New Streaming Video-game Service Could Make Your Wii Obsolete

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Photo: Courtesy of OnLive

Apart from being difficult for novices and inspiring the occasional violent-crime spree, the only problem with video games is that the games themselves are expensive, and every five years you have to spend $400 on a brand-new console. But not anymore, maybe! At the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today, some brilliant nerd is slated to announce the details of OnLive, an upcoming gaming-on-demand service that will allow you to play new games on any computer or TV using a broadband connection, no downloading or expensive console required.

All you'll need to buy, presumably, is a monthly subscription and a tiny, inexpensive "micro console" that converts streaming video for your TV or computer. Kotaku explains:

The concept is simple. Your controller input isn't going from your hand to the controller to the machine in front of you, it's going from your hand to the controller through the internet to OnLive's machines then back again as streamed video. Whether you're using a USB gamepad, Bluetooth wireless controller, or tried-and-true keyboard and mouse, the processing and output happens on OnLive's side, then is fed back to your terminal, with the game "perceptually" played locally.

So basically, it's magic. Details are still scarce right now, because, according to Joystiq, Variety broke an embargo on the story before OnLive could hold a press conference. But still, even though we love our Wii, this sounds awesome and we completely approve of any technology that allows us to pay less money for things.

OnLive Makes PC Upgrades Extinct, Lets You Play Crysis On Your TV [Kotaku]
GDC09: Rearden Studios introduces OnLive game service and 'microconsole' [Joystiq]
PCs to replace videogame consoles? [Variety]