OnLive is the pioneer of instant cloud gaming, delivering real-time interactive experiences and rich media through the Internet.  With groundbreaking video compression technology, OnLive harnesses cloud computing to provide the power and intelligence needed to instantly deliver the latest, premium game titles to any HDTV via the OnLive Game System or nearly any PC and Mac via a small browser download. The OnLive Viewer app is available for the iPad and full gameplay is coming to both iPad and Android tablets. OnLive is currently available in North America, and has launched in the UK and  will be expanding into Europe later this year.  More than 100 games are available today, over 60 are available as part of the Playpack Subscription bundle for $9.99 a month.  All OnLive games played using the OnLive Player App will play seamlessly across all OnLive-compatible devices, including iPad, iPhone, Android, on HDTV via the OnLive Game System, on connected HDTV and Blu-ray/media players and on PC and Mac.  Full voice chat-enabled multiplayer is supported, both in-room and with others throughout the world, providing a complete multiplayer experience whether at home or on the go with a mobile device.  Core patent-pending exclusive OnLive cloud gaming features such as massive spectating of live gameplay throughout the world, instant no-obsolescence gameplay, Facebook integration with Brag Clip videos, etc., will work seamlessly on both tablets and HDTVs and will continue to distinguish OnLive from consoles, both in 2011 and beyond.  The Intel Atom Processor cE4100 provides the processing power for the system and allows the OnLive Game Service to be experienced on HDTVs and soon will support 3D games.

“The power of the cloud is definitely the theme this week, displacing what had been assumed to be platforms that could never be displaced,” said Steve Perlman, Founder and CEO of OnLive. “The OnLive Player App for iPad and Android shows how with the power of the cloud, the question is not whether cloud gaming will be able to catch up to consoles, it will be whether consoles will be able to catch up to cloud gaming.”

OnLive is also unveiling as part of this experience the first 10 gigabit cloud-based full-featured browser for iPad, Android and HDTV; bringing the full richness of the Web loading from ultra-fast 10 gigabit/second Web connections to OnLive’s cloud-based servers, including support for full-featured Flash and video sites. Mobile and home devices will no longer be limited to the speed of their local connection for Web browsing or Web plug-in compatibility, opening up access to Flash games and social gaming for tablets and HDTVs.

Here’s a presentation from CEO Steve Perlman on the OnLive capabilities.

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E3 Impressions:

This was one of the first companies I talked to at E3 and it all started in the press hospitality room.  OnLive had a small booth set up in there to give the media a chance to check out the system in a far quieter environment than the conference hall floor.  It was nice to get a little hands on with it before the meeting so I took the opportunity to put the system through it’s paces.  I chose Borderlands GOTY edition to try out first since I had just recently been playing it on the Xbox 360.  There was no noticeable lag or latency issues or at least no more than would happen when playing multiplayer on the XBox 360.  Considering the game was actually being played on a server in Santa Clara and each of my moves on the controller were sent there performed in the game, then the information sent back and it all reacted in about the same time frame as a system in the room with you I was immediately impressed and at first a bit leery.  How could that be possible?  Also how could this game be running so well through a little box slightly larger than a deck of cards?  So I headed out, stood in the sea of people waiting to get into the main halls and had a nice sweat going as I went toward the OnLive booth to get a much more in-depth look.  After being among all the other folks I was a bit overheated and they were nice enough to head me straight upstairs where it was cooler and I could talk to Bruce Grove, Director of Strategic Relations.  Bruce had been a computer builder before he joined them, building huge high end gaming systems.  When they showed him they could do with the little OnLive box the same thing the high end computers were built for he thought his head would explode and he was quick to join up.

“Since we launched the real focus has really been adding titles , really getting the service off the ground and bringing it to more and more users.  We launched something no one has ever been able to do before which is the PlayPack bundle, so all of a sudden you have a Netflix type approach for games.  The great thing about this model system is we can disrupt all the traditional delivery and pricing mechanism and experiment and bring new ideas to people.”

