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GDC09: OnLive bosses talk bandwidth caps

Justin McElroy

As much as we love the Utopian vision of the future that OnLive -- which plans to offer game streaming direct to PCs, Macs and set-top boxes -- provides, we're still left with plenty of questions. For one, what does piping in games mean for those with bandwidth caps?

As an example, at the 5 Mbps OnLive requires for HD gaming, a Comcast user capped at 250 GB monthly could expect to get around 3.8 hours per day of game time -- assuming they used their connection for nothing else.

When questioned about it at a press event for the device last night, OnLive founder Steve Perlman didn't seem concerned. First, the console is rarely using the full 5 Mpbs. In fact, he said, it's often far less. Also, Perlman hopes that ISPs will give special consideration to OnLive as the service may well drive cable customers to upgrade their datastream. For now, consider it another challenge for OnLive will have to handle when their product launches in winter of this year.

We'll have more for you regarding OnLive when we give it another hands-on, this time on the GDC show floor.

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