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We all know
how good the graphics are on your PS3, Xbox 360 or souped-up PC (we’ll
forget the Wii for now). But all this could be a thing of the past if a
new online 3D games service takes off.

Called OnLive,
the service delivers 3D gaming through the humble browser. Users of the
service have to download a 1MB plug-in before playing. The service
downloads compressed data which the plug-in uses to render the
high-resolution images from the company’s data servers without the aid
of high-end graphics cards.

The company demonstrated the service
at the Game Developer Conference. The games themselves can be played
with a keyboard and mouse or by using the company’s wireless controller.

There
is also a "MicroConsole" that can be played through an HD television
using an HDMI connection. This console has to be connected to a
high-speed internet conection to use the service which start in seconds
as most of the processor of the game and its graphics are done on
OnLive’s servers.

"We’re providing you with the latest high-end
titles, the exact same ones you would see at Target or Best Buy, in the
same release windows. But what is really cool is you don’t need any
high-end hardware to play them," enthused OnLive founder and COO Steve
Perlman. "There’s no physical media," he added. "It’s an all-digital
platform. You never need to upgrade your equipment at home."

TheOnLive
game service is set to launch around Christmas this year and should be
available on PC, Mac or your humble tellybox.

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