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OnLive’s Cloud-Based Gaming Beta Begins

OnLive has announced that a US closed beta for its cloud-based gaming service has begun.The OnLive system will purportedly use a cloud of PCs to run PC games away from your house, and then stream the video to you, essentially meaning you can play any PC game as long as you have a computer capable of streaming the video – a considerably lower spec than a computer capable of running a modern game, by and large.The problems, naturally, are that streaming 720p HD video over the internet at 60 frames per second will presumably need a lightning-fast internet connection, and there could well be lag related to input. That said, OnLive is confident that it has cracked both of these issues, and that the service will run on a one-megabyte connection.The service was announced at the GDC earlier this year, and you can read up on plenty more details on that very page.When you sign up for the beta, you’ll apparently give the company some “general information” about your ISP, computer configuration, and location. If you fit into one of their test groups, then you’ll be sent an invitation which will ask you to run a performance test that will give the company information on both your internet connection and your computer configuration. If those fit the company’s needs, then when the time for your test group rolls around, you’ll be sent an OnLive browser plug-in.The service has been in the works for years, so this is a pretty big milestone.There’s no news on what games will be available with the service during the beta, although OnLive CEO Steve Perlman has stated the the company has signed up “nine of the largest game publishers” in the world, including EA, Ubisoft, Codemasters, and Atari.Still, you can potentially find out for yourself if you sign up for it here.

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