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OnLive: Is it a console killer?

Debate: Should the big three feel threatened by cloud gaming?

OnLive, the cloud-based MicroConsole, got a price and release date on Thursday and we got wind of what gamers can expect for their 99 bucks (we haven't had UK details yet).

Punters will get the MicroConsole, the OnLive Wireless Controller and one free game for their dough.

It's more than happy with 1080p and 3D TV sets and supports up to four controllers. You can even connect Bluetooth or USB headsets for in-game and out-of-game voice chat if you want.

The OnLive firm says the initial setup takes around three minutes, and after that it takes around 15 seconds to get gaming once you've flicked the power switch.

OnLive offers three-day and five-day rentals and Full PlayPasses for games, and is also set to introduce a flat-rate plan for unlimited access to its library of titles.

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Those games are going to be the AAA, high-end monsters we all shell out fifty quid for as well. It seems like anything your console can do, OnLive can do, but can is it the better option?

Since developing high-end hardware like the PS3 and Xbox 360 costs millions and the pre-owned market and piracy is proving to be harmful to the traditional routes of retail gaming, could cloud-based systems like OnLive give gamers more options and developers more security?

EA's senior VP Patrick Soderlund says his experience of OnLive has rivalled the highest-end PCs. Impressive stuff if true.

If, in the future, we can play the likes of Modern Warfare 3 and Mass Effect 3 with nothing more than an internet connection and whatever TV is sitting in our living room, with the same quality of a high-end PC, why would we bother picking up an expensive console?

On the other hand, we're well aware that there are plenty out there who just can't get to grips with something you can't clasp in your hands.

There's also the concern of a strange new pricing structure. OnLive has scrapped the monthly cost, which is good news, but we still don't have full details on rental and purchase prices for games.

Ex-Sony man David Reeves has said that PlayStation and Xbox may be forced to merge in the future, will the likes of OnLive be able to survive thanks to a new approach to gaming?

Will you be looking into cloud-gaming or will you remain grounded with traditional machines?

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