OnLive shown live at DICE

OnLive, which streams top-notch games direct to any device, including TV, has its share of skeptics. Since the service’s announcement at GDC last year, critics have cast doubt on its claims to eliminate latency.

But at DICE yesterday (Thursday), OnLive’s president and CEO Steve Perlman showed a live, working demo that passed without any perceivable slow-down or technical hitches. Perlman and COO Mike McGarvey played Unreal Tournament via a cable connection with a server in San Francisco, over 500 miles distant, and showed off various community and spectator features. They also showed an iPhone game running via the system.

OnLive streams games directly to a PC, Mac, tablet or sufficiently advanced mobile device. It also works on TV sets that are connected to a MicroConsole. Launch details of the service will be announced at GDC in March.

Perlman said, "We have to get away from the zone of specialized, expensive hardware. These console cycles hurt the industry, because they are very expensive. We need to focus consumers on the game, not on the box."

He showed a revenue share model for publishers and developers that lacked detail, but was more advantageous to game-makers than the traditional retail model, and said that extensive closed beta testing had proven that the tehnology works.

As for likely demand, he said that consumers show again and again that they increasingly want immediate streaming experiences, and not downloads, and certainly not boxed retail products.

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