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Friday, April 24, 2009

Onlive Cloud Video Game System is the Future

Remember back in the mid 1980's right when the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) first came out? If you do, you will recall that everyone was amazed by the new gaming technology. This system was the first that let you play arcade type games in your home with graphics and movements that actually flowed smoothly. Now, about 25 years later, we are playing games that some people have a hard time telling the difference from real movies. What will the future of gaming bring us? The Answer is "online play".

Onlive a company that has been working on creating a video game system that is entirely based on servers located in different locations throughout the United States, looks to make a splash in the video game industry. They promise to eliminate cumbersome consoles, and the need to go to the store to purchase a new game. Games are not tangible, they are digital. The console is not a five pound brick, it's the size of a deck of cards. Not only can you play games with people on the other side of the country, but you can also watch them play without participating yourself. You will be able to play games on your personal computer, Macintosh, or television. This is the plan that Onlive has.

All of this sounds amazing, but there are some skeptics. Will the system really be able to stream video games directly to players computers without any sort of lag? The latency issue is a big one. Onlive claims that as long as your connection is 1.5 Mbits then you will be able to stream the games. However, a 1.5 Mbits connection won't let you play games with top notch 'PlayStation 3 like' resolution. It will take at least a 5Mbits connection for that. The slower connections will still stream games, but they will see reduced resolution.

So we know what the future of video gaming looks like. Its exactly what Onlive plans on doing. However, the question remains as to, "what company will bring us cloud gaming?" It may just be Onlive, or it may be someone else.


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