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BT Invests In Gaming Outfit Onlive

Telecoms giant BT has announced earlier today that it will form a strategic partnership with Silicon Valley based cloud computing video game company Onlive and purchased a 2.6 percent stake in the company for an undisclosed sum.

Importantly, BT will be the exclusive distributor of Onlive Gaming Service with broadband in the UK, something which means that BT will add gaming to its portfolio which currently includes television, broadband and telephony.

OGS allows gamers to purchase and play video games without waiting for them to be downloaded; the games are merely streamed over the internet and uses Onlive's own proprietary compression technology.

The games can be delivered straight to the user's computer or even their television set, assuming it is compatible (ed : they will need a TV adaptor called the Microconsole).

BT's press release states that OnLive servers do all the necessary calculations remotely at its data centre with the end result seemingly streamed without lag.

Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail, said in a statement that “Entertainment will be at the heart of what we offer customers in the future. The partnership with OnLive complements BT Vision. Our customers will have access to a huge catalogue of games, available instantly on their TV or PC. And it will enhance our premium broadband position as we’ll be entering a market worth more than £2bn.”

BT will launch OnLive in the UK later this year and may potentially offer it as an add-on for BT Openreach and its ISP clients. Onlive's going live in the US from the 17th of June.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.