As Crysis has been demoed running on an iPhone using the OnLive streaming service, it was almost certain to find its way to iPad too. At E3, the service was demoed on Apple’s tablet, and looks impressive.
Gaming’s first inroads into cloud computing, OnLive allows users to play games with requirements far in advance of their systems' capabilities, by running the software on a server rather than locally.
Players essentially take remote control of a game running elsewhere – an advance that could cause a seismic shift in device ownership and traditional console life cycles further down the line. For now, though, it’s a speculative advance, albeit one with dizzying potential.
OnLive was clear that the service demoed was very much work in progress, but it seems to function effectively, and the ability to watch friend’s games is an amusing addition. Searching for a multiplayer game is more like browsing YouTube than watching the usual “waiting for other players” bar slowly creep across the screen.
What Apple will think of it is another matter entirely, and OnLive could well run into hurdles regarding the circumvention of Apple’s control over game sales, and its content policies.
We’ll have to watch that unfold over time, but for now, take a look at the video IGN posted.
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