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Monday, March 30, 2009

Imagine never upgrading your hardware again. If you're a console gamer playing on your HDTV, that means avoiding shelling out $500 to play next generation titles. If you're a PC gamer, it means opting out of the endless cycle of new CPUs, motherboards, and graphics cards. It also means you can play your favorite game on just about any platform—even laptops or netbooks. This even includes games famous for being resource hogs, like the Crysis series.

OnLive threw the gaming world into a tizzy this last Tuesday, and since then other names started crawling out of the woodwork. In case you haven't heard, OnLive just announced a subscription-based streaming games service. The company claims that by using either a web plugin, or their MicroConsole, you will be able to run the newest PC games at HDTV resolutions with no downloads, and all on the most pathetic of computer hardware.

If that wasn't astounding enough, David Perry of Acclaim (formerly of Shiny Entertainment) runs out and says me too! His company, an outfit by the name of GaiKai, just popped into public existence. Apparently he was planning on holding out until E3. Gaikai offers a similar service, except without the MicroConsole aspect that OnLive has(or at least until Perry says they have a little box as well). GaiKai calls their service Streaming Worlds and it only requires a web browser with Flash installed.

Then, we spoke with Jules Urbach, CEO of OTOY and Lightwave. His company basically offers up cloud computing (the technology behind these services) to the highest bidder. This essentially makes them a mercenary computing outfit of sorts, that has the side benefit of being able to stream games as well. In our conversation with him, he stated that his company is in talks with publishers and a whole host of other outfits that want to use the service.

If you're confused, you're not alone. All of these companies have a ways to go before we see them at a consumer level. There's a million questions out there and few answers to go with them.

(For more detail on Onlive Service),2845,2343703,00.asp

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