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OnLive : A cloud computing, games-on-demand platform

OnLive is a cloud computing, gaming-on-demand platform: the games are synchronized, rendered, and stored on remote servers and delivered via the Internet.

The service is available using the OnLive Game System, PCs running Microsoft Windows (7, Vista, XP) and Intel-based Macs with OS X 10.5.8 or later. A low-end computer, as long as it can play video, may be used to play any kind of game since the game is computed on the OnLive server. For that reason, the service is being seen as a competitor for the console market. All games on the service are available in 720p format and to play in high-definition OnLive recommends an Internet connection of 5 Mbit/s or faster. The average broadband connection speed in the US at the end of 2008 was 3.9 Mbit/s, while 25% of US broadband connections were rated faster than 5 Mbit/s.

Over 20 publishers, such as Electronic Arts, Take-Two, Ubisoft, Epic Games, Atari, Codemasters, THQ, Warner Bros., 2D Boy, Eidos Interactive, and others have partnered with OnLive. Approximately 35 game titles are currently available from the OnLive service.

OnLive was announced at the Game Developers Conference in 2009. The service was originally planned for release in the winter of 2009.

OnLive's original investors include Warner Bros., Autodesk and Maverick Capital. A later round of financing included AT&T Media Holdings, Inc. and Lauder Partners as well as the original investors. In May 2010, it was announced that British Telecom and Belgacom invested in and partnered with OnLive.

On March 10, 2010, OnLive announced the OnLive Game Service would launch on June 17, 2010, in the US, and the monthly service fee would be US$14.95,[17] however at launch the membership option available was through AT&T's Founding Members promotion which provides the service free for the first year and US$4.95 per month for the optional following year. On October 4, 2010, OnLive announced that there would no longer be any subscription fees for the service.

On March 11, 2010, OnLive CEO Steve Perlman announced the OnLive Game Portal, a free way to access OnLive games for rental and demos, but without the social features of the Game Service. The Game Portal will launch sometime later in 2010.

The OnLive Game Service was launched in the United States on June 17, 2010.

As of July 2010, the game service is available for PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, or Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later. The service requires a 3 Mbit/s Internet connection (5 Mbit/s recommended). OnLive initially required a wired connection, however beta Wi-Fi support became available to all members on September 15, 2010.

The OnLive service has been demonstrated on smartphones such as the iPhone, and tablet computers such as the iPad. Steve Perlman has also suggested that the underlying electronics and compression chip could be integrated into set-top boxes and other consumer electronics. The OnLive viewer for the iPad has been released in December 7, 2010.

The OnLive Game System consists of an OnLive Wireless Controller and a console, called the "MicroConsole TV Adapter," that can be connected to a television and directly to the OnLive service, so it is possible to use the service without a computer. It comes with the accessories needed to connect the equipment, and composite video users can purchase an additional optional cable. The MicroConsole supports up to four wireless controllers and multiple Bluetooth headsets. It also has two USB ports for game controllers, keyboards, mice, and USB hubs. For video and audio output it provides component, HDMI, S/PDIF ports, and an analog stereo minijack. An ethernet port is used for network access, which is required to access the OnLive service. Pre-orders for the OnLive Game System began to be taken on November 17, 2010.

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