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xx The death of the Games Console (?!)
May 14, 2010, 12:27:40 pm by Mad Penguin
Just as we've gotten used to dedicated consoles as an alternative to PC's for playing 'computer games', could it be that the rug is about to be pulled from under the likes of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo?

BT has signed a deal with OnLive, a so-called cloud-gaming firm, their idea being that consoles are a thing of the past and games should be played on hosted (cloud based) servers and the game experience delivered directly to the player's screen without the need for a console.

Now, before you laugh (I did!) BT are already talking about rolling out 20Mbit based copper broadband, and over the last couple of days have announced they will be providing fiber connections to residential customers in urban locations at 100Mbit(+) speeds. They are proposing that the game output would be transmitted to the player as a video stream,  and even at full HD (1080p) this is only 5Mbit/sec .. so you would end up with zero latency between players (everyone is playing on the same server), and assuming no broadband faults or traffic problems, perfectly smooth HD displays. It sort of sounds feasible (!)

"What about the games ?"

Apparently OnLine already have Metro 2033, Mass Effect 2 and Borderlands in their catalogue .. all fairly respectable games!

Note; for this sort of setup there's a hell of a lot of scope for processing game output using dedicated / custom ASIC chips which means high spec graphics chipsets and egg-frying consoles would be a thing of the past. As the owner of 4 defunct XBox units, this can't be all bad!

You can take a look at OnLive at http://www.onlive.com, they do look pretty impressive.
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