GDC 2009 is OnLive, which will allow low-end PCs to play high-end games via streaming technology, piping in a game experience where all the heavy (graphics) lifting is done on the company's servers. It's a significant step forward in gaming provided it lives up to expectations, and the fact that it's fully cross-platform means that Mac users will be able to play PC titles never ported for the OS. OnLive isn't alone in wanting to make games more accessible though, particularly when it comes to MMOs.
Acclaim CEO David Perry told GameDaily, "We have already filed a patent on what OnLive is doing. I'm working with a team called Gaikai... we have World of Warcraft and EVE Online running." Since Gaikai's "Streaming Worlds" technology involves servers which remotely do the graphics crunching required of most modern games and streams the game to a web browser, all one needs is a machine with a good internet connection. No game client downloads are required. "You can play World of Warcraft anytime, on any browser," said Perry. The OnLive and Gaikai services are still in development and beta testing for both may begin this Winter, if not sooner.