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Posted at 9:47am on 26 Mar 2009
Gaming in the Cloud
Interesting new subscription gaming service:
The idea is basically that you connect to the service via a web browser or a dongle for your TV and then play the games remotely. Input from your controller is transmitted to the server, the game screen is rendered on the server side and then transmitted back to you.
Consequently, you don't need to have a particularly fast PC or graphics card because all the game processing happens remotely. The performance is purely limited by the bandwidth of your broadband connection. And the games on offer aren't crappy browser games built for the service - they're standard off-the-shelf Xbox and PS3 games running at the other end.
It seems hard to believe that the latency wouldn't make any twitch-reaction games like racers and shooters unplayable, but they claim that anyone with a 1.5Meg broadband connection should get decent performance at regular TV resolution, and 5Meg or higher will give you full HD.
They've also got some really interesting community/social networking features, for example you can watch anyone else playing a game remotely before you buy or rent it yourself, and they seem to be aiming to create the concept of "celebrity" gamers, where people might develop a following of fans who regularly watch them play.
Update: Richard Leadbetter at Eurogamer says it can't possibly work as well as they claim. I hope he's wrong, but he sounds right.Permalink