“What we are doing now is expanding the play anywhere theme.  We have the micro console, the PC, the Mac.  We actually have a fully working IPad client.  We’re bringing it to IPad, android devices, we took investment from HTC who are launching a variety of tablet devices through various carriers.  It’s the same service, the same games, the same product and you come into the service exactly the same as you did from the TV or your PC or your MAC, it’s really a play anywhere.”

“The game controller we have today will work with tablets or work with TVs or work with blu-ray players and now I have a gaming device and now I am on the road with my tablet having the same gaming experience and carrying on where I left off earlier.”

“We’ve also been working with a lot of chip vendors so the idea there is to get ourselves into more and more devices. blu ray players, TVs, what we’ll do is have a universal control that will just talk to those devices, you don’t need a game console, your blu ray player or your TV just became the console, and it’s OnLive and again it’s the same service wherever you go.  We are seeding ourselves into as many places as possible, we want to be platform agnostic, we want to be on everything, we want to play everywhere.”

“When you go onto OnLive online you are on line with everyone else, one big social network, we want to create a world wide gaming environment and based on different countries they will have different preference and you will be able to see them so you can imagine we go to Europe, we go to Asia and you will see things you have never seen before.”

“It’s just getting bigger and bigger, it’s snowballing, really exciting times for us.”

“Voice over IP everyone said you can’t do that. streaming videos, everyone said you can’t do that, I remember all the press around Netflix and how Netflix wasn’t going to make a successful business out of streaming videos, how many times do we say these kinds of things?  OnLive comes along and they say you can’t do that and we say we are doing it, look at that! ”

“Everyone will come up with a reason why you can’t do it and we just keep pushing forward and saying we can and we are just going to keep pushing and pushing.”

“New cell phones are starting to have hdmi wireless built into them so you will be able to have OnLive come through to your cell phone then onto your TV.  Tablets are starting to have hdmi out so your tablet can be the device.  The game’s up in the cloud and we will just deliver it wherever we can.”

“We’ve had to look at every single piece in the chain, we have had to look at the controller, we’ve looked at the protocols, we’ve looked at how we code and decode, we built our own codec from the ground up, everything about the network from beginning until end had to be thought about. How do we do graphics processing?  Everything.  So what we have been able to do is not just have one magic piece that breaks through but it’s lots and lots of interactive pieces that really all come together and have just completely rethought how you shape latency.  So as a result you can put us on a good, decent network, you can put us side by side with console and we’re comparable.  And that’s where we want to be, we want to be in a place where somebody tries it and they stop caring about the devices and they care about the games and the content and what OnLive is.  We want people to look at the service and go ‘That’s the service I want’.”

“As we increase the multiplayer content you can find what your friends are playing and jump into the game or into what they’re doing and it really helps your interactiveness with other player’s in the network because everyone’s there.”

“We want to get away from this how did you do it and get to I don’t care, I want to play games.  At the end of the day that’s all it is, we all just want to play games.”

Last Call:

If you ask anyone around me, I rave about this company.  In all honesty I think it will be the Netflix of gaming, it already has a very solid base and it is moving across devices with amazing speed.  If you need the box to play it the box is small and perfect for traveling.  The game base for their subscription set up is great already and always growing and at $9.99 is really, really affordable and you don’t have to wait for it to arrive in the mail.  You can rent titles and if you like them purchase them and have them available on the system at any time.  They are teaming up with Disney, SquareEnix, THQ and many other game developers to have games on their system release at the same time as stores.  I love that I could start a game on my TV, play it on the car ride somewhere on my phone or iPad and then on my laptop when I get there.  Or if I get bored playing one game I have over 100 other titles to choose from.  Interacting with the representatives of the company they had an excitement that was contagious and I think for good reason since I truly believe I was witnessing the future of gaming.





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Dustin "Ripper71" Thomas has been a staff writer with for over 10 years and has taken on the role of Editor with a brief stint as Editor-In-Chief. He is also a co-founder of @IsItOctoberYet where he covers haunt nightmares, amusement park fun and Golden Knights hockey.