OnLive Resurfaces: Crysis On An iPhone, Data Centres Located

There's still no official release date yet, but this week at the DICE Summit, the head of the possible video game revolution On Live was offering more proof that his service is coming together.

OnLive CEO Steve Perlman gave attendees at this gaming conference a look at the all-streaming gaming service in action, running multiple sessions of it over a cable Internet connection here at the Red Rock Casino and Resort. The idea of OnLive is that it will enable broadband-connected gamers to play even the most cutting-edge games on a TV, computer or mobile device without physically or even digitally possessing the games - the game's graphics and sounds are streamed from OnLive's server centres and piped through a small application or TV-connected device called the micro-console.

Instead of buying a new game in a store or downloading it, you would play it live, streaming, over your Internet connection on the screen of your choice.

During his DICE presentation, Perlman had a colleague start playing Unreal Tournament 3over the OnLive network. That game had been modified to run on OnLive's software development kit and booted up, over its streaming connection, in fewer than five seconds. Other games, such as Burnout Paradise, would load up more slowly, about the same as they seem to off of discs. Perlman's colleague started playing UT3, the game projected onto a big screen in the conference room where Perlman was talking. It ran smoothly. Because the games are streamed, other people can also log in and spectate the same gameplay session. So, Perlman, on a second computer, signed onto OnLive to spectate. He was now showing his live-stream view of the game on one projected screen, the actual gameplay on another. The spectating mode lagged slightly behind the live play.

The latest bandwidth requirements that a gamer needs to use OnLive, shared at DICE, are a 1.5Mbps connection to play games in standard definition; 5Mbps for HD gaming. The former is in about 71 per cent of US homes, Perlman said. The latter is in a little over a quarter.

Those who use the service will need to be within 1000 miles of an OnLive data centre, Perlman said. He showed a map of the United States that marked coverage. There were some areas of overlap, with most of the US covered. But he wasn't specific about how population densisty will affect that. His map showed that there are or will soon be OnLive data centres in the San Francisco area, Dallas, Washington, DC, Chicago and Atlanta.

The most impressive part of the demonstration was when a Perlman colleage loaded the OnLive client on her iPhone and began playing a streamed version of Crysis on it. Perlman, over his laptop connection, spectated her game in higher resolution. He pointed out that Crysis wasn't ideal because its controls aren't ideal for an iPhone, but he clearly wanted to make a statement about the calibre of game that can be used across OnLive's platforms.

Notably, Perlman presented OnLive as a service that would work on computers, TVs, phones and "tablets", possibly a hint of the service's applicability to devices such as the iPad.

OnLive was announced about 11 months ago and went into public beta in September. Yesterday, Perlman said that his company "we will have things to announce soon" in terms of a release window.


    I REALLY hope this succeeds.

      The real question is will it be feasable over a 3g wireless network for iphones, and when will we see it in rural NSW... my guess is about 5 minutes before the universe finally expereinces final heat death :(

        forget it mate. we wont be seeing this for a LONG LONG time... were only recently getting 30MBit/s fibre optic after its been sitting in the US for the better part of the last decade. plus they would need to set up servers in most the main states. which in this country they really wouldnt want to bother. it costs way to much here.

    So how does this thing save games if it only streams games?

      It would save your game files to a cloud, which would require a log-on to access.

    My concern is the lag - mouse your mouse, it sends the info to the mothership, mothership renders frame, sends it back to you?

    I can't help but think this would make some games unplayable...

    Also 5mbps connection for HD gaming? ISPs are going to hate this, it's going to chew through bandwidth in no time.

    Get those things cleared up, and I'm sold! long as it doesn't cost loads that is.

    The thing is that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo want this to fail. They will do their best to make their product superior and there are a number of areas where they may remain superior - including online gaming (presumedly is will take up a lot of the available bandwidth just to stream the game let along online game data,) controllers, party-based gaming, and a bunch of other areas. Plus, it's unlikely to work on a worldwide basis, for a long time.

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