Game Streaming and Subscription Model


Update: OnLive has shut down in 2015. It was a good idea that I hope gets resurrected in some form


If you have purchased a graphics intensive PC game recently, such as Cryisis, you realize that your computer runs the game like a choppy YouTube video. In order to get a better gaming experience, you need to get the latest hardware, so a $60 game may end up costing you hundreds in hardware upgrades.

Years ago when computing power was extraordinarily expensive, you had a server like a mainframe do all the number crunching serve out results to “dumb” terminals.¬† What if the graphics and physics calculations of today’s games were subcontracted to servers that did the heavy lifting. As computer power reaches pennies per Ghz and unlimited internet bandwidth increases steadily, the next evolution in gaming is in game streaming and subscription.

Imagine subscribing to the latest graphically intensive game that just came out over the internet. With the streaming model, a video is streamed to your desktop while the game is running on a remote server at high resolution and with high game details on. That means your PC doesn’t have to run the latest hardware to play the game the way it was meant to be played. A recent article has revealed the OnLive will attempt to do just that.

Of course, this would only work if you have the bandwidth to support it. The internet backbones are currently being upgraded, but higher internet speeds will likely cost you more as well. Another roadblock would be the ISP’s proposed cap on your monthly bandwidth. If the unlimited internet bandwidth model changes, the entire business built on internet communications will suffer, including the upcoming game streaming.

Mozilla Labs Chromatabs

I was on the Mozilla Labs site and I found the Chomatabs project that I thought was interesting. The Firefox extension ColorfulTabs allows you to color your Firefox tabs to more easily identify the sites you are visiting. If you are like me and have at least 10 tabs open at any given time, you can see where this would be handy. There is actually a theory behind this that I found the most interesting.
In the graphic below, first find all the red letters. That was easy right!? Now find all the M’s. No so easy.
The way our visual system processes the colors versus the shapes makes finding the colors easier. The Chomatabs project was trying to take this idea further by automatically coloring tabs based on the site you visited. For instance, websites of a technical nature may be assigned a shade of green, while a commercial business site might show up as a blue tab. The concept is interesting though and one day may be use to make the organization of information a little easier. Unfortunately the project has been discontinued and is no longer under development.



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