Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Multi-Screen "Cloud" Gaming Made Easy
Set to launch in June, the cloud gaming service OnLive, a new gaming service that will allow people to "stream" popular games like "Assassin's Creed II" over the Internet. This new system is said to work much like watching TV shows or listening to music online.
OnLive will be available to Mac and PC users via a browser plug-in that will let you play games hosted from OnLive's servers. This is what's becoming commonly known as "cloud computing." That also means that players can buy or rent games with older, less powerful computers, without having to purchase a console such as Xbox or PS3.
OnLive also promises to release a "MicroConsole" device, which will let you play games on your TV, later this year. Along with other devices added subsequently, OnLive also will be allowing multi-player user ability on all the game platforms. Making it easier to get your gaming party started.
Steve Perlman founder and CEO said "We want to slow the impact of people jumping on to our servers just a little bit."
The "MicroConsole" -launching later this year, will be a inexpensive, cassette-sized adapter that plugs into a TV set to stream games. OnLive expects to see the tiny console to be more popular than its PC and Mac streaming service.
In addition to the perks of not having to actually have hardware and software, OnLive is a service: like other online gaming services, you'll get gamer tags, profiles, the ability to make friends, and chat-but the kicker is that all of this is done via live video.
Many people are asking whether the company's servers and players' broadband connections would be able to handle streaming without a lag that would disrupt playing with pauses and glitches. Perlman said it's working, and "assuming you have a decent Internet connection," gamers who've been testing the service are "playing normally."
With Youtube and tons of other Flash based videos, it may be easy to assume that streaming video games would be the next big thing. However, streaming video games is a bigger challenge than music and movies, because games cannot be easily compressed into smaller files before streaming over the Internet. That is due to the idea that games are interactive, and requiring instant responses from the game to players. That way, when you shoot at your enemy, for example, the game must respond in real time without missing a beat.
The first company in its industry to offer streaming high-end video games, says it has come up with a new form of compression that lets its game servers communicate with players over broadband connections in real time.
With big names like Electronic Arts Inc., Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the service is well vested. Of course, all services come with a cost, and OnLive will run $15 per month, though you will probably see some multi-month deals before the service hits the mainstream in June. In addition to that, you'll have to rent or purchase the titles that you want to play, however no specific pricing has been mentioned yet.
This could mean more computer monitors for PC gamers. Without the need to have high end machinery to process all the data evolved it would be easy to utilize that extra energy towards a dual monitor or multiple monitor LCD display. Flight Simulator is a great game to have several monitors for which systems are generally built around the software. With streaming games you can play an untold number of games in which you could turn your computers monitors into a multi-monitor view. Think of a triple monitor display to give a truly life like resolution on a wider viewing angle for the best gaming experience