Steve Perlman, creator of what might be the most ambitious games-on-demand project in the world, announced yesterday that Onlive has gone into the Open Beta phase. Onlive allows users to play games while utilizing a high quality / low latency connection with a central server. One of the most important features of this service is that players will no longer require powerful hardware capable of supporting the game, but that game data and inputs provided by the user are instead processed at one of Onlive’s servers. Players are then able to “stream” their own gameplay footage from this server. This concept is commonly referred to as “cloud gaming”.
The cloud-gaming service was revealed at the Game Developers Conference in March earlier this year. Up until that moment, the service had already been in development for over 7 years.
If you live in the United States, it is still possible to sign up for the Closed Beta of what very well be the future of gaming. To do so, please visit the Onlive beta signup page. More information regarding the Onlive service, and the cloud-gaming concept can be found here. While it is unlikely that the service will be available to the general public any time soon, major parties have already pledged that their PC-games will be made available on the service. These parties include Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Take-Two, THQ, Codemasters and several others.