OnLive, the controversial and possibly too-good-to-be-true gaming service that was announced earlier this year, is about to enter into a public beta. Users are being asked to sign up at the official site
OnLive is a new cloud-based system for playing games on, with the final product apparently set to use a 'microconsole' that connects to the internet. The beta however will only require a regular PC from what we can gather.
The basic idea is that all the games you want to play are run in a big network farm somewhere else, but you play them remotely thanks to advances in internet streaming and a fancy new codec that OnLive claims to have developed. All inputs you make on your PC are transmitted to the OnLive center and run into your game. The result is then streamed back to you as HD video in practically real-time...supposedly.
OnLive has yet to be successfully demonstrated in any real, public sense - so this will be an important step for the company.
Anyone hoping to be included in the beta will need to complete a short performance test and based on that successful applicants will be organised into test groups so that the company can methodically benchmark and gauge the success of the system.
OnLive has proven to be a controversial idea so far though, with plenty of people decrying the system as implausible on current internet connections even before they've seen it. Personally, we're willing to wait and see how it all holds up before we come to a firm conclusion, but let us know your thoughts in the forums