OnLive cloud-based game service getting console-ized

When it comes to video games, OnLive may just be the wave of the future. It’s a service that basically acts like a video game system, but everything is done in the cloud.

That means no game discs, no hefty storage requirements for your computer, and no need to take your gaming setup with you wherever you go. You can access OnLive on any computer at any time.

The service has been very well-received among the small crowd it’s managed to attract. And now, it’s looking to be even more accessible with a dedicated console that players can hook up to their TV.

The OnLive “Microconsole” will be available for $99, the company announced today. It comes with a controller and one free game. Units will start shipping out December 2, and pre-orders are now open at OnLive’s website.

While it doesn’t exactly have the backing of the major players known as the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360, OnLive demonstrates to the full extent what those other consoles have been shifting toward – digital distribution.

Sony turned eyes with its PSPgo system, a handheld device that has no slot for game discs and instead requires users to download games to the system. Beyond that, all three home consoles consider digital downloads to be a major part of their future plans.

OnLive is an important concept device because it shows that an entire game system, connected to a TV, with an Internet connection instead of a disc slot, can be a reality. We’ll see if consumers are ready for such a concept yet.