We noticed something rather curious when we got a first-hand look at Razer's Project Fiona prototype gaming slate: it's running OnLive.
Yes, the tablet is streaming games from remote servers rather than playing them using its Core i7 processor. As you'll see in the pictures and video below, our demonstrators selected Warhammer from a menu marked "OnLive," and that's the OnLive icon in focus on the (normally hidden) Windows 7 taskbar as well. Mind you, the Fiona is just a concept and we'll definitely give Razer the benefit of the doubt that the final version will have the muscle to run games natively: Considering that OnLive runs well on low-power ARM chips, there'd be little point to having a full-strength Ivy Bridge processor if not! Plus, there's no sneezing at an additional source of easy games, and there's also plenty of R&D time left before the Fiona is slated for market. You have to appreciate the irony, though: nearly three years ago, it was OnLive which was accused of faking its streaming game demos, and look where it wound up.
We confirmed with an OnLive representative that the
games were demoed on the streaming game service. Just to clarify, the Fiona is reportedly running Windows 7 locally: though it's technically possible to stream that from OnLive too (just take a look at Windows 7 running on this iPad) we're told that the OnLive Cloud Desktop isn't powering the entire experience this time around.
Update: Razer just contacted us to dispute the claim, saying that games are running locally on the Fiona. We're going to follow up ASAP.
Update 2: Our original story was wrong, and we apologize. Though the Fiona prototype does have OnLive installed and a partnership is in the works, we verified first-hand that games run locally on the Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor from local storage, and are not streaming in any way. We asked Razer to start at the Windows 7 desktop, launch Steam, set it to offline mode, disconnect the Wi-Fi, and even unplug the Fiona's cord, and the company happily complied. Warhammer ran (and performed just as well) as it did when the tablet was fully connected. We reached out to Razer and spoke to OnLive ahead of publication, but there was some miscommunication and we apologize for the confusion.