Last month, Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of Chrome and Apps, gave a cool presentation on Web-based gaming, demonstrating how, in his opinion, they can be as fun to play as titles played on local hardware. Pichai’s demo involved a preview of Bulletstorm streaming from the Gaikai service. We were impressed that Bulletstorm ran relatively smoothly, looking a lot like its local equivalent.
Scoff it you will, but it simply wouldn't be possible to play games at all using the Chromebox's HD Graphics engine. So, this is at least a step in the right direction. We've tried streaming game services like OnLive on other platforms around the lab. And while we wouldn't trade our high-res, full-detail gaming sessions in for a more bandwidth-constrained Web-based version of the same thing, we definitely see this as an enabler on platforms limited to anemic hardware.
Below is a shot of us playing Crysis 2 on another system with HD Graphics 3000. It's not beautiful, it's not perfectly smooth, but it is possible on a machine that'd be otherwise unable to run this game.