OnLive at GDC 2009

VentureBeat has a pretty interesting write-up on OnLive, a company that has been in stealth for 7 years and is founded by Steve Perlman of WebTV fame:

“This is video gaming on demand, where we deliver the games as a service, not something on a disk or in hardware,” Perlman said. “Hardware is no longer the defining factor of the game experience.”
Last week, Perlman showed me a demo of the technology. He was playing Crysis, one of the most demanding 3-D shooting games ever made, running on a simple Mac laptop and also on a rudimentary game console, known as a micro-console, which does almost no computing but merely displays the images on a TV in either standard or 720p high-definition. The graphics ran smoothly.

I instantly thought back to a post about OTOY which made some similar claims nearly a year ago:

“Imagine you could play video games – and immerse yourself in virtual worlds – with 3D graphics comparable to those found in blockbuster films like Transformers or WALL•E. And then imagine you could experience and control those graphics in real-time from any internet-enabled device, whether it be a desktop computer, set-top box or even iPhone.”

I think the idea of moving the computational processing into the cloud and delivering the experience to dumb PCs/TVs is a huge friggin deal ! I’m just a bit skeptical that this can be done with our current broadband world where latency and performance are so problematic.

Hoping I’m wrong on this one and that this is for real.

Update: Some in-person feedback from CNET: “CNET News did see a real-time presentation of OnLive on at least two different computers and on a HD TV. Game play was as smooth and lag-free as advertised”

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