duty for the OnLive servers? I guess we will find out during the 2009 holiday season!

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