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Consoles: Hands-on with OnLive: is this the future of PC gaming?

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Consoles: Hands-on with OnLive: is this the future of PC gaming?

1:58 /

OnLive won't replace your turbocharged, water-cooled quad-GPU gaming rig and the insane screen resolutions it can pump out, but for casual gamers who are interested in sampling the latest PC games, get ready to have your mind blown.

[ MUSIC ] ^M00:00:02 >> [Dan Ackerman:] I'm Dan Ackerman, and I'm here with Rich Brown, and we're taking a look at OnLive, the revolutionary new online gaming service that purportedly lets you play pretty much any high-end PC game on almost any computer -- Mac, PC, netbook, whatever. >> [Rich Brown:] That is right. So we have a, an iMac, here. It's probably important is that this is an Apple computer, and you can play all kinds of games that aren't really traditionally available for the Mac OS. So this is the main OnLive interface -- it's about 20-odd games or so; I'd say maybe half of those are A-list titles. Others are independent games. So we've got Just Cause II here, and there's no official Mac version of Just Cause II available. So keep that in mind. Hit play. It'll take a minute to get started. [music] >> [Ackerman:] All the rendering is not happening on your computer. It's happening off-site at a rendering farm, and they're basically just beaming the game play video to you. The lag for that, however, is pretty good. >> [Brown:] It's minimal. I mean, there's probably a question of bandwidth. If these guys get a lot of users sign up for their service, who knows how they'll be able to handle that much traffic. >> [Ackerman:] And of course they require that you use a wired, hardline Ethernet connection. It's not going to work over WIFI right now, and that helps with the local bandwidth issues. The most interesting thing about On Live is how it works on netbooks. Now it says that you need a dual-core CPU to run it; I've got a single-core basic netbook right here with an Intel Atom, and it gave me a little warning message that said that it's probably not going to work. But you know what? It still works fine. I've got Borderlands loaded up right here. There you go. Works pretty well. The lower-resolution image actually works better on a smaller screen like this. And of course I've got that hardwired internet connection, not WIFI, so if you're traveling, that'll be an issue if you want to use OnLive. The system is in kind of in a closed beta right now, so you can go and sign up. You may not get access right away. Eventually they want to charge you four ninety-five a month for access to the system itself, and then you pay for games on top of that. I'm Dan Ackerman. >> [Brown:] And I'm Rich Brown. This is the OnLive gaming service. ^M00:01:55 [ MUSIC ]

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