OnLive, the cloud gaming platform that will allow you to play any game live online without a console, will launch at Eurogamer Expo, the UK's biggest gaming event, this Thursday at Earl's Court, changing the gaming landscape forever.
The OnLive cloud system will revolutionise the way games are bought, played and viewed, doing away with games discs, large demo files and allowing non-gamers to view live games being played. OnLive will also challenge the gaming system where gamers must choose a console, or buy a high capacity PC to play games.
150 games are currently available to play in the US, including Deus Ex and Assassin's Creed. It will launch in the UK with the heavy dutyBatman Arkham City.
Steve Perlman, OnLive founder, told Huffington Post: "OnLive will be transformative in how people think of video games. You can casually browse around all the games we have, so the barriers to entry of playing and appreciating games are completely removed. Instead of queueing for a disc, or having to download huge demo files, you can start playing immediately. And if you've never played anything ever, you just want to see what gaming is all about, you can log on and watch other people play."
OnLive squarely targets the mainstream gamer, and will function much like established video and tv streaming sites like the BBC's iPlayer. Like these services, it will be available on any device, from TVs and PCs to tablets and smart phones.
OnLive also offers a game viewer where non-gamers can log on and view live games in action, making watching games as valid an entertainment option as buying and playing them.
"Games are moving away from something that is just played by a select few. And as they're more cinematic now than ever, more people are finding them interesting, so it make sense to make them available on a livestream," Perlman said.
It should come as no surprise that Perlman pushes the filmic aspect of modern games. He was also behind the development of Mova contour, the photo-real animation technology used in Transformers and Harry Potter.
UK prices will be announced Thursday but in the US, a three-day pass costs $5.99, a five-day pass $8.99 and a full price of $20-$60 and a "PlayPack bundle" is $9.99 per month, according to The Guardian.
The Guardian also reports that OnLive consoles and controllers for use with HDTVs currently cost $99 in the US, a component video adaptor $30 and a wireless controller for use with PCs, Macs and tablets $50.
Connection speed and bandwidth will be OnLive's greatest challenge, alongside license issues from games companies. Without high speed broadband, the service will be ineffectual. Several "Not Spots" across the UK will currently not be able to use the service due to a lack of high quality internet connection. Jeremy Hunt recently announced a boost to rural broadband funding which when implemented, may go some way bringing cloud gaming to Britain's wildest moors and dales.
Watch a demo of the OnLive viewer on Engadget.