This weekend Eurogamer Expo took place in London and one of the biggest stories was the UK launch of OnLive, the cloud based gaming system. Yes, Americans have been enjoying streaming gaming since last year, but the UK launch of OnLive shows significant demand for PC / Mac / Console-less gaming.
This is no passing fad. The cloud and its remote applications have already spread across consumer and corporate computing. You’re already using the cloud now, whether you realise it or not — Gmail, Google Docs, Spotify; usage of these cloud systems are prevalent.
But gaming? Bandwidth is the biggest stumbling block, but OnLive’s partnered with BT and supposedly only needs a connection speed of 1Mbps. You can stream to tablet devices, standard HD-TVs (which need a heftier recommended 5 Mbps), and other outputs. The big advantage is being able to play console-quality games on any device, wherever you are — or at least that’s the theory.
Digital distribution services already do this. Steam is an example, but they still require a local copy of the game. OnLive, when used with its micro-console, goes a step further and removes these limitations. It’s certainly interesting stuff and it’s a positive step in the direction of easier gaming for all.