For a long time PC has had the advantage in the world of video gaming (at least compared to Mac). Sure, you could buy an Xbox or PS3 or some other console for your TV, but in the world of computer gaming, the options were much more limited. You’d have to download Paralells or run boot camp and then install windows OS seperately for example, to run Steam on Mac (though Steam is soon coming to Mac). All this work and expense and the quality of the game was still highly dependent on your system specs.
Well, nothing is free, the solution I have here depends on your internet connection instead of hardware but it’s a great solution if you’ve got a fast connection. The service I’m referring to is called OnLive and it lets you buy and play top games on any computer platform, even an iPhone! In reality, you aren’t playing games on “your” computer at all, you are streaming them from a super fast optimized computer in real time. The service requires minimal installation (just a browser plugin) and runs through any computer platform with an internet connection. And, they just announced that they are dropping the monthly fee.
I’ve seen this service in action and wanted to share a couple video demonstrations below to help you get an idea of how it works. OnLive sells you a license to play games for extended periods of time so on the one hand you could pay $5 to play for a few days $10 for a week or $20 for multiple years! You won’t end up clogging your hard drive with game files, it keeps track of your saves and other info and you can connect with friends much like Xbox Live. The service also lets you watch other players (including friends). OnLive helps you save money and lets you play your games across your devices, even in different locations. Got a game of Dragon Age going on your Mac with OnLive but next week you’ll be traveling across the country and don’t want to take your computer? Fine, just login with your iPad and continue playing. This is the most flexible and innovative gaming system to come along in years.
Just below is a side by side comparison of OnLive vs. locally installed copies of Dirt and Unreal Tournament. I can’t tell a difference at all… Performance like this is however, highly dependent on your internet connection.