Like pretty much everyone in my age group, my first foray into online gaming was on a PC. It was on a Pentium 3, and it was Half Life online, using a 56k dialup connection. Since then, online gaming on the PC has given me many good memories, from Command and Conquer, Team Fortress 2 and even draughts. But is PC gaming dying out? Lets look at the facts. The easiest gaming experience is usually through the consoles. You get the game, put it in and go, with the occasional patch downloading within seconds. You have one machine that you don't really have to upgrade, and rarely have software clashes. Now look at the PC. You have to check the basic specifications on the box when you buy the game, and if you aren't up to scratch then you go and buy graphics cards, sound cards or extra memory. Perusing the last issue of T3 magazine, the gaming PC's are going for around £3,000, which may become obsolete within a few years. PC Gaming is generally for the people that can afford it. A recent survey shows that the PC is the gaming king, having made around $11 billion last year, following on by saying that there are 1 billion PC's out there- 250 million being used for gaming. I'm taking this with a generous pinch of salt though, as the statements and figures quoted come from the PC Gaming Alliance, a consortium of developers, publishers and manufacturers whose main aim is to advance the PC as a gaming format. On the horizon is something called “Onlive”, an attempt to get more gamers playing, without worrying about their PC. You can see the blog about OnLive by my esteemed colleague Chris Parr here: http://community.plus.net/blog/2009/03/27/onlive-why-its-head-is-in-the-clouds/ By using servers at their ends that will deal with all of the graphical processing, you can use your “entry level PC or Mac”. The problem that I see is that the quality of the picture that you see is dependent on your Broadband connection. You need a connection of at least 5Mb to get HD visuals, and 1.5 – 2Mb to get standard visuals, similar to that of a Wii. The state of broadband at the moment simply isn't enough to provide a satisfying experience across the board in my opinion. Add into that the fact that Onlive is boasting a 1ms latency figure, this is sounding like a good dream, but I think that this is all it will remain, a dream. I do hope that Onlive is successful, and that this will attract more gamers to the online experience, but I think that the plan that they have is 10 years ahead, and the broadband capabilities that we have at the moment are 5 to 10 years behind. Only time can tell. In the meantime, I am going to apply for beta testing, and if I can shed more light on this in the future, then I certainly will!