Other big questions linger, as well. Let’s consider two scenarios and the issues they raise.
1. You live in California and want to play a buddy in West Virginia. Will it work? Well, not only are you communicating with a server miles away, but you’re going through a switch that in all likelihood hasn’t been upgraded in about 10 years. And that’s assuming that you and your friend are getting at least 1.5-mbps connections at each end.
2. You’re playing a high-performance game like Mirror’s Edge or Crysis. What happens if, at peak times, a whole bunch of people want to play a high-end game–like all the sweet stuff on display at the GDC 09 show? Spokespeople told me that it’s a one-to-one GPU ratio. If I want to play Mirror’s Edge, I’m using up that GPU at the data center. That being the case, the service had better have a Pentagon full of computers if it hopes to be successful and not leave folks waiting in a queue to play.