Onlive takes videogames into the Internet 'cloud'

OnLive took videogames into the "cloud" on Thursday with the US launch of a service that hosts hot titles as services on the Internet, eliminating the need for consoles.

"We are showing off what we've got," OnLive senior product manager Michael Miller said as the service was demonstrated at the company's booth at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

"We are excited because we know this is the first step in cloud gaming."

Videogame industry insiders have been watching OnLive since the California start-up debuted its technology a year ago at a game developers conference in San Francisco.

OnLive has spent the time beefing up its data centers and building relationships with videogame makers, according to Miller. It has also been handling countless hours of play logged by thousands of "beta testers."

OnLive planned to go live in the contiguous United States at 6:00 pm in California (0100 GMT, Friday) with 23 titles including "Assassin's Creed 2," "Batman Arkham Asylum," and the new "Lego: Harry Potter."

The service lets people play videogames online using computers running on Microsoft or Apple operating systems. Controllers typically used in the consoles can be plugged into computers to play OnLive.

"Nobody else offers a one-click, instant-on gaming experience with these high quality titles," Miller said. "We think we've taken a huge step forward but we still have a ways to go."

OnLive hosts videogame software at whichever of its three US data centers is closest to players to optimize the speed at which data travels.

Progress made in games is saved, so players can log in from any Internet-linked computer and pick up where they left off. OnLive tends to keeping gaming hardware and software updated.

"Saved games, configurations, purchases are saved and accessible from anywhere," Miller said. "You can log-off at home, travel to another state and pick up in a game where you left off. We think that's really powerful."

A micro-console that connects to television sets and the Internet so people can play OnLive without computers is a "coming soon device," according to Miller.

OnLive micro-consoles are about the size of a deck of cards and wirelessly link to hand-held controllers.

"This is the device that is going to bring on-demand gaming into the living room," Miller said. "Plug into the Internet, plug into the TV and you are ready to play the hottest games. This is cloud gaming."

OnLive was promoting its launch with an offer of a year-long free membership to the onlive.com service, which will then cost 4.95 dollars monthly.

Videogame publishers and studios signed on with OnLive get to set their own rates for titles, which can be rented for three days, five days or unlimited "full pass" play.

OnLive at E3 also had prototype versions of its service tailored for Apple's hot iPhones and iPads as well as smartphones based on Android software backed by Internet giant Google.

"Being on-demand and a cloud gaming company means the end device is less important," Miller said shortly before a large white cake was wheeled into the booth to celebrate the launch.

OnLive partners include telecom titans AT&T, British Telecom (BT) and Belgicom.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Windows Server Engineer - Compute Engineer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Compute Engineer role also ...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

    Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line IT Support / Senior Engineer / Support Analyst

    £24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Buyer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This award winning IT company are currently re...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor