Slow As Monday: Cloud gaming has come FullCircle

by: Nathan -
Forgive my lateness. I spent most of Sunday recovering from a very busy Saturday.
First OnLive, then GaiKai, Spawn Lab's HD 720 and now Full Circle from MechaWorks are products that seek to take existing technologies and apply them to gaming with new twists and features. OnLive maybe the best funded and first to get real attention this year but now that it has successfully reopened minds that were once closed due to the not so distant dark days of the phantom menace , OnLive has unofficially opened the doors to re-imagining video game consoles and services.

Full Circle is a software service somewhere in between the HD 720 and OnLive that offers some promise. Like the HD 720, Full Circle connects any PC or Mac with a broadband internet connection to "sync" video game consoles or more powerful PCs so they can be played remotely. Unlike the HD 720's software, Full Circle opts for a shutting down of the OS so that the full potential of a computer is used while the software is running. This is to allow the Full Circle software to run multiple applications on up to three screens, allowing for web browsing, video games, and even blu ray movies to be played simultaneously. Full Circle is meant to replace your console, the software acting as platform to launch games, so that you could have one dinky little netbook that could allow you to do all your gaming in HD, on multiple screens, and run other applications to boot.

This all sounds too good to be true, but stacked up against the seeming impossible small latency that OnLive claims to have achieved, the ease of use of GaiKai as a simple website application, and the power wasting of having to run a console plus additional hardware for the HD 720, FullCircle couldn't be in better company.



AUSTIN, TX - At GDC Austin, MechaWorks has unveiled Full Circle: The world's first open, cross-platform, cloud gaming console.

The bootstrapped startup has been developing a new gaming console in stealth mode, over the past two years. Code-named Full Circle, the console is being introduced at GDC to give developers a first look at the platform.

Taking a new approach to gaming consoles, the platform eschews both streaming and subscription-based platforms, in favor of a more traditional approach to cloud-based console gaming. Full Circle combines revolutionary software for Mac and PC, with the most powerful hardware console built to-date. For the first time, cutting-edge games will be able to be played across Mac and PC, as well as the Full Circle Console.

"You'll be able to buy a game once, and play it anywhere." said Christopher Price, MechaWorks CEO. "Streaming is unreliable and unattractive to most consumers. People want to take their games on the go, with their notebook, and simply sync back to their console when they get home."

Full Circle takes advantage of modern PC architecture to deliver a consistent gaming experience, and single build targets, across Mac, PC, and HDTV. System Rating technology allows gamers to finally bypass the myriad of complex system requirements. Each computer is assigned a simple low-end, mid-range, or high-end rating. Developers can then maximize discreet, baseline specifications for each target audience.

Instead of running inside the operating system, Full Circle intelligently removes Windows and Mac OS X from memory, allowing games to run with maximum performance. The operating environment will be fully open-sourced.

"Game developers will be able to finally not have to buffer PC games with all the performance limitations that they encounter on the average, mis-managed PC. We bypass Windows completely, and then bring the gamer right back to what they were doing when done gaming. That's not entirely new, Chrome OS is taking a similar tact, but we're going to make it painless for an ordinary user to install, and get up and running."

WIth support for up to three HDTVs simultaneously, the Full Circle Console will extend games even further, with the first mainstream support for multiple HDTVs in a console. Combined with optional Blu-Ray support, Full Circle Console will enable users to combine games, widgets, and HD movies on multiple screens.

MechaWorks is combining the introduction of Full Circle, with the announcement of a Crowdsourcing initiative. The company will be offering rewards for those willing to tackle projects on various open-source tasks. Full Circle will be one Crowdsourcing project, but the company also hopes to give back to the open-source community, by rewarding various open-source projects with results-oriented improvements.

For more details, high-resolution photos, and other information about Full Circle, visit www.mechaworks.com/fullcircle/
 
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