OnLive recently announced that a beta will soon start to test out the service before its winter release. OnLive, for those who do not know about it, is “cloud” gaming. Right now if gamers want to play Crysis on high settings they better have a spare two or three thousand dollars to drop on a new PC. All but a fraction of gamers will ever play the newest PC games because of the huge cost required to keep up with the latest hardware. OnLive could change all of that.
OnLive takes all of that processor heavy lifting off of your computer and puts it into the “cloud.” That cloud is OnLive’s magical game server center. I have no idea what kind of tech they have there but I assume it runs on unicorn blood and dragon’s fire. Whatever it is, that “cloud” processes your game and sends it to whatever PC, Mac you have. According to the OnLive website all gamers will need is “a PC running a current version of Windows XP® or Vista®, or an Intel®-based Mac running a current version of OS X.” That’s right, OnLive will change the current system requirements for Crysis from a couple thousand dollar computer to the laptop you bought a few years ago at a garage sale. You can even get OnLive onto your TV if you get their micro-console.
Now all of that sounds like it is too good to be true. I know I wont be convinced until I see it working in the wild. The OnLive team knows that they will have to make sure their tech is perfected before it is release so they are having a closed Beta to test the system and, hopefully, prove to a wary gaming community that the technology works. Sign up for the Beta at http://www.onlive.com/beta_program.html and cross your fingers you get picked. If you do then you will either have a front row seat for a major change in the way gaming works or for a giant face plant. Either way, pretty fun!