John mentioned the announcement of OnLive, yesterday, on his Tech5 podcast. Here’s some info from the developing firm – and a link to someone who’s actually at the GDC:
A new online video game distribution network hopes to free players from buying game discs or the console systems and high-priced computers needed to play them.
The OnLive Game Service, expected to launch later this year — was officially announced today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco — lets subscribers choose from a on-demand catalog of new video games that can be played on Windows and Apple Macintosh computers or television sets.
Bypassing current console systems such as the Microsoft Xbox that play only games made for that specific platform, OnLive lets computers play games stored on its network of super-powerful data servers. These servers bounce game data back and forth from the player’s computer using proprietary compression technology to make the games run as if they are loaded on the computer.
To play over big-screen HDTVs, a small microconsole unit (the size of a deck of cards) that connects to home broadband networks is used. Game controllers and headsets can connect to the microconsole using USB or wireless connections…
The price of the microconsole needed for TV-based connectivity and monthly subscriptions will be announced later.
“Were providing you with the latest high-end titles, the exact same ones you would see at Target or Best Buy, in the same release windows. But what is really cool is you don’t need any high-end hardware to play them,” says OnLive founder and chief operating officer Steve Perlman. “There’s no physical media. It’s an all-digital platform. You never need to upgrade your equipment at home.”
I went looking for the most trustworthy person I can think of writing about gaming – Garnett Lee. At least at time of posting, he’s probably too busy crawling the booths at the GDC to get something in print about this. But, I found this link from Wagner James Au.