OnLive patent cloud gaming tech

OnLive has successfully patented its cloud gaming technology, IP which the company describes as "fundamental" to its system of wireless video gaming. Patent 7,849,491 – "Apparatus and method for wireless video gaming" – describes the OnLive system of a remote server running the game itself while a low-power MicroConsole is used to interface with the gamer's TV and the controllers.

"Apparatus for video gaming includes a box having a slot with an interface that connects to a game card providing a platform to run a software video game. The game card outputs video game data through the interface at a data rate of approximately 200 Mbps or greater. A unit processes the video game data for output to a display device. A wireless transceiver is included to receive the software video game via a wireless local area network (WLAN) and to transmit game information to a remote player having access to the WLAN during interactive play of the software video game." OnLive patent abstract

The newly granted patent joins the company's existing portfolio – which apparently extends into the hundreds – and was originally filed on December 10 2002 by company founder Stephen Perlman. Core to the experience is the latency involved, which the patent describes as less than 80ms but greater than 5ms, so as to enable a "high twitch-action video game."

OnLive began broadly shipping MicroConsoles earlier this month; that was followed by an iPad app earlier this month. A version for Android-based tablets is currently in beta.

Press Release:

OnLive Awarded Fundamental Cloud Gaming Patent

Acknowledgement of Over 8 Years of Pioneering Work by OnLive

Palo Alto, Calif., December 14, 2010—OnLive, Inc., the pioneer of on-demand, instant-play video games, today announced the US Patent Office has awarded the company a fundamental cloud gaming patent, US Patent #7,849,491. The patent is a significant addition to OnLive's worldwide portfolio of patents filed by OnLive and its affiliate entities. OnLive anticipates receiving additional patents worldwide.

Cloud gaming is a breakthrough technology where video games run on remote servers, and users simply connect an Internet-connected device—be it a TV, PC/Mac®, iPad™, Android™ tablet, smartphone—and instantly are able to play the highest performance, new-release games with no discs, no downloads and no upgrades. OnLive's patented and patent-pending technology makes the games almost instantly responsive, providing a gaming experience comparable to the games being playing locally, even though they may actually be running on servers 1000 miles away.

"OnLive is pleased to be awarded this patent as an acknowledgement of its pioneering inventions in cloud gaming technology," said Steve Perlman, Founder and CEO of OnLive. "Hundreds of people have worked incredibly hard for more than 8 years to bring OnLive technology from the lab to the mass market, not just overcoming technical and business challenges, but overcoming immense skepticism. It is gratifying to not only see people throughout the world enjoying OnLive technology in the wake of so many doubters, but also receive recognition for such a key invention."

The OnLive Game Service was released to the public in June of 2010 on PC and Mac, and on the TV and iPad in December of 2010. An Android version is currently in beta.

US Patent #7,849,491 issued after almost 8 years of pendency on December 7, 2010.

About OnLive

OnLive is the pioneer of on-demand, instant-play video game services, delivering real-time interactive experiences and rich media through the Internet. With groundbreaking video compression technology, OnLive harnesses cloud computing to provide the power and intelligence needed to instantly deliver the latest, premium game titles to any HDTV via the OnLive Game System or nearly any PC and Mac via a small browser download, and on the iPad and Android via the OnLive Viewer mobile app. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. OnLive investors include Warner Bros., Autodesk, Maverick Capital, AT&T, British Telecommunications (BT) and The Belgacom Group. More information is available

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