There was at least some interesting hardware news (other than motion controllers and 3D gaming gimmicks?) coming out of E3 2010 last week. I am talking of course, about the much-publicised alternative online streaming game service from OnLive. The Beta testing for the on-demand gaming service is now very much underway, and founder Steve Perlman is estimating that the first OnLive micro-console units will be arriving before the end of 2010. Though, probably only arriving in the States for now, we can still monitor its progress and eagerly await its crossing of the Atlantic.
So what is the micro-console? Well, as you may have guessed it is OnLive’s own version of the games console. Though inside you won’t find half of the components found in the likes of the Xbox 360 Slim or PS3 Slim console, mainly because it simply doesn’t need them. And for that reason, the box is actually smaller than the controller itself, which whilst we’re on the topic, looks remarkably similar to a wireless Xbox 360 controller in terms of layout.
So let’s talk connectivity. For starters on the front of the box, you have a couple of traditional USB ports allowing you to connect your choice of mouse, keyboard or provided USB controller. Therefore, whether you prefer the console gaming, or PC gaming methods of input, you will feel at home with OnLive. In addition to that, there are also capabilities for up to 4 wireless controllers and 4 bluetooth headsets to be paired with the console, via the wireless pairing button located on the side of the unit.
Now, on the rear of the unit there are just four ports. The four necessary ports. A Micro-USB port used for powering the unit, HDMI for audio/video output, Ethernet for connecting to the Internet and an S/PDIF optical out for alternate audio output.
Aesthetically, the box is extremely small, whilst being black in almost its entirety; the only extra design is the large orange logo dominating the topside of the unit. All in all, a compact and altogether stylish unit fit for many homes and gaming set ups.
Onto the OnLive controller. As I said before, in layout it is strikes a remarkable resemblance to a wireless Xbox 360 controller, with dual analog sticks placed in the upper left and bottom right, with the usual D-Pad in between. On the right hand side there are 4 control buttons labelled L, I, V and E for obvious reasons. On top, and L and R button in front of an L and R trigger. So, the majority of gamers are already familiar with its design and will know immediately how to use it. Again, the controller is largely black with orange labelling, which does provide a pretty good looking controller.
However, as for seeing it in the UK, it may be a while yet due to the fact they haven’t begun installing the necessary servers around the place yet and it’ll be interesting to see just how fast a broadband connection you need for this streaming game service, although given that BT have invested in OnLive, it’ll be interesting to see if they help bolster the infrastructure nationwide or just limit the OnLive service to BT broadband customers.
What do you think to this new gaming system? Will you be giving up your traditional high-powered console such as the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 just yet? Or would OnLive work better as a mobile phone gaming service? Or are you yet to be convinced by this new way of playing game using a streaming on-demand system?
Via – Engadget