When E3 closes its doors on Thursday June 17th, a new era will begin for online gaming.
If you believe OnLive, that is.
The firm's ambitious cloud games streaming service goes live on Thursday and will, the firm says, 'make an important first step toward making instant gaming a reality'.
The service first goes live on PC and Mac - after a beta system that has seen the service tested across the US. A special AT&T sponsored promotion in the US will offer select users free membership.
OnLive requires no console or software - except for the OnLive client - to run; games are streamed live from powerful data centres straight to user's homes over high-speed data connections.
Although for PC and Mac at first, eventually OnLive plans to launch a dedicated MicroConsole that streams games to HDTVs.
OnLive and its UK minority stake-holder BT are expecting to launch it over here next year.
The service has support from all major publishers - and the launch heralds a new age for games, the firm says.
“This launch is just the beginning for the OnLive platform. We’ll be rolling out new features, capabilities and performance improvements, continually adding new content along with the latest releases, and extending the service to more people,” said Steve Perlman, founder and CEO of OnLive.
"Today we’re taking the first step toward a future where video game content is increasingly free from the restrictions of device and location, while showcasing the ability to instantly play the latest, most advanced games at the touch of a button.”
At launch, OnLive's instant play catalogue boasts over 15 triple-A titles including:
Assassin’s Creed II (Ubisoft); Batman: Arkham Asylum (Square-Enix); Borderlands (Take Two Interactive Entertainment); Dragon Age: Origins (Electronic Arts); Just Cause 2 (Square-Enix); Mass Effect 2 (Electronic Arts); NBA 2K10 (Take Two Interactive Entertainment); Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Ubisoft); and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction (Ubisoft).
The firm says its catalogue 'Represents virtually every category of publisher, from industry leaders to creative independents, the OnLive platform has benefited from a broad base of publisher support. Previously announced partnerships include Electronic Arts, Take Two Interactive Software, THQ, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
In total, more than 25 publishing partners are now supporting the OnLive platform.