Cloud Gaming Advances with OnLive’s Game System

Video games that you play from the cloud as easily as you can change TV channels. That vision of gaming bliss came a step closer on Thursday with OnLive’s announcement that its Game System is now available.

The company, a pioneer in on-demand, instant-play video games, said the system will be available for $99, including any OnLive game. The system includes the MicroConsole TV adapter and a wireless controller.

No ‘Discs, Downloads, Updates’

The company said its approach to delivery allows enjoyment of the games “without ever having to bother with discs, downloads or updates.”

Founder and CEO Steve Perlman told news media that it’s “the start of a new era for video games and home entertainment.” He added that cloud-based gaming is not only “the fastest, simplest way to play, watch and test drive top-tier games instantly on the living-room big screen,” but it also opens the door to such options as media-rich social networking, “massive spectating” of games in progress, and portability across devices.

The MicroConsole TV adapter is pocket-sized, and the company said top-tier games can be launched from its network of Internet-based game servers in seconds, rather than the minutes they take to launch on high-end consoles or PCs. It is, OnLive said, as fast and simple as “changing channels.”

The MicroConsole requires a broadband Internet connection and a TV display. The controller offers such functions as “Brag Clip” video recording, play/pause, rewind and fast forward. The system can handle up to four controllers simultaneously, as well as an optional keyboard and mouse.

Thirty-five games are currently available, including Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, Just Cause, Mafia II, NBA 2K11, Shaun White Skateboarding, Aliens Vs. Predator, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and others.

No Monthly Base Fees

Games can be test-driven free, and prices range from $3.99 to $8.99 for three- to five-day rentals, or, for…

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