Cast your memory back to late March of this year and you may recall news of an on-demand, internet-based gaming service called OnLive (here’s the original post). Think of it like GameTap (remember GameTap?) except that nothing actually gets installed on your computer. All the games can apparently be streamed at up to 720p resolution over a 5Mbps connection, or standard definition over a 1.5Mbps connection.
Well the service has entered the public beta phase. I just signed up now so I’ll have to wait patiently, but it’ll roll out to anyone who had signed up a long, long time ago when the program was first announced. According to a company blog post:
“When you sign up for OnLive Beta, you tell us some general information about your ISP, your computer configuration and your location. We use this information to organize Beta testers into test groups so that our engineering team can focus at different times on testing different situations. If you are a potential fit for a particular test group, we’ll send you an invitation email, asking you to run a detailed Performance Test on your network connection and your computer configuration. The results of the Performance Test will then feed back up to OnLive, and if you are a fit for a test group at some point during Beta, we’ll let you install the OnLive plug-in into your browser. Then, we’ll ask you to spend some time playing…um, I mean…testing games OnLive.”
So it looks like it’ll be browser-based at first, but remember that there will eventually be this hardware controller and magic streaming box, called the MicroConsole, too. It’ll have HDMI output and be used with your TV, taking your computer out of the equation.