The market of online games is subdivided in several segments. These are easy to play browser games, software and multiplayer games based on software to install and the console based video game market. All these segments are connected to the internet in some way. But completely different is the distribution especially for the high perfomance video games, which mostly do require special computing resources supplied by video game consoles. A new concept may change this completely.
OnLive has developed a new online game platform, which uses the on demand principle. The system has been introduced at the Game Developer Conference lately (s. OnLive Feature at Gamespot). The OnLive service hosts the video games on central game servers, which now do supply the necessary computing power. On the client side the games may become played on a tv device or a simple computer without the need of additional devices. Playing the games on a tv set may require a special device, the OnLive MicroConsole. At computers only a browser plugin is needed. If one plugs a computer into a tv set, one may even play on a tv set without additional equipment.
The system has some interesting aspects and advantages. At first there are lower costs opposed to the expensive game consoles for gamers. Too, renting the games should be less expensive than buying (OnLive is still in beta, but has already several games available.). Even free games by sponsoring might be an option. Secondly games may become distributed adhoc globally.