Digital Foundry vs. OnLive on Eurogamer.net
offers their full review of the OnLive streaming game service, following up on their preliminary latency evaluation
(thanks joao). Since the practical value of such a service has been hotly debated, we were eager to see their conclusion, and while they find various elements praise-worthy, in the end they say: "In the here and now, the question marks on performance and value combined with the lack of games mean that we can't really recommend the system, but you would hope that the content side of things would improve at least." Here's more that explains why:
However, despite the incredible achievement in streaming gameplay with relatively low latency, the bottom line is that the gameplay experience is not better than what we already have - by and large it's tangibly worse. The varying quality of the graphics is questionable, and the lag is best described as "better than expected" - nowhere near the claims that have been made for the system, and still measurably inferior to current standards. It's just a question of how your personal perception level will interpret it as to whether it's a game-breaker or not.
In terms of buying games, the prices for new titles are too high and the selection of games is uninspiring. The notion of paying so much for what is measurably an inferior product compared to the physical disc means that OnLive simply cannot be taken seriously at this point in time - especially when you don't own the games you are buying. This is something the industry en masse needs to get its head around as digital delivery becomes more important: if you're going to take away basic ownership rights, and offer a lower-quality version of the game to boot, the price needs to diminish accordingly.