Rearden Studios introduced a gaming service and "microconsole," called OnLive, at GDC today, and we're still trying to wrap our heads around everything. If we had to describe it in one sentence, we'd call it a new way of playing games online without having to buy titles, but that sounds a bit too much like the vaporware Phantom console. Plus, there's another new "console" called Zeebo making a debut at GDC, which adds more confusion to the issue. Luckily, we have more than a sentence to work with here, so bear with us.
OnLive, as a company, a service, and a console, is being spun off from Rearden, and is run by Steve Perlman (founder & CEO) and Mike McGarvey (COO). The entire company is structured around a new way to stream video that the company has created -- "interactive video compression" -- which, according to the official line, has extremely low latency, and brings video lag down to "about a millisecond." Using that technology, the company plans to have five servers across the country that will host your games completely, and it'll be streaming the video from the game to your Mac, PC, or television. Sound ambitious? It is.
I’m actually quite fond of this idea. I wonder if it will work?