OnLive is being billed as 'the future of video games', but what exactly is it? The concept and system were demonstrated at the GDC (Game Developers Conference) recently. You can watch the video of this here, be warned it's quite long at nearly an hour. Basically the premise behind it is that it's supposed to allow high-end games to run on entry-level PCs or even through your TV. In doing this there is very little processing performed on the resident side (your end) of the connection, allowing OnLive's remote server farms to pick up the slack and crunch the numbers. Sounds good so far? But remember that the data is then needed back on your local end of the connection to allow you to see what's going on and interact with the game. This will require a livestream of constant game data going back and to across your internet connection, those of us with slower connections can forget this right now. It seems to me that OnLive are banking on the Internet providers backing this idea and model, bandwidth costs substantial money, especially when you think of some of the numbers being bandied around regarding the streaming speeds. Rumour has it that a 720p stream would require *at least* a 5Mb connection. That's a speed that only people reasonably close to the exchange can expect so already cuts out a large chunk of the population. No worries though, the service at the moment is only due to be launched in the US. So can the US ISP infrastructure cope with this? Not according to one of the guys at Aggregame- "Think about Verizon FIOS; arguably the fastest consumer network provider you can find. You get backbone fiber optic speed for downloading, and a pretty significant amount of upstream bandwidth as well. However, what about the "other guy" you are playing against? The rate at which a broadband service like FIOS is being adopted is far too slow. This is almost the equivalent of retrofitting every gas station in the country with hydrogen fuel stations to make alternative or hydrogen fuel cars a reality - it is going to take a long loooong time. OnLive is about 10 years ahead of itself." There isn't just the networking aspect to think about, what about game developers? How will they adopt this technology? Will they have to develop their games to specifically run on OnLive or will they 'just work'? I didn't pick up on the answers to these questions from the presentation video, but would be interested if anyone knows. Personally I think this is more likely to attract console gamers, rather than the 'hardcore' PC gamers who simply like having the best hardware and squeezing every last frame out of them. But that's just my opinion, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Judging by that, it's going to take a significant investment, from more than just the OnLive creators, for this to take off. I honestly think it's a good concept but some aspects of it don't leave me feeling like it's going to have an impact in the short term. Thanks for reading, Chris.