OnLive technology made for gamers, was presented at the game developers conference GDC in San Francisco on March 24th 2009.
This service enable you to stream the content of the game as you play it. Simply explained you will see live a HD-Video of the ongoing gaming performed on a server miles away from you.
This means you can play big and powerful games that you usually need a monster PC with the best graphic performance available to you. Even a small laptop PC, Mac or even through a small gadget connected to your TV, you can play any game on your TV. The need for very expensive gaming PCâ??s is gone with the wind. You will not need to upgrade your PC just because the game demands more graphic power or CPU performance. All you need is internet connection and a normal computer.
The news about this service can mean a revolution to how games are distributed and were received with enthusiasm at the conference.
How is it possible to perform streaming of highly interactive games, when YouTube service is struggling with their performance of online videos? The question was raised and answers given through demonstration of this service.
OnLive has been developed over 7 yearâ??s time now, and for the first time shown to the public on March 24th on heir pres conference in San Fransisco.
It gives us a chance to revolutionize the way we do gaming, how developers pulish games, and how the consumer will use the games. It will change things says Steve Perlman, the man behind OnLive service concept.
Perlman developed the streaming solution for QuickTime when he worked at Apple, and has with him the former Eidos CEO Mike McGarvey on the OnLive service.
You will have immediate access to all the latest high technological games available to any consol or PC, just by your fingertips. They will make the games accessible immediately and you only need to press on the game button you want to play, and there you go. There will not be need for any downloading or need to patch anything. There will be no physical media at all.
You will have access to the games through your web browser or TV and you will no longer need a special machine for the purpose of playing your favorite game.
Whether you use OnLive on a cheap PC without any graphic card, or on a cheap Mac, does not matter as long as you have a web browser and a plug-in on your browser on under a Megabyte, you are gaming. If you have a TV, all you need is a cheap box attached to the TV and you are gaming here as well.
In theory all this sounds great and potentially easy to do, but how is it working in practical terms?
The only that is needed of your computer or box at home is the power to decompress the video that arrives home at your place from the game server where the OnLive service is located. These servers are special made for the purpose of computing the highly advanced graphic games presented to you at home.
The video will reach home to without any experience of latency and to be experienced as if you played it on your local machine. OnLive has developed a special streaming technology for interactive media different from the linear streaming technology which is used in ordinary video transfers. This new technology has according to Perlman minimized the latency to a level not recognizable to a human.
The latency will be around one millisecond, and you really have to see it before you believe it.
The demand to the broadband you have will depend upon what kind of screen you have on your equipment at home. For an ordinary screen you will need 1,5 Mbps, while for a HD TV you will need maximum 5 Mbps, dependant upon the game itself. This of course eliminates those who still are on ADSL or similar bandwidths.
Perlman and McGarvey played the game called “Crysis” together on a big screen at the conference. McGarvey used a cheap Dell laptop that would never be able to play this game in the quality seen on the screen..
Perlman played via a micro consol connected to a TV, and both these units talked nicely together via the OnLive server around 80 kilometers away from where the demonstration took place.
McGarvey also demonstrated a baseball game on a Mac Book, a machine which was hardly meant to play any game on it, but through the web browser plug-in on the OnLive service played the game which usually needs a PC with a graphics card for thousands of dollars.
The service opens up for purchase and rental business models of absolutely all stored games, videos of game plays and other things stored on these servers. This enable you to continue a game anytime from anywhere you want to.
It also eliminates the piracy problem which haunts the gaming industry today.
Ten developers like EA, THQ, Ubisoft and Atari has supported this development from the start and has made 16 games available at the moment.
All these games will be demonstrated at the GDC for people to see how they are experienced at the conference floor.
The service is planned launched in North America at the end of 2009, and will secure the gaming industry from piracy at a larger extent than before. It also makes it possible to make games available at a less cost than before as distribution costs should go down.
However, it remains to see how these servers will resist the hackers and their attempts to disrupt these services.
There has not been set any launch date for the service outside North America, but its promised to be launched as soon as possible after the North American launch.
The cost of this service is not mentioned, but the goal is to reduce the cost to the game consumer, as he or she will not need to buy expensive hardware which has become expensive and a constant need for upgrade at a certain cost as well.
This service will transfer the money use of gamers from hardware to software.
As we have talked about the gamers as consumers, we can replace these with industry consumers in need to optimize their international or even distributed domestic IT operations.
So far latency has been an issue for most people talking about client server solutions with the option to render high definition or CPU/GPU demanding operations on a central server instead on each and everyones desktop at the office.
The need to optimize IT operations by simplify the updating of software, patching of new versions as well as installing new software, is really a pain when you have to install this on each and everyones machine in their office.
However, latency through your network and internet has been a challenge which has made the client server solutions revolution on the back burner for a while.
If this technology can prove to reduce the latency at the modest bandwidths demonstrated at the GDC in San Francisco, then we can begin to talk about another game for the client server solutions again.
He has a background as civil engineer and geoscientist. He has worked mainly within the oil and gas industry from the mid 1980s. He has written a few fictional novels as well as being the author of some professional litterature within oil and gas sector, he is now an editor of some web sites.