The article, at http://www.businessweek.com/...">http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-01-06/xbox-playstation-killer-goin..., says:
Quote:Imagine playing video games on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 console attached to your flat-screen TV, with a stack of game disks next to it.
Now take away the console, and the disks, and you'll begin to get the idea behind OnLive, a new online service that does with high-end video games what Netflix Inc. is doing with movies: stream them over the Internet straight to your screen, in this case via a palm-sized adapter that plugs into the TV and your home network.
This is disruptive, maybe even revolutionary, technology that has the potential to upend the multibillion-dollar game industry. Consoles like Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 take years to develop, require a lot of computing horsepower and cost hundreds of dollars. The OnLive Game System has none of that overhead. It costs $99, and includes the adapter, a wireless handheld controller and one game.
OnLive games tend to cost less than Xbox and PlayStation versions. You can rent them for shorter periods at less cost, or try out new titles for free. Of course, you're not actually buying or renting the physical game; you're paying for the rights to play it in the cloud, on OnLive's remote servers.
The critical question for users, of course, is how well OnLive works. Games, with their visual richness and need for rapid responsiveness, demand a lot of computing power, and OnLive by and large delivers. Gameplay was swift and stutter-free over my speedy cable Internet connection, and if the graphics aren't always quite up to Xbox or PlayStation standards, the differences are all but invisible unless you're paying close attention.
And because OnLive is a service and not just a gadget, it offers some features that console-based gaming can't -- for instance, the ability to start a game on your TV, then log in from a PC or Mac and, using a Web browser, pick up where you left off. If your computer's Internet connection is fast enough, you're able to play even sophisticated games on not-very-powerful hardware.
Like Netflix, OnLive may eventually be built into other gadgets; the company, whose investors include Autodesk Inc., AT&T Inc., BT Group Plc, Time Warner and Maverick Capital, this week announced its first deal to put the service onto TVs and mobile devices from Vizio Inc. sometime later this year.
Video games are always available for new devices, but this indicates that high quality games are now coming to an old device, i.e., televisions (note, though, that some of the very earliest video games were on televisions, like Pong that I played on a black and white television about 35 or 40 years ago). This will make it that much easier for people, including younger children, to excessively play video games as they no longer even need an electronic computing device but, instead, just a network connection in addition to a television set.
- John O.
[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)