I got a chance to play Warhammer: Space Marine on the OnLive console at PAX, and I must say the controls felt really good.  That, however, is not what I want to talk about today.  No, I want to talk about the console that I played it on.

The OnLive booth was giving away free consoles at PAX this year.  Everyone said that they had so many that there would be no shortage.  Unfortunately, I ended up procrastinating until Sunday when they actually DID run out of the consoles.

I’m kind of excited about the possibilities of the OnLive console, even though part of me worries that they are furthering the destruction of PC gaming.  Yes, you can play the OnLive games on the PC, and I don’t see Steam going away anytime soon, but the sale of PC games in the stores might be a thing of the past.  When you can get games through digital delivery based on a monthly fee system similar to NetFlix, it’s hard to justify buying them at the stores.

It makes me wonder if we are going to see a Steam Console in the coming years.  I understand that many of the games simply wouldn’t work on a console.  FPS games have had their balances adjusted for PC games to account for the amazing accuracy of the keyboard and mouse, as described here by Penny Arcade.  Mouse controlled games that require specific location clicks (like NyxQuest) would have a lot of problems on the console as well.  Nonetheless, I would love to be able to play a game of Booster Troopers using a console controller.

It appears that OnLive has a deal going for the next few days: if you purchase Batman: Arkham City through OnLive, you get a free console.  I think I’m going to get one.