OnLive is a company focused on bringing a new type of gaming platform to the industry. OnLive was originally announced back at the Game Developers Conference in 2009, but has had a slow journey thus far. The company’s goal is to pioneer “cloud gaming.” For those unaware, cloud computing is an infrastructure where the data is stored and processing is entirely done on a remote server and clients are strictly input and output devices. Online services like MobileMe and Google Docs are examples of cloud based computing services. Cloud gaming hasn’t been done yet because of the high demand gaming puts on both hardware and communication bandwidth.

The OnLive service will initially be available on Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 computers. A MicroConsole, with up to four player support, to connect to your HDTV is planned for later availability. Games are streamed at high definition 720p resolution, but since your computer becomes a “dumb terminal,” the system requirements aren’t too hefty:

• PC: Windows® 7 or Vista (32 or 64-bit) or XP (32-bit)
• Mac: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
• Processor: Dual-core CPU
• Screen Resolution: 1280×720
• Internet Connection: 5 Mbps located inside the contiguous United States (wired connection required)

If you didn’t notice, they do not want you using your Wi-Fi connection to connect your computer to the Internet. The service is still in a trial period and the denial of Wi-Fi is intended to help them determine where any latency or other connection issues may be stemming from.

OnLive is set to launch tonight (June 17th) at 9;01 P.M. EDT with nearly two dozen games available. What you’re promised to get is an instant on-demand HD gaming experience without the need to buy additional expensive hardware, continue upgrading that hardware, or keep track of game updates. The service will stream one feed to the gamer, but also provides a second feed for OnLive members to spectate while other players do the deed or record their own experience and share the moments of triumph with friends.

We’ll have more than 20 games available on the OnLive Game Service at launch, and with dozens more in the pipeline, we’ll constantly be adding new games over time. To mention just a sampling, we’ll have Assassin’s Creed 2, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction from Ubisoft; Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins from Electronic Arts; Batman: Arkham Asylum and Just Cause 2 from Square Enix; Borderlands, NBA 2K10 and MLB 2K10 from Take Two; Red Faction: Guerilla from THQ; Fear 2: Project Origin from Warner Bros. Interactive Games; and DiRT 2 from Codemasters along with other great games from publishers, both large and small, representing a wide range of genres.

OnLive is initially launching with a beta sign-up program that grants you one free year with the next year totaling $4.95 per month, if you wish to continue. The OnLive Founding Members Program is being presented by AT&T and is a limited offer with the typical first come, first served, and must be eligible terms. As always, please thoroughly read all of the fine print if you decide to sign up.

The video below is strictly designed for demonstration purposes to prove that this idea is possible on a fully mobile device. This is not a preview, nor is there any other evidence of this actually happening for our iDevices in the foreseeable future.

[via Touch Arcade